- Europa Press News / Getty
- If you want to support your local bookstore instead of shopping at a larger retailer, consider these options when you’re looking for your next good book.
- Contact your local bookstore and order through them directly. Some are taking orders online or via the phone for curbside pickup or delivery.
- Order books through sites that are partnering with local stores, like Bookshop.org and Libro.fm.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As many people across the country continue to spend more time at home, some are diving into books as a means to escape – but with stores and libraries closed, how can you find your next good book?
While your first thought is probably to turn to Amazon, you might also want to spare a thought for local bookstores, which are struggling to stay afloat in these challenging times.
“There are so many hurdles to competing with Amazon,” Andy Hunter, a book publisher, told Entrepreneur. “If you’re a small store, you can’t compete on inventory. You can’t ship as quickly. And you can’t compete on pricing. If Amazon keeps growing at this rate, year over year, they will drive bookstores out of business. Amazon becomes the virus that kills the host. “
Here are five ways you can buy your books while also supporting local bookstores.
Check your local store’s website and see if they are taking direct online orders
Since most bookstores were forced to close a couple of months ago, some have switched to an online-only model. Go to your local bookstore’s website and see if they are accepting online orders. If you can’t find an online shop, try giving the store a call and see if they can process your order that way.
Depending on where you live, some will deliver the books directly to your house while others will do a no-contact pickup.
In New York City, for example, an independent shop called Book Club has been delivering books by bike messenger after it became too difficult to ship books through the mail.
Bookshop.org is connecting customers with local independent bookstores
Bookshop.org allows independent bookstores to set up a shop on the website so that people can find their local bookstores and buy directly from them. The site has partnered with a wholesaler that has an inventory equivalent to Amazon, so books get shipped quickly and easily.
In turn, each bookshop gets 30% of every item they helped sell. As of this year, the site helped independent bookstores earn $600,000, according to Entrepreneur.
- Stefano Guidi / Getty
Wordery is quickly becoming a popular online bookseller
Wordery was created because its founders believed that “online retail had diminished the enjoyment of books, that it had lost its soul.” In turn, they created a company with the mission to sell books for the lowest price.
Now, the company has over 10 million books for sale and can ship to over 100 countries around the globe. Becoming one of the fastest online book retailers, Wordery says it gets 25,000 orders a day and has 5 million customers.
While this company doesn’t directly support a bookstore, you would be helping a smaller business by purchasing your books through the service.
Libro.fm has partnered with independent stores for audiobook purchases
If you love listening to audiobooks instead, you can still support your local bookstore. Libro.fm has a library of over 150,000 audiobooks for you to choose from. When you purchase an audiobook via the app or website, you get to choose which nearby bookstore you want to support. A percentage of your purchase goes to that local store.
So far, the company has raised $89,131 for 724 bookstores.
If you love reading eBooks, check with your local library to see if they have an app you can use
Many public libraries have adapted to the changing media landscape and have created apps for readers to use without leaving their homes. In New York City, for example, the public library uses the Libby app, which offers audiobooks and e-books to members free of charge.
If you called your local library and found they don’t have any such app, try using Gutenger. The site has 60,000 free eBooks for you to try.