In response to the closing of her local independent bookstore, Readergirl Justina Chen Headley felt compelled to take action. So she came up with some concrete recommendations by which people can support their local bookstores. She is encouraging people to share and repost the suggestions, so here they are:
Justina's Fab Five Ways to Support Your Local Bookstore:
"1. Attend an in-store author event. Actually, don't just attend one event. Attend a bunch of them. The sad thing is that so many author events aren't attended by many people. Oh gosh, at readergirlz, Ann Brashares (she of Sisterhood book, movie, and fame) told us about a recent signing where NO ONE showed up. SAD for the author, but GOOD for you. This just means that you might have a super intimate conversation with one of your favorite authors of all time.
2. Bring your friends. Make a pact to bring a group of friends with you to these author events: the more, the merrier. It could be a standing date with all your favorite readergirlz buddies: author comes to town; you all head out to hang out with the writer.
3. Buy first edition books…from your local indie bookseller. Soooo…about 7 years ago, my hubby trotted home with an auction catalog from Sotheby's where they were selling off a book from the very first UK printing of Harry Potter 1. He said, "We should go for it!" I said, "What? That's the dumbest investment idea I've ever heard of. We should invest in…HomeGrocer.com." (I know, I know.) Well…guess what that first edition copy is worth now. And it's not just Jo's books that become valuable. But forget collectability…go to 4!
4. Give books as gifts. (And books autographed to your BFF are even better…) Over at readergirlz, we created our gift giving guide for the holidays: Best Books for Your BFF. Those bookmarks, filled with fun and fabulous book lists from our beloved postergirlz advisory committee (the smartest and kindest and most expert children's lit bloggers on the planet), are actually perfect year-round. Books are a gift from the heart. Your heart.
5. Negotiate a Package Deal with Your Bookseller. I thought this was such a good idea from University Bookstore here in Seattle. They're offering a bundle of autographed books from visiting authors for a set (read: discounted) price. Why not pitch this idea to your local bookseller? Eoin Colfer, Jon Scieska (new Children's Lit ambassador for the U.S.), Libba Bray, Shannon Hale and so many other fantastic authors are TOURING the country right now. As in: RIGHT NOW. If they're heading your way, talk to your bookseller. That way, even if you can't attend the booksigning, you can still get a book personalized for yourself and / or your BFF."
I think that these are all amazing suggestions. And fun to do, every one of them. I think that I'm going to go to a signing at Hicklebee's this week, and buy some first editions. Definitely next week: Hicklebee's is featuring Jon Scieszka on January 25th. What about you? Do you have any other ideas for supporting local bookstores?