My local independent bookstore, Forever Books, turned seventeen this past week. While seventeen isn’t a milestone most people think about, in the indie bookstore community it’s a lifetime. I think Amazon has had a lot to do with this.
Robin Allen, owner of Forever Books, once told me that some people visit her store, study her books, photograph them on their cellphones, and then check to see if Amazon sells them more cheaply.
These may be book lovers, but they are not concerned about the welfare of independent bookstores. Which is all the more reason to acknowledge Forever Books.
If you visit the store’s website, www.foreverbooks.net, you’ll find ten reasons for shopping there. Robin had me at the first one: “You kept dollars in our economy. For every $100 you spend at one of our local businesses, $68 will stay in the community. What happens when you spend that same $100 at a national chain? Only $43 stays in the community.” But it isn’t just about money.
Robin, Diana, Stephen, and Sherry are all knowledgeable about literature and can help you find your next read, your next favorite author, or your next gift. When Forever Books doesn’t have what you want, if you order it by 11 AM one day, it will be in the store the following afternoon (Weekends excluded).
Earl and I showed up in St. Joseph a year after the little store on State Street opened, and we’ve patronized it ever since. (With the exception of Kindle offerings, I don’t purchase anything from Amazon, and I recently found a way around that too.) I hope Forever Books is around another seventeen years.