Bookworm Conscience


I recently read a comforting article regarding the re-emergence of the independent bookstore. The crux of the article was based on two inspiring statistics (based in North America); since 2009 independent bookstores have increased by 30 percent and sales by 10 percent since last year. (You can find original article here).

Visiting my local independent, I found myself browsing their Books we love section, a bookshelf dedicated to novels handpicked by staff who’ve delightfully attached handwritten reviews. It was here that I encountered my own tight-ass/nana has to save all her pennies/minister of war and finance – self. After reading each review, I would swiftly flip the book over and check the price tag; an action that immediately lead to the book’s prompt return to the shelf.

After I’d returned the seventh book, four of which I was genuinely intrigued by, I turned to make a quick getaway. Fortunately, my conscience was quicker. “Isn’t this the core reason why bookstores have been closing their doors?” My inner bookworm piped up. “Do you really want to be a clipped purse nana refusing to share your pennies?”

No. Urgh. I don’t.

Instead I purchased two novels. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (described as the Australian To Kill A Mockingbird) and We never asked for wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

Sometimes we need to change the way we think about spending. Instead of “$30 book = $30 less in my bank account,” perhaps we should instead think “$30 book = having a bookstore” or perhaps:

  • $30 book = keeping someone employed in their dream job (author/bookseller/editors/literary agents/publisher)
  • $30 book = keeping your local literary community alive
  • $30 book = keeping your hard earned cash within your community.

Go forth. Spend money. Your inner bookworm asks that you do.

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