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.