This month, I just learned, is National Independent Booksellers Month. Shrinking Violets, a lovely blog which in general celebrates introverts* but which at the moment is celebrating NIBM, asks readers for Reasons to Shop at Independent Bookstores (and there is a prize for the best!). Here are my reasons, which I also left in a comment at Shrinking Violets:
1. They have used books for sale as well, intershelved with the new (I like bargains).
2. When my children and I go to the independent book store, we are going for Books, not for a have a snack in the cafe-play with Thomas the wretched tank engine toys-run around on toy stage extravaganza. It is good to find occasion to make Books the whole point of an expedition.
3. The children's section, perhaps because of (2), is much much tidier and more appealing (although I blame the parents for this, not the chain book stores...)
4. When you ask for A Seed is Sleepy they don't look at you like you are crazy.
5. Because independent book stores are smaller, one is less likely to loose one's children. One can also keep an eye on the children while looking at other sections.
Here are some more I have just thought of:
6. I like to shop at my local IBs for the same reason I like driving a Prius--a soothing sense that I am doing the Right Thing.
7. Someday when I grow up and stop being an archaeologist (and boy it was a vexing afternoon here in Archaeologyland what with bones eroding out of river banks and all) I am going to open a new and used children's bookstore of my own (my son wants me to call it The Friendly Dragon). So careful and critical shopping at IBs -es is an important educational experience, and there should be some way I can take it off my taxes given that it's job related.
* Kelly at Big A little a had a personality quiz up a few days ago. Isn't it interesting how many kidlit bloggers are introverts? I have a bone to pick with the quiz, however--my Meyer-Briggs book told me that my type, INFP, is much much rarer than the 6% this quiz tried to sell me. Another thing my book told me was that, for INFPs, "metaphors come easily, but may be forced." I have been thinking about this at odd moments for the past 25 years.