I spent the first 11 years of my career working in a local Christian bookstore. It was a huge learning experience. I like to say, “The Christian bookstore is the only place in town where there is an ecumenical meeting every day. But no ones knows about it!” Ours was a large store (12,000 square feet) and served nearly 500 churches.
Recently, I heard it said that “bookstores are gone” and “Amazon is the only place you can buy anything any more.” While retail has received an economic blow, it is far from gone from our culture. It has only changed, once again.
Where did you buy your books in the 1950s? There weren’t chain bookstores or malls as we know them today. The answer is: department stores. Macy’s, Sears, J.C. Penny, Broadway, and others all had a book department. It wasn’t until the 70s that they were phased out as the chains (Waldens, Borders, Barnes & Noble, B. Dalton, Family Christian, etc.) took over that specialty.
Today many communities have vital and successful retail bookstores. You might have one in your community. Are you supporting yours?
Recently, I saw the new video below that was created by Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a great store that proves it can be done, and done well. And survive economic and shutdown challenges. It also has a used book section that is searchable on their website if you can’t visit the store.
If you don’t have a local store in your area that you can support, consider becoming a periodic patron of one in your region (city, state, multi-state areas). Do a quick search to see if there are any specials at a store. (Baker Book House, for example, is offering free U.S. shipping on orders over $10; and Mardels is offering any one item at 30% off.)
Check the Get it Local website for one of 1,800 Christian bookstores across the U.S. Plug in your zip code and see the map.
The point I’m making is that bookstores and book outlets still exist and are here to serve you and your community. Give one in your region a try this upcoming gift-giving season. You will be blessing some great people.
[If you cannot see the embedded video in your newsletter email, please click the headline and go directly to our site to view it.]