Why I Wish People Would Realize Bookstore Build Communities

So, I’m probably preaching to the choir for most people that would find their way to this blog, but I feel that most people don’t understand how brick and mortar book stores build better communities. 

I started thinking about this when at my local indie a few weeks ago. I’d stopped in on my day off, browsed the shelves and picked up a few goodies. I was the only one in the shop so as I was checking out the clerk and I chatted. We talked about the book she was reading, world book night, and the lack of book stores in the area. Then she asked what I did for a living. I told her about the program I work for (it can be found in my previous post from back when I started) and she started talking to me about her health and where she could get services. 

I can think of few other places where I would feel comfortable talking to someone on such a varied range of topics and I started to think, where in this digital age do people really gather to converse about the community, health topics and the like? I guess some still fall back on churches and other groups, but I think society overlooks the wonderful gathering place that is the bookstore. A place where people with differing views, interests and hobbies can gather together to discuss topics, the community and possibly give each other some helpful information. 

So really what am I saying here? Probably nothing earth shattering, just that I wish people realized what a valuable asset a local bookstore can be to a community. Definitely a value worth preserving. 

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  1. I agree, we jokingly nickname our bookstore ‘The Club’ because you can have tea or coffee, browse, chat, they even have bathroom facilities and they are open late.

    All kinds of little groups gather regularly, the poetry reading group, bookclubs, translation groups (share a favourite paragraph from a book and translate it into French), I also use it as a meeting place for some of my conversation class students, there just isn’t anywhere else so welcoming and open to the art of reading, conversation and sharing.

    • I’m hoping that our indie gets more of a following like that. It is also a coffee/tea shop and is located in a repurposed junior high, so it has those quirk factors going for it. It does an open mic night and they do have some author signings, but so far it’s only been kid authors or other locals that I’ve never read.


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