Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Essential Independent Bookstore

In celebration of their latest book release, The Emotion Thesaurus, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, hosts of the The Bookshelf Muse, are throwing a kindness party and you're invited.

 Here's what the invitation says:

"Kindness is POWERFUL. Even the smallest gesture can fuel a person and keep them going.

All over the blogosphere, you'll see Random Acts of Kindness toward Writers.These are by people who want to share their appreciation for those who have helped or supported them at some point along the Writing Path.

We've seen a lot of changes in the Industry lately. Change can lead to great things, but there's always growing pains that go along with it. Today is a day to forget what divides us and instead remember what unites us. We all share a passion for the written word. Today, let's celebrate those who write!"

I choose independent booksellers as the recipient of my random act of kindness gift. These individuals provide a haven for readers and writers. In this era of digital downloads and online ordering, bookstore owners are struggling to survive. Albert Greco, a Fordham University professor who studies book marketing, says, "Chain and independent stores have never been under more pressure, and it's not all digital." When Borders was still in business, Greco calculated that Amazon had 22.6% of the book market—ahead of Barnes & Nobel (17%), Borders (8.1%), Books-A-Million (3%), and independents (6%).

A bookstore is my favorite place to take myself on a date. I cringe when I read headlines like this: Figures Show Dramatic Collapse in Independent Booksellers (from the Guardian, 10/4/11

Bookstores are the heart of a community. Keep that heart beating. 

Here are a few of the reasons I love my community bookstore, East Line Books: 
  • A cozy atmosphere that turns book browsing into an enjoyable experience.
  • A cup of coffee and cookie to add a bit more pleasure to my search.  
  • An owner who is ready to assist with missions like, "I need a unique book for my father's 80th birthday gift basket."
  • A gathering place for events such as author book signings, book clubs, workshops, creative writing classes, poetry circles and guest speakers.
  • Conversations with strangers who turn into friends.
  • East Line Books is often involved in, and even initiates, community events, such as used book sales for charity. 
Just read this passage from the East Line Book Website:

"Robyn, the bookseller, is dedicated to providing the best selection of books, the best classes, the best service, and the most welcoming environment to all of the wonderfully diverse people of our community."  

That's why my contribution to the Celebrate Writers Through Random Acts of Kindness party is to encourage all to buy a book at an independent bookstore. Keep these treasures alive. If everyone who reads, buys one book per month in a store, these shops will continue to be a cherished member of communities.

Please share something special about a book store you love in the comment section.


Buy a Book in a Store!    


Morning Morgantown by Joni Mitchell—a beautiful song about the simplicity of small town living. I love the first line:  "When morning comes to Morgantown, the merchants roll their awnings down."


    The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly (The Haunted Bookshop Mystery Series)
    Protagonist Penelope Thornton-McClure owns a mystery bookstore in a small seaside town in Rhode Island. It happens to be haunted by Jack Shepard, a private investigator who was killed in 1949. The pair work together to solve crimes in five installments of the series published between 2004 and 2009.


    "Standing there, staring at the long shelves crammed with books, I felt myself relax and was suddenly at peace."
    Helene Hanff, Q's Legacy



    1. A new independent bookstore has just opened in Manitou Springs, Colorado.. Their website is

    2. Great! I love to hear about bookstores opening, not closing. I hope all in the Manitou Springs area support "Back of the Book."

    3. Hi, Peggy
      I'm passing my Beautiful Blogger Award on to you and I invite you to pass it on to 7 more people. You can check out the details on my blog at Congratulations and have a great day! Sandy
      P.S. I just sent some of my books to Back to the Books Bookstore and they're wonderful to work with!

      1. Thanks for the Beautiful Blogger Award. I'm checking it out.

    4. This reminds me so much of that wonderful movie "You've Got Mail". And yes, I agree that we need to keep the privately owned stores alive - after all, they are like us, ordinary people offering a service to make a living. Wonderful post. Thank you.

    5. What a great choice! Indie booksellers are so important. They have true passion for books, and go the extra mile every time I find!

      Thanks for joining in on RAOK Week!


    6. Sandy,

      On Staten Island, with 600,000 + residents, we have one book store left--B&N. That is an awesome store in that it has many floors, Starbucks right inside and you can go in on Friday with a backpack and not see everything when you come out on Monday. It's so big and runs so many sales by best sellers that I have yet to have a good book selling day there, but do have my books on the shelves where eventually they are bought. I remember as a kid, loving to sit in our big old dusty library, which was so peaceful and calm. Nope, no such thing where I live. By the way, your site is so relaxing--are they the shortest sunflowers I've ever seen or the biggest daisies? Both are some of my favorite flowers. Ilove visiting here.


      1. Micki ~ I love having you stop in and I want to go to that B&N iin Staten Island--a real book museum. I'm glad the store is doing well. I really do hate seeing book stores close. ~ Peggy

    7. Hi Peggy. I have signed in for Kick Back Moments. Lovely attitude to living life. Thank you for your kind comments on my None of the Cadillacs Was Pink. My first attempt at a Blog, which is a new cyberspace bouncy castle for me. I'm not sure I am young enough to survive. Thanks again. William.

    8. Our local Borders bookstore with all their wonderful couches and chairs and free coffee has just recently closed and I so miss it! In this fast-paced, multi-tasking world, we need more paces like this, not fewer. Love your blog!

      1. Our Borders on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, NY, closed last year. The building is still empty and I'm sad every time I walk by it. I agree, Sandra, we do need more places to relax and unwind--bookstores are perfect for this.
        Thanks for the blog compliment!!! Peggy

    9. Hi Peggy,
      I enjoy your blog postings very much and look forward to receiving them in my Google account.
      I have just nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award. If you accept, please stop by my WordPress blog on Apple technology for instructions concerning the nomination.

    10. Peggy, not sure if you saw where catnipoflife received the Sunshine Blog Award. I was very proud to have the opportunity to GIVE the award by paying it forward to bloggers who inspire me and bring Sunshine into my blogging life. You have been tagged by me:>)

    11. Thanks Catnipoflife!!! I will check this out.

    12. I love this idea! I will be stopping by my corner bookstore to do my random act of kindness. Thank you for such a wonderful post! I am now a new follower and look forward to reading your other posts and receiving your new posts in my Google reader. Would love for you to stop by my blog sometime!
      Much love and abundant blessings,

    13. "If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!mawaddainternationalaid