Today is the first observance of National Bookstore Day, the Publishers Weekly-sponsored holiday designed to draw attention to the nation's independent bookstores. More than 140 independent stores are participating, according to PW, the journal of record for book publishing and bookselling. The new holiday will always fall on the first Saturday in November.
PW's goal is to draw new customers to independents, but National Bookstore Day is also a time to reflect on the diverse roles that bookstores play in our society. Like Simple Pleasures Books and Gifts in Ashland, Virginia: www.simplepleasuresbooksandgifts.com When you shop at an indie bookstore, you shop local. That's means your money goes back into the community you live in.
Nor is this day confined to independent bookstores. Chains, like Barnes and Noble, offer a safe place for kids to hang out and can also function as study halls where high school and college students can find a quiet place to do their homework. Our economic crisis has closed many branch libraries or restricted their hours and bookstores are a quiet place to study and read, whether chain or independent.