by Julie Carpenter
I bet a lot of Sacred Chickens followers are going to be spending their time reading during this time of quarantine. Probably a number of you are going to order books: classics you’ve always wanted to read; brand new best sellers; fantasy trilogies; or dusty historical tomes you promised yourself you’d get around to.
So, this is a good time to remind all you guys that you can order pretty much any book with an ISBN number from an independent bookstore. Check out the picture that goes along with this blog post. That’s my latest purchase from Poetic Justice Books and Arts. It looks like a great read. (Besides, it goes really well with my turquoise bookshelves.) I’m planning to grab a couch and get started on it later this afternoon.
Why order from an indie bookstore? Because this is going to be a really tough time for any independent business. Amazon is probably going to make it through the hard times, but that little bookstore on the corner where you’ve been hanging out buying coffee and talking about books with Craig, a local poet, who owns the store and also plays in a band on the weekend, is probably working on a much thinner margin. It’s the same thing as buying gift cards to your favorite local restaurants and bars right now, even though you might have to take delivery or wait to use them. Some of these businesses may need help making it through months of quarantine and social distancing and their employees will still need jobs when it’s over if some of them get sent home.
I’m not here to shame anyone for buying books anywhere you want or need to get them. And I get that for some books and magazines a kindle or a nook might be more convenient. But why not order some of the books you’re looking for online from your favorite independent bookstores? You’ll probably want to hang out with Craig again sometime to hear how he spent his time social distancing. It will probably be very interesting if I know Craig.
Of course, my go-to independent bookstore is Poetic Justice Books and Arts, where you can find copies of my book, Things Get Weird in Whistlestop, and some other books and authors I’ve recommended, like Ink by Lane Mochow, and Dead Man’s Hand by Jeff Weddle. Remember, independent bookstores carry and promote authors from small presses. In other words, they keep reading interesting for the rest of us. Even if worse comes to worse and it takes a while to get your books – if the mail system prioritizes necessities like Amazon appears to be doing – you will still be supporting your local bookstore and you will still be helping your bookstore remain open and you’ll eventually get your book and have a place to go back to!
Just this morning I got an email from one of my favorite authors, Dahlma Llanos-Figuero, and discovered that you can buy a copy of her book, Daughters of the Stone, from Word Up Books. It’s really cool bookstore run by a diverse volunteer collective from the local community. (I will be reordering her book from them since I lent it to someone, and it seems to have escaped out into the world at large. We reviewed it here.)
If you don’t have a favorite local bookstore, here’s list of some great ones from all across the country. I got this from friend of the Sacred Chickens and fellow Weird Sister, author Lyndsie Clark:
Books Are Magic
Wild Geese Bookshop
Women and Children First
The Book Cellar
The Ripped Bodice
Reading is a great way to spend your time at home, but remember, someday we all hope to meet again at our local bookstores. Please feel free to share your own local bookstore picks here!
Jarad, Uncle Morty and Julie wish our readers from all around the world the best during this time. Please stay safe and keep reading.
Julie Carpenter is the author of Things Get Weird in Whistlestop and creator of the Sacred Chickens website. She is dedicated to telling stories and making sure that indie writers and publishers have a way to be heard. She uses narrative, her own and others’, to help interpret the world. She has a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Memphis, with an emphasis in Composition Theory. She wants to bend reality one story at a time. Julie’s work has appeared in Fiction on the Web and her Letter to Essie was included in The New Guard Volume VII.