Happy New Year! Did you rest and relax and eat all sorts of goodies this holiday? I hope so (I sure know I did!). Since it’s the beginning of January everyone is thinking about resolutions and I have plenty of my own. One of mine is book-related and I think it deserves sharing.
Resolution: To Put My Money Where My Mouth Is
How often in the past year have industry folk and the general public alike heard how independent (and big box) bookstores are struggling? How ‘evil’ Amazon is? How Amazon doesn’t care about local booksellers? Lots and lots. And, on the flip side, how often is it discussed that local bookstores know books and their customers better than anyone else? And who hosts author events? Local bookstores—we hear about this all the time! Although these discussions are complicated they make one thing clear in my mind: If we want the wonderful institution of local, independent bookstores to remain, we need to support them over online retailers.
I have not been doing this. Buying books on Amazon is (often) cheaper and easier than from a physical store. 99% of my books come from the online retailer—I even have an Amazon.com credit card which gives me reward points that I turn around and use at Amazon. I’ve embraced Amazon as much as anyone else—even knowing its pitfalls better than the general public. And I’m beginning to feel horrible about it.
And so, my New Years Resolution is to buy more books—at least 50%—at a local store. This means the books I buy are going to cost more, and being on a budget such as I am, I’ll probably have to buy fewer books. But with my reading levels staying the same I’ll have to visit the library to get that additional reading material—and that’s another fine institution to be more actively supporting!
Do you have any book-related resolutions for 2012?