Support Independent Bookstores!

Photo by Nao Ueda

I normally shy away from buying books. Eddy and I have moved several times, and we learned the hard way that books make moving highly unpleasant. We try very hard to prevent a book from taking up residence at our home by borrowing them from our local public library. From time to time, though, you have to buy a book, and with some of them, you have to buy new. So, the other day, I found myself at WordsWorth Books in Little Rock. Here’s the conversation that I had with a store clerk:

Me: Hi! I’m looking for this particular study guide.

WordsWorth Books: I’m sorry, but we don’t carry a copy of it. I think Barnes & Noble has one.

Me: Um, well, the problem is I don’t like to shop at Barnes & Noble.

WordsWorth Books: Me neither!

Independently-owned bookstores have been in decline in recent years, thanks to big chains and online booksellers. Arkansas is no exception to this national trend, with several independent bookstores closing their doors the last several years (Lorenzen and Faded Fables, both of Little Rock, and That Bookstore at Mountebanq Place in Conway).

The American Booksellers Association (ABA) says independent bookstores are more than just retail outlets – they’re gathering places for book-lovers and neighbors. I agree. Every time I visited Lorenzen and Faded Fables, I felt like I was buying from people I know and trust. I was also able to support local economy, which I find to be important. Locally-owned businesses reinvest more of my money in my community than do big chains. This helps create greater diversity and enable the community to maintain its distinctive character.

When Little Rock lost Lorenzen and Faded Fables, we became a bit more like any other American city. Thank goodness we still have WordsWorth Books!

But, we have to do our part to support independent bookstores. So, next time you’re in market for a book, visit your local bookstore!

As for my study guide, WordsWorth Books ordered a copy for me, which arrived two days later. The service was great, and I was able to support a local business. Needless to say, I was happy as a clam!


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