Author and Librarian A.S. King calls independent bookstores ‘bad ass ninjas.’ And she doesn’t use that phrase lightly.
For King, as for many authors, independent bookstores are key gatekeepers to success. As she writes in a great blog post on this topic, “you really have to love books to open a bookstore.” It’s a tough business. It’s not about getting rich, but it has other benefits. Most of them surround a love of reading, learning and storytelling which you get to share with other people. As such, they continue to hold a special place in the book business from even larger chains.
More than chains, independent bookstores excel at sponsoring events like book launches, readings, and even tables at festivals and events where authors can be discovered by their communities. They can personally match a buyer with books that meet their taste in ways that big stores can’t because they widely read and discuss books on a level that staff’s at chains don’t. And because they carry a selection they hand pick, not some corporate suit in an office looking at statistics and numbers. Thus, their selection will be eclectic, varied, and far more diverse. And they back their passions for what they carry by working hard to match them with readers who will love them.
Independent bookstores may be in locations not as dominant as big chains but they are a lifeline for finding books you’d never otherwise see in your community. And you won’t have to research it yourself, a few words or phrases said to the owners and staff will result in dozens of possibilities to explore.
A.S. King is not alone in her passion for these badass ninjas. Here’s more about it in her words: http://writerunboxed.com/2012/07/12/all-the-badass-ninjas-hang-out-at-planet-independent-bookstore/
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s science fiction, fantasy and humor books, short stories and articles. A frequent contributor to blogs like SFSignal, Adventures In SF Publishing, Grasping For The Wind and To Be Read, he also hosts Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat under the hashtag #sffwrtcht on Twitter and blogs about writing and creativity on his own blog at www.bryanthomasschmidt.net/blog. Connect With Bryan On Google+