Today we are proud to announce an ongoing initiative we call Occupy Your Local Bookstore.
Bookstores do more than sell a product. They are community centers where people meet, ideas are exchanged, and knowledge is gained. But they are threatened by businesses who sell books at a deep discount, hoping you will buy other products to make up for the money they lose on book sales. These businesses do not cultivate community experiences or host events where you can meet authors and fellow readers; they just sell you cheap books – and often only the most popular titles. Plus, according to IndieBound: “Spend $100 at a local [bookstore] and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.”
We at The People’s Library of Occupy Chicago have a great fondness for local bookstores, and many of us have worked as booksellers in the past. As such we would like to encourage the 99% to occupy local bookstores and show them how important they are to our city and all its communities. As an added bonus, we hope to highlight what physical bookstores have to offer and the value of interacting with knowledgeable booksellers, authors, and other readers.
Occupy Your Local Bookstore
Here’s how it works:
- Once a month or so, we will choose an event at a bookstore in the Chicago area.
- We will put out a call on this blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter account to “occupy” the event.
- All you have to do is show up for the event – it might be a poetry slam, an author signing, or some other community gathering. (Extra points if you bring your friends!)
- Relax! Learn something! Enjoy!
- Before you leave, please consider purchasing at least one book – even just a paperback – to help support a local business that promotes literacy. If you need a recommendation, ask a bookseller!
That’s all there is to it.
A few notes:
- We will choose events that seem interesting, not necessarily thematically connected to the Occupy movement.
- The goal of this action is simply to highlight existing community resources and put our money into businesses that serve the 99%.
- If you are an author or bookstore planning an event in the Chicago area that you’d like us to consider as part of this action, please email OChiLibrary [at] gmail [dot] com.
Hope to see you out occupying local bookstore events! Our first action will be announced tomorrow, April 11th. See you back here then!