Friday, October 24, 2008

Support your local independent bookstore
My favorite is Kepler's in Menlo Park, an amazing place that I love to death. The only problem is that I can't ever get out of there without spending close to a hundred bucks. I had occasion to wander through today before having lunch with a dear friend (thanks, Foreigner, it was great!) and, once again, I walked out $80 lighter and several books heavier.

Being there, though, reminded me of the simple pleasure of wandering through a bookstore. Aside from the next book group selection, I had no specific books in mind. And yet I found 5 other books that intrigued or enticed me in some way. And the joy of finding new books is amplified when I think that I'm supporting a local, independent bookseller. Considering that I worked in chain bookstores throughout high school and college (B. Daltons, Waldenbooks, Brentanos) I suppose it seems odd that I'm such a champion of independents, but I love them. I love booksellers who actually read and love books. Who write recommendations that show they have the same warped affinity for words that I have. Who have those quirky titles you don't even know you want, and would never find if all you did was visit (nothing against Amazon, I give them a lot of business too). But it's those tables full of wonderful new discoveries that get me every time. And that's what independents do better than anyone else -- they take the trouble to find unloved treasures. They give attention to local writers. They sell the books that you're not going to find on the "New Fiction" shelf at your local B & N.

So do yourself a favor and visit your favorite local independent bookstore. Drop some cash. Keep them in business. And make yourself SO happy.

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