Uplifting news seems few and far between these days, but this story about Bookshop.org launching in the UK warmed my heart and reawakened the bookworm in me.
Like many adults I'm sure, my younger self would be horrified at how few books I seem to get through. Every year I tell myself I will read more and then seven new Netflix shows are released and, before you know it, the year is over and I've only read two books. Those two books I do manage to read almost always come from an independent bookstore because it is in those stores where I feel most inspired to dust off the old paperbacks.
The enthusiasm and support behind Bookshop's launch in the US bodes well for the UK and proves that, even in times of crisis or financial hardship, people will support the institutions that matter to them. One silver lining of the chaos of this year is the spirit of rallying around small or independent businesses. I for one have been thinking a lot more about where I choose to spend my money, and where I can avoid lining any more of Mr Bezos' pockets. Having spent a lot more time this year closer to home, I've discovered a whole range of small businesses and shops in my local area that I'd never fully explored before, from independent coffee shops to a family-owned hardware store, and even a tiny bookshop. With that, I think it's time to place an order...
Hunter believes the reason for Bookshop’s quick success is readers’ fondness for their local booksellers. “Bookstores have been in trouble for a while because of Amazon’s growth, but this pandemic has really accelerated it. Amazon has gotten much more powerful, while there are 100-year-old stores that are hanging on for survival,” he said. “I think we were so successful because enough people were conscious of that, and wanted to rally around around their beloved bookstores, because they care about the world that we emerge from this pandemic into.”