It's the very first Independent Bookstore Week in our very own New York City! If you are so unfortunate as to live in one of those sad little towns that ISN'T New York City (HA HA HA. Oh GOD we love saying obnoxious things like that, it almost makes the rent worth it) you can PRETEND you live in New York City by sending your love to your nearest independent bookstore! And how do we send love in America, Author-friends? WITH DOLLARS, IS HOW.
In all seriousness, now: Independent bookstores are one of the last real bastions of literary culture in a world almost completely dominated by corporate interests and profit margins. People who work in indie bookstores care about books more than they care about pretty much anything, including a living wage and sometimes functioning personal relationships (not that we would know); they are people who have spent their whole lives surrounded by, obsessed with, and immersed in books, people who get all giddy when they introduce their favorite authors at events, people who are pushing books on you that they love and feel passionate about and believe in, not celebrity memoirs that they feature prominently because a publisher paid for display space.
Independent bookstores reflect the quirkiness of their staff and the predilections of their community; whether it's the cavernous ceilings and endless staircases of Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Company or the rarefied atmosphere of New York institution Three Lives & Company, every indie bookstore has its own personality, as distinct as the people who work there. For us, walking into a real bookstore is like coming home; there is nothing like the smell of paper, the creak of floorboards, and the joyful sense of possibility that comes with shelves upon shelves of lovingly curated books we haven't read. Supporting indie bookstores means supporting a diversity of ideas, keeping money in your own community, and having the opportunity to interact with the people who are buying the books for the store you are frequenting (hint for Author-friends: LOVE THE STAFF of your local bookstore, because if they love you they will SELL YOUR BOOK, and there is more than one writer whose career has been made out of indie bookseller love).
We can vouch for these fine people, Author-friends, because we once labored among them. Indie booksellers, we can tell you with the utmost authority, are smart, funny, awesome, and often very cute. This week we shall be featuring interviews with a couple of our very favorites for your delight, because we love you, and how WE show OUR love is by making you read better books. Huzzah!