Why Shop Local at an Independent Bookstore?

Independent bookstores are the best—not only do they support the local economy, they also host events for authors, and booksellers are always around to give you recommendations.

Still, it is impossible for indies to compete with Amazon, which can discount books because they are not their main source of revenue. At Libro.fm, we’re committed to supporting local bookstores, because we never want our indies to disappear. Here are seven reasons why you should support your local indie.

Booksellers are the best!

When you visit an independent bookstore, booksellers are there to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Can’t remember the title but know what the cover looks like? They can help you figure it out. Love an author and want to read something similar? They’ve definitely got a list. Booksellers make the shopping experience feel more personal and fun; these local business owners and employees are dedicated to making your visit memorable.

You have room to browse.

Scrolling through books on a website isn’t the same as walking through a bookstore and picking up whatever catches your eye. Even if you went in searching for something specific, I guarantee you’ll discover a new book you hadn’t even considered before browsing the shelves. This distinct character of local bookstores provides a unique experience that online shopping—particularly through a certain corporation—cannot match.

You’re helping the local economy.


Independent bookstores are local businesses. By visiting an indie instead of a big chain store, you’re putting money right back into the hands of the community. In fact, for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., about 67 cents stays in the local community versus 45 cents when spending at a big box store, like Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million, according to American Express. This re-circulating of money within the community supports local jobs and entrepreneurs.

There are always events to check out.

Whether it’s an author signing or a book club meeting, things are always happening at independent bookstores, and events foster a sense of community and build local culture. You can follow your indie store on social media to keep up with all the events they have going on.

You can get more than just books.

Many bookstores sell more than just books—including products from other local businesses. Grab a bite to eat, get a cup of coffee, or purchase a puzzle. There are so many things to be found in your local independent bookstore, you just have to look.

By shopping local, you’re helping the environment.

Reduce your carbon footprint when you shop in-store rather than having your books shipped. Less transportation means a lower environmental impact. Most indies even offer the option to purchase books online for in-store pick up, so all you have to do is drop in when you’re free, grab your books, and go.

To keep independent bookstores around we have to support them.

Due to the pandemic, we lost many independent bookstores. Meanwhile, Amazon’s revenue increased. Even if everyone stopped buying books from Amazon, the company would be fine. However, if we stop supporting indies they cannot keep their doors open. We encourage you to help keep them in business by supporting them whenever and however you can. Not only are they safe spaces, cultural hubs, centers for exploration, and more, but the economic impact of shopping local (small businesses pay local taxes and create local jobs) resonate far and wide.

Additional benefits of shopping at local bookstores

Shopping at local bookstores supports local ownership and entrepreneurship and contributes to the community’s distinctive character. We help maintain a diverse retail environment and strengthen our local supply chain, as well as ensure sales tax dollars are kept within the community, supporting local public services and infrastructure.

When we shop local, we help build up a vibrant community, and many small businesses are involved with nonprofits and other local initiatives. The benefits of supporting indie bookstores are far-reaching; by supporting them, we’re not only helping the wider publishing ecosystem, but contributing to the well-being of our communities.

How else can we show our local bookstores support?

  1. Attend events (virtual and in-person) hosted by our indie bookstore.
  2. Join their book club and/or subscription box services.
  3. Follow and engage them on social media and their email newsletter.
  4. Purchase gift cards for friends and family.
  5. Purchase your audiobooks through Libro.fm—we share all profits with the indie of your choice.

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