The Indie Bookstore. Part I

Indie (independent ownership) bookstores were integral to the communities they served
STORIES: A Bookstore.
Evergreen CO, 2001

Recently a reader of books from Amsterdam stated to me that she “never really understood what an Indie bookstore is.” This post is in response to that. Because it’s a very important thing – Indie bookstores. So important I wrote a chapter in my book, Election 2016: The Great Divide, The Great Debate, about the Independent Bookstore.

The Five Ws

are essential to all books and things. They are: Who, What, Where, Why, and When.

Briefly, an Independent Bookstore is a “brick and mortar” shop located in a specific real place that is part of a real community, at a specific point in time. It is owned by an individual who is solely responsible for all the content within the store. The owner makes every single decision inside the store, from the color of the walls and lighting, to what books they stock, as well as any other things they might sell.

The shop reflects the personality of the owner, and adds value to the community. Not only economic, but social, spiritual, and intellectual. A smart owner will tailor the shop to the aesthetics of the people and place. Moreover, it can become the heart and mind of a community.

It’s an audacious endeavor.

Indie bookstores take care of community  The shop radiates warmth and comfort In the evenings we had events

Inside STORIES there was a lot more than just books. There was warmth, entertainment, and camaraderie.

What went wrong?

is an interesting question.

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