Do Independents Matter?

     Today I’m giving space for Canadian Booksellers Association (CBA) to promote their new marketing program called Independents Matter. I have been writing for their association magazine for decades (yikes!) and I love books, so I’m happy to step back and let them take a posting on this blog. Here’s what they say:

     Tapping into the growing localism movement, Canadian independent booksellers herald a new challenge:

Think Independent * Read Independent * Buy Independent

     This season, invest in your community by running, not walking, to your local independent bricks and mortar bookstore for the ultimate shopping experience. For readers and buyers, independent bookstores are a bastion of ideas: informed staff who love and read books and know what to recommend.

     Clearly, the time to buy books is right now. “In challenging economic times, books are always the best bang for your buck” says Nancy Frater, President of CBA and owner of Orangeville’s BookLore. “For the price of a movie, a book can open the door to another world of timeless comfort, entertainment and pleasure; for the gift giver, a book holds long-lasting value.”

     Independents Matter champions the “shop local” credo: shopping at creative, convenient, one-of-a-kind stores supports the local economy and enriches the community. Save money, save fuel, save time. Reclaim your community and at the same time indulge yourself and your loved ones in good books.

Why?  –  Books Matter!  Independents Matter!  Communities Matter!

About Independents Matter

     Independents Matter is a national grassroots campaign with a community focus created by Canadian Booksellers Association to encourage booksellers to celebrate their independence and promote the benefits of shopping locally at independently-owned stores. Independents Matter is part of a momentum-gaining movement in support of the idea that shopping locally offers the best value, the best retail experience and the best support for vibrant, vital and prosperous communities.

About CBA Independents’ Day

     On November 15, 2008 independent booksellers all across the country will celebrate CBA Independents’ Day—a day designed to promote the importance of locally owned businesses to lively communities, which serves as the official launch date for CBA’s Independents Matter campaign.

About Canadian Booksellers Association
     CBA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the interests of Canadian booksellers since 1952. Our members include independent, campus, specialty booksellers from coast to coast to coast.
     What do you think? Do Independents matter?


  • Yes, yes Indies matter to Canadian readers but the tag “Think Independent * Read Independent * Buy Independent” sounds lonely.

    Folks go into independent bookstores looking for recommendations from booklovers. If the reader wasn’t looking for that one-to-one exchange of ideas, they would have stumbled into the big box book store, scrolled through the inventory, bought an expensive coffee and never share a word with anyone – – hence a completely independent experience.

    That is where the taglines fails because there is nothing independent about a visit to an independent. The first soul you meet at an indie is the fat cat that sleeps in the sun by the door. You have to bend to say hello and then PRESTO interaction. Exchange. Contact.

    Yup, the tagline is lonely.

    Kathleen Molloy, author – Dining with Death

  • Interesting perspective, Kathleen, and I agree with your description of the experience of big box stores vs. independents. What I love about a good independent bookstore is the selection that’s been done. They don’t try to carry every single title ever published. They try to stock only the best. So there’s almost no junk in a small bookstore that’s carefully run. I have had the experience of wanting to buy books from these stores, that I already own, or have discarded, simply because they look so enticing in the store. Big box stores overwhelm me with choice and ultimately leave me depressed. Because there are so many titles available, I don’t know which ones to choose. I often end up leaving without a purchase at all.
    Thanks for commenting!

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