Indies vs Amazon -- Does Anyone Else Have This Problem?!

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the need to support independent bookstores, and I agree with the arguments. I, however, have never been to an indie bookstore. I rarely enter a bookstore at all, preferring to fuel my addiction through and the closest library.

Lately I have been feeling some indie guilt, but I live in rural Missouri, and I don't know where any indie bookstores are! (In fact, the closest chain bookstore I know of is at the mall, an hour away). So, I searched the web and came upon this nifty site, Indie Bound.

Turns out, indie bookstores do exist in Missouri, but they aren't in any locations that I tend to frequent. There are 6 indies within 100 miles of my university residence, but the closest one is still an hour away. My parent's house has even fewer options, with only 2 stores within 100 miles, although one is in a city I've actually been to once or twice. So, it looks like my book buying habits are not in for a change anytime soon!

Does anyone else have this problem? Do you go out of your way to shop at the indies?


Maddie MoZelle said...

I live in a small town, but we do have 2 indie bookstores as well as a Walden's. The Walden's is in a mall, and the store is so small that if 3 people are in it, there's practically no room to turn around and we keep bumping bottoms as we bend over to look at the lower shelves. The indies have been in business for years. One of them supplies books for the local community college, so they don't have to depend upon selling best sellers only -- and that's basically all they carry. I don't shop at any of those stores any longer because transportation is a problem for me, so I don't have the means to get there. I buy everything I read at Amazon, and if I can get it used I do. I really don't know how indies stay open anymore with such good sources for books available online. I appreciate the concern and hope indies don't die out completely, but thank goodness they don't need to depend upon me to stay open. If I had no transportation concerns, I would definitely haunt the bookstores and the library again, but unfortunately that's not likely to change for me. As a result I'm very grateful for the option to buy online. Without that I'd have no TBR pile at all... and that's just too horribly a thought to even consider.

meg89 said...

I didn't think about the local University book store (our school-sanctioned store is actually a branch of Barnes and Noble). It's a Patty's University Bookstore, which I know there are a few of across MO. I don't know if it counts as an indie or not... the distinction gets a little fuzzy for me there--they have branches at different schools that I know of, but they aren't national. When does a store cross over from indie to mainstream? Is there some other distinction I'm missing?

cali said...

There are big picture implications for the loss of independent bookstores. Indie bookstores are a community meeting place, especially fro local writers and poets. Amazon is killing local economies as it sells more than books.

Years from now people are going to wake up and see what their frugality has truly cost them.

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