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 Weekly Words about New Books in
Independent Bookstores

November 18, 2018

Celebrate Local Neighborhood Businesses and Independent Bookstores Next Saturday
  
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is a big day for independent bookstores across the country. In conjunction with the American Express-sponsored Small Business Saturday, local booksellers invite readers to celebrate Indies Firs t a t the same time. The two events are meant to draw attention to the value of locally owned  businesses - both economically and in terms of quality of life - in their communities. For many local bookst ores, Indies First is also a way to thank customers for their support, with in-store activities, prizes, giveaways, refreshments, and other special offerings.  
 
This  year, indie bookstores are also part of a special campaign launched by noted chi ldren's author Jason Reynolds, with support from his publisher, Simon  & Schuster, The American Booksellers Association, and American Express To support Reynolds's mission of providing children in low-income communities with access to books that reflect their own experiences, booksellers are distributing 20,000 free copies of a special edition of Reynolds' middle-grade novel, Ghost, to children in an under-served community in their town or city. Pretty cool, huh?
   
I apologize in advance if I sound too preachy about shopping local, but there are good reasons to support locally owned businesses - not the least of which is that if you don't, they won't be around to serve you. It's true that local merchants don't always offer what consumers need, and folks und er  economic duress need to make purchasing decisions that work best for them. But for people who appreciate the convenience and benefits of local "Main Street" business areas, here are a few other reasons to Shop Local First :
 
* Local Economic Stimulus. When you purchase at locally owned businesses, rather than nationally owned, more money is kept in the community because locally owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers, and farms. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base.
* Customer Service Is Better. Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise, resulting in better customer service. Not every sales clerk or waiter is perfect, but they are real people who, for the most part, live in your community and care about doing a good job. 
* Most New Jobs Are Provided By Local Businesses. Small local businesses are the largest employers nationally. Plus the more jobs you have in your local community, the less need for people to commute, which means less traffic and pollution. And people working locally spend more money locally.
* Nonprofits Receive Greater Support. Local business owners donate more to local charities and schools than non-local business owners. 
A New George R.R. Martin Book, Just Not The New George R.R. Martin Book 
 
Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. OK, first the bad news for all you Game of Thrones addicts - this is NOT the latest book in Martin's famed 
Song of Ice and Fire series. The good news for fans is that the author hasn't deserted his world (or stopped writing), he's just gone back in time to fill in some of the backstory. Hence we have Fire & Blood, the first volume of a definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros. It is set centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones and answers key questions about the dynasty's origins, conflicts, and relationships with dragons. What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel's worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies? These are but a few of the questions answered in Martin's new chronicle, which also features more than 80 all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley.
 
WHERE TO FIND 
AN INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE

Many of you already have a favorite local bookstore, but for those of you without such a relationship, you can click here to find the
nearest indie bookstore by simply entering your postal code.  

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WHY THE COLUMN?
Hi, I'm Hut Landon, and I work as a bookseller in an independent bookstore in BerkeIey, California.

My goal with this newsletter is to keep readers up to date about new books hitting the shelves, share what indie booksellers are recommending in their stores, and pass on occasional news about the book world.

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