Buy Indie Day

Friday, May 1st, 2009 | Shameless Consumerism

May 1 is Buy Indie Day, which makes it an excellent opportunity to visit your local independent bookstore.

Yes, I know you can get things cheaper at Amazon or buy your books, music, movies and coffee at your nearest chain store. But indies offer things neither of those places do. They host author visits and local events, their profits stay within the local community, they’re far more likely to work with other local businesses to support local events and causes. And really, I’ve never found the service at any chain store to come anywhere close to the kind of service I can get at my local bookstore. The people who work there are serious readers and they’re eager to share their love of books with their customers.

One of my fondest memories of Schwartz Books involves a bookseller stashing away a book for me. I had purchased a book on Charles Rennie Mackintosh and he and I chatted briefly about Mack’s work. A couple months later, I stopped in the bookstore on a day that seller was working. A book of Mackintosh’s architectural papers had come into the store and he put the last copy aside for me in case I was interested. My visits to the store didn’t coincide with his schedule for several weeks, but he held onto the book. I’m glad he did. It was a fun surprise and a really interesting read.

So go visit your local indie today. Say hi to the booksellers. Ask them to recommend a book they love. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of interesting suggestions and you’ll go home with a book you’ll really enjoy.

Milwaukee area folks, check out Boswell Books, Next Chapter, The Little Read Book, Woodland Pattern or Mystery One (if I’ve missed anyone, feel free to leave a comment). For those of you in other areas, Indie Now’s got a list of local sellers near you.

4 Comments to Buy Indie Day


We had a lovely old bookstore here eons ago, but they tore it down to put up a conference centre. It’s almost impossible to find a place to browse in these days to find hidden gems and dusty old oddities.

Thanks for the post–I’d almost forgotten about that quirky place.

czeltic girl

Hi, Teenie. Thanks for visiting. I’m now busy reading (and bookmarking) your blog. Many of your posts are making me giggle. All too familiar. (And as a proofreader who works in the ad biz, I say thanks for your April 23 post.) :)

Sorry to hear you lost your bookstore. (And for a conference center! What an unfair trade!)


well said! bookstores are a perfect third place for a lot of people as well….great place to chat and learn something at the same time. The thing I like about Indies, is that most of them feature some really good books, which means that I can browse a few good tables and find something. The chains have an overload of stuff everywhere and I think it is selected by the wholesalers they deal with.

So far, Next Chapter seems every bit as good as Schwartz was. They have the same staff, which makes it seem warm and familiar.


Aw, gee, thanks, czeltic girl! Proofreaders have saved my butt from wonky spelling untold times. I’d be on the street without you guys!

The problem with big bookstores is that you don’t find those surprises anymore. They stock only what’s popular and expect you’ll just order online for anything out of the ordinary. It takes away some of that mystery of discovering a whole new author…

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