Saturday, November 22, 2014

What Happens When You Shop during Indies First at Porter Square Books

Indies First is a nationwide event that coincides with Small Business Saturday, where authors spend the day as booksellers in their favorite bookstores. It started with Sherman Alexie who was looking for a way to give back to the stores that do so much for so many authors and it quickly became a national event celebrating the particular value locally owned independent bookstores bring to their communities. So what will happen if you choose to shop at Porter Square Books on Indies First, Saturday November 29? Well, you will:

Support Your Local Community
The data are unequivocal; shopping at locally owned businesses greatly benefits the local economy. Through salaries, taxes, business spending, and charitable giving, more of the money you spend locally gets recirculated back into your community. Even the value of your house goes up. So along with getting whatever you buy, your local tax dollars also buy you better funded schools, safer roads, and a stronger economy for your home.

Participate in a National Movement
There is a lot to love about the internet. Who doesn’t appreciate being able to buy something while in their pajamas or in the middle of the night every now and then? And social media has allowed people to make connections with each other in ways that were never possible before. But, as Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer write in their Indies First open letter, “There’s nothing like the human, organic serendipity of an independent bookshop, where people who read and love books share their love with others.” Indies First is not about rejecting the digital world (PSB has a website and lots of fun on social media) but about celebrating the experiences that can only happen face-to-face, stranger-to-stranger, reader-to-reader, and, at least on this day, reader-to-writer.

Avoid the Stress of Mall & Big Box Shopping
Will it be busy at Porter Square Books on Indies First/Small Business Saturday? I certainly hope so. Will there be the chaotic rushing about as shoppers wrestle their gift lists into submission? Sure. But no matter how busy it gets in the store, someone will always be willing to take their time with you. If we need to spend fifteen minutes helping you find historical fiction or decide which dystopian trilogy is the right dystopian trilogy or anything, we will spend that time with you. And maybe you will have to wait in line for awhile to check out, but even that’s not so bad. It gives you a moment to breathe. And you could always talk to the folks around you about books.

Get Book Recommendations from People Who Live for the Written Word
On Indies First at PSB, you will actually be able to get recommendations from someone who wrote the book on comics and graphic novels. And an author with expertise in picture books, and one of the great movers and shakers of mystery and crime writing in New England, and the author of one of the most critically acclaimed debuts of 2014, and an author who writes for teens, middle grade, and picture books. And that’s not even counting the two MFAs in Children's Literature, Co-chair of The New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Council, librarian, newly minted novelist, and Gary The Most Interesting Bookseller in the World, who will be working that day. In many ways, Indies First is about shopping, just like Small Business Saturday is about shopping, just like pretty much every day between November 28th and December 24th is about shopping, but at PSB, on Indies First, you’ll be shopping in an ongoing celebration of the written word.

You Get Books
Oh yeah, and, on top of everything else, you've bought books to share and/or to read. Can’t beat that at all.

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