We have met the enemy, and he is us.
I opened my third package from Amazon books this month as I sat down to write this. I had just finished reading about Borders’ bankruptcy in the paper. Yesterday a friend forwarded me an email about financial problems at Room of One’s Own, our local independent feminist bookstore.
I’m not feeling too good about those Amazon orders right now.
What have we come to when the story of Borders’ closing–which was the big-box category-killer when it first arrived–is couched as the little guy who lost out to the giants?
We’ve come to a wasteland, that’s what. The modern pattern of consumerism has taken the soul out of the once-satisfying exchange between a local buyer and a local seller, and has replaced it with one-click convenience, low prices, and a relationship with the UPS man.
Wherever you live, whatever bookstore you consider “yours,” get down there and buy something now. Then pledge to buy more. Stop to chat with the bookseller while you’re at it. Enjoy the lift you feel from simply engaging with another lively local human.
If you live in Madison, how about showing your support for Room of One’s Own Feminist Bookstore? Take the “Five More Books” pledge. You might just save an endangered species–the book lover.
Thanks for calling attention to this important issue, Sarah. I’m one of many people who treasure our local independent bookstores, but too often don’t or can’t “put my money where my mouth is.” A Room of One’s Own (AROOO) is a wonderful bookstore filled with both standard and eclectic choices…and it’s not just for feminists anymore, or women for that matter. As other independent bookstores have closed, AROOO has broadened their inventory and has plenty to offer to all book lovers. It’s my favorite place for a long, delightful browse. I’ve joined their Five More Books Pledge.
Kudos to you for fessing up to the problem with buying from amazon.com. We all like to save money when we can, but let’s support our local booksellers, protect jobs, and keep our treasured haunts in business. Just loving them from afar is not going to cut it!