Sunday, July 6, 2008
Now more than ever
I've become somewhat of an e-activist, seeking out websites of authors who are reading at independent books stores (about the only place they read anymore) who encourage their readers to order their books from Amazon. "Don't you see the irony in this?" I ask. At the same time, I've researched the advantages of buying locally and from independent retailers, and confirmed that we're all better off when we do.
Borders is closing stores left and right in an effort to stay on their feet. The local newspaper is laying off hundreds, and using fewer local contributors. Publishers are catering to the best-selling authors at the expense of lesser known, but quality writers. Now more than ever, we must support our independent bookstores, writers, grocery stores, farmers, garden stores, and hardware stores. They are the ones who care about the communiity, contribute to local agencies and donate for school fundraisers, put up posters for the arts events, host quality programs on food and gardening and literature and politics, raise up local issues. They keep the local newspaper alive by advertising their sales and events.
When I walk into a store like Quail Ridge Books, everyone knows my name. They know what I like to read. At Capital City Grocery, they point out the new local produce and tell me about the next free music event taking place in their parking lot. At Logan's, they have plants that are perfect for my yard, our climate, and they display containers of local produce. Briggs Hardware employees treat me with the same respect whether I'm having a key made or ordering hundreds of dollars worth of hardware for a client.
I feel very strongly that we must go back to a local economy as much as possible. Without our support, our neighbors--the grocers, the booksellers, the reporters, and so forth, cannot stay in business. When they thrive, the community thrives. And that makes us all winners.