Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Support Your Local:: Shop Loyal

I am one of those people that loves bookshops. I love the smell of them. The look of them. I love spending time in them. I love meandering down the aisles, picking up books, flicking through them, finding hidden gems, smelling those crisp new pages, those new images. I love my kids being able to look at books, find new favourites. Explore classics. Feel those pages. I've got so many happy bookshop memories, and I remember where most of my books are bought from, which holidays, who I was with.

But apparently, you're not going to be able to do that in five years time if we keep spending like we do. I'm not going to be able to do that. You're not. My kids aren't. No one can.

Pip wrote about this a month or so ago. About supporting local booksellers. (I can't find the link but if you do, it's worth a read).

And we're all too aware of the demise of Angus & Robertson. The loss of local jobs. The loss of livelihoods. And the loss of books.

But it's not just books that are going to be burnt if we continue to spend our dollars offshore.

It's all our local sellers that are hurting. Losing business. Losing their livelihood.

And you're there thinking - well I save dollars! I like a bargain. I like mail!

Ever wondered why all our retailers seem to be on this endless merry-go-round of sale after sale after sale? Oh yeah. Because we're all too busy online shopping and receiving the cheap thrill of a parcel in the mail.

And if you think it's ok to peruse the shelves of a local retailer - scout out the goods - and then go home to Google and buy it online? Think again. Show some integrity! As my sister so eloquently puts it here - you're using and abusing locals. Your neighbours. Your friends.

So despite the fact I couldn't find the book that I wanted on the weekend, and I could go online and buy it in a snap, I've called a local bookseller to order it in. It does cost a little more, but it's worth it to help keep someone's livelihood afloat. I'll miss out on mass consumerism happily, and enjoy the things I buy local, in the hope that my kids, your kids and our fellow Australians can keep on experiencing the happy joy of the smell of a bookshop, or that cute little shop you so love to visit.

Or if the lure of that parcel arriving in the mail is still there, indulge in some ace local shops that I know can more than fill the void:

- The Children's Bookshop (Jodes is right, I visit here weekly, amazing selection - they have a bricks & mortar store, but you can order online and over the phone)

Spend how you want to spend, but if we all thought about where that money goes, the end outcome, and the thought that if we don't spend local, we're going to move closer to a recession and less beautiful local shops to peruse, then we can all spend smarter.

image via


ecobabe said...

Thanks for the mention PMM! We are one online retailer who is weathering the storm of vicious and the cyclical sales environment that exists out there at present. We've been online for 5 years and man oh man, this year is so different to previous. So shop local peeps and shop at ecobabe which is my fabulous online store for safe & natural products for baby, family & home. xx

jodesmac said...

I would also love to recommend The Childrens Bookshop at Beecroft because:
the staff are so helpful in finding a book that suits what you're interests are,
they have authors in every term to talk about their new releases and sign copies and answer questions in an intimate setting,
every school holidays they host writing and drawing workshops for school age kids,
they have an adults and a childrens book club so
because of the love and care they put into their shop and service I will always buy my books from there.
I hope they are still there in five years, I would be devastated if they were not!

jodesmac said...

also i am not related to or know anyone who works there, just a genuine fan

willywagtail said...

Great argument. The only thing you have left out is that there are those who simply cannot afford to buy books so have to rely on their local library to supply them. If the library hasn't got what they want or they want to permanently own a copy their only option maybe to scout out the cheapest copy. That goes for all items - we either make do without or find the cheapest sources. Otherwise I have to agree that our world is far to full of want, want, want. From a local library supporter who doesn't buy books! Cherrie

fast times in m√ľnchen. said...

Damn straight. My mum has been harping on about supporting small businesses and shopping locally for most of my life. Much to my embarrassment as a kid. I got so cranky the other day. Was shopping with a friend in a cute kiddie shop. She tried something on her baby, took a note of the correct size and then went home to buy it on Amazon. Meh. I moaned to Dave about it all night long. I commend you for this Lexi. Oh and also recommend the CB at Beecroft. xx

Rebecca said...

I agree with you, but down here in Wollongong I think we're already feeling the affects of this problem, we don't have 1 independent book seller except for some second hand shops and a speciality romance bookstore. We had a small Dymocks which closed about 12 months ago, and now we are now stuck with a half-arsed Angus and Robertson staffed by children, and I swore off A&R when they were bought out a few years ago and stopped selling books by independent publishers... but that's our entire selection of books except for shops like Myer and David Jones, which seem to have more variety???

In Wollongong small businesses are not just completing with the internet, they also have to compete with Sydney shopping... it's very sad!

Tania said...

Thanks for the reminder. It's all too easy to get caught up in the quick bargain thrill. We have a lovely little independent store here. I really should buy more often from them as I've always felt strongly about supporting local business.
Rebecca, I used to live in Wollongong and was sad to hear Dymocks had closed, as I did know the owners and it was a family business. Shellharbour village had a lovely independent store. I wonder if it's still there?

Aneets said...

I agree to a point, however the prices of buying books in store versus online are insane. For example, I was after a specialist sports book for my BIL's b'day recently and could get it on Book Depository for less than $20- to order it in from a local bookstore would have been $40.
Let us also not mention the insane cost of text books as well in Australia.
I don't blame people for going where it is cheaper- the price difference is HUGE.

BOB & MABEL said...

I read Pip's post too and it really stuck with me. We have a great bookshop in our little town that stocks a great range of books. I even got to meet The Crafty Minx herself there a month or so ago!

Sarah said...

Agree!!!!! My favourite book store are so helpful and order any books in for me!

I have the same attitude when it comes to food as well.

There is so many little shops closing down in my home town. We have always bought what we can here but you cannot get a lot of the specialised parts etc in our home town so we have to order interstate...

BUT will I get in trouble for buying the latest Mellie Makes magazine on my ipad as I am inpatient and they wont answer my question as to when it will arrive in Australia?(shivering the the corner)

Yarn Wrap said...

I am so loving the twitter updates on masterchef. it means i don't have to watch it every night.

Anonymous said...

a great post. I love the parcel in the mail - but great to remember we have local stores we love and need to support - I posted a link on my facebook to this post.

keepup said...

Thank you Lexi for this post, Aussie retailers are hurting because of this trend for using shops as showrooms, I for one love small shops and dread to think of a time when we can' spend hours deciding and perusing books before buying them to bring home immediately.
I had done a post on this subject but my daughter thought it may sound a bit too self interested, so i took it off. You give me courage to do it again.

simoneil said...

As an employee of Colorado Group all I can say is well said. When I thought our local A&R was going to close I returned to my local stores two of which are chains and one thats independent. Who knows the income I'm providing them could be spent in my store and subsequently provide my income.