Literary Event of the Week: Indies First

One day after the horror that is Black Friday, local bookstores are celebrating Small Business Saturday with a celebration called Indies First. Its a reminder that your independent bookstores are ready and waiting to help you find the perfect holiday gifts.

I urge you to do your shopping at independent bookstores this year. Don't do it because they're amazing local institutions — though they are. And don't do it because they're better for the local community than online retailers — though they are that, too. Do that because they're the best shopping experience, and they'll help you find the book that's just right for you.

I know I’m biased, because I come from a bookselling background, but I think a good independent bookstore is one of the most compelling reasons to live in a city. You can tell the quality of a city by its independent bookstore scene.

I don’t need to tell you, a reader of the Seattle Review of Books, all this. But you might need a reminder that if you love a bookstore, the best way to demonstrate your love is by buying stuff there — especially during the holidays.

You could do worse in life than to be known as the person who always gives books for gifts. In fact, I’d argue that books are the perfect gift: they’re personal and the receiver thinks of the giver the whole time they’re reading the book.

When you give the gift of books you bought at an independent bookstore, you’re really giving two gifts at once. You’re giving the book, of course, but you’re also investing in a local institution and improving the quality of life in the city you love. I don’t know about you, but that’s all I want for the holidays.

Find the independent bookstore nearest you: