There are of course so many great independent bookstores around the world, from the famous Powell’s Books in Oregon to the Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris. But you may ask yourself, why go to an independent bookstore nowadays? The Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Waterstones of the world provide me with huge selections. With just a few clicks I can find whatever I want on Amazon.com, and you can still borrow books for free at the good old-fashioned public library. So why the need for independent bookstores?
Of course buying books helps, but I don’t think throwing pennies at the problem is the solution. Independent bookstores are meeting places, gathering nodes where the underground pulse of the book-loving world runs strong. There are lots of easy ways you can help these wonderful establishments survive and even thrive while at the same time enriching your own life. Meet up with friends, have coffee there, trade in some old books (at used stores), or just hang out. Be creative about it! Even if you don’t buy something one day, one of your friends or coworkers you meet up with might. It's a community place, and a bookstore’s well-being is directly tied to the well-being of its local community. So go checkout a famous independent bookstore or find a new hidden gem of a used bookshop somewhere that you haven’t visited before. Look around, and who knows, maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for.