Visiting local independent bookstores is one of my favorite parts of a vacation (it’s literally the first thing I plan after deciding on a destination), but since travel plans are on hiatus for the foreseeable future, I’ve been spreading the love by buying books from different stores around the country. Even though I’ve never stepped inside these storefronts literally, they still have my heart.
And since many places are fighting for their businesses to stay open throughout the pandemic, I’m getting an early start on Christmas shopping by purchasing books and gift cards for everyone (sorry friends and family to ruin the surprise — although, you had to know).
It’s also been a lot of fun to check out the virtual events they have scheduled — I would never be able to see this many authors in other circumstances, so that’s been a bit of a silver lining!
Here are some of the indies I’ve fallen for virtually in recent months:
- The Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas
- BookPeople in Austin, Texas
- Mahogany Books in Washington, D.C.
- Women & Children First in Chicago, Illinois
- Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury, Massachusetts
- Third Street Books in McMinnville, Oregon
- Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan
- The Lit. Bar in The Bronx, New York
- Old Town Books in Alexandria, Virginia
- The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Georgia
Bonus tip: If you ask, bookstores often send you a bookmark from their store with your book purchase, which makes for a cool and useful collection!
Ellen Whitfield is senior publicist at Books Forward, an author publicity and book marketing firm committed to promoting voices from a diverse variety of communities. From book reviews and author events, to social media and digital marketing, we help authors find success and connect with readers.