Saturday, November 07, 2009

National Bookstore Day Today: Let’s Shop!

Let’s face it: bookstores have had a pretty rough ride this year. Between the (cheerfully monikered) economic meltdown (cue scary music now), the rising tide of electronic books and the hardcover price wars of earlier this autumn, there must have been at least a few days in 2009 when some booksellers just didn’t even want to get out of bed.

All of this leads us to the Publishers Weekly-sponsored National Bookstore Day, the idea being that bookstores are front and center on one day: November 7th. Says PW:
Event organizers are hoping promotions tied to the day will attract local and national media coverage -- and, in turn, draw new customers into bookstores. “The number of stores already signed up meets our rosiest hopes for this first year. Many of the stores celebrating National Bookstore Day are recognized nationally as leaders, so we're gratified that this idea has been endorsed by these savvy booksellers,” said Ron Shank, PW group publisher. Among the offerings that bookstores are planning are author signings, children’s activities, discounts, extended hours, free refreshments, marathon “read-aloud” events, raffles and writing contests.
Though the idea is laudable, here at the 11th hour, National Bookstore Day doesn’t seem to have gained the traction garnered earlier this year by American thriller author Joseph Finder’s grassroots “Buy Indie Day.”

Even so, every conscious step taken moves us in the right direction. The message is one to cherish and remember: books are important. So are the people who buy, make and sell them. The place books have in our lives is of value: it’s meaningful to us. And if we take all of this as read, it behooves us to do everything in our collective power to keep independent bookstores not only strong and out there, but going. And how do we do that? We try to raise awareness. We raise readers. We spread the word.

And then we shop.



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