Back in June I read a tweet that caught my attention. Benjamin LeRoy, publisher at Tyrus Books, was giving away prizes in support of independent bookstores. I clicked over to his blog and followed his instructions on how to enter.
I adore independent bookstores, not that there are many left near where I live. I identified my favorite one, in a small town about 2 hours away. Whenever we stop in I almost always buy at least one book, usually something written by a local author or with a story that takes place in the area. Some have been bombs, but some have been fantastic.
So when Ben contacted me to let me know I'd won the $50 prize, I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to stop in and find more gems. Unfortunately, my favorite bookstore was unable to work with Ben on a gift certificate (pay attention stores, if someone wants to give you $50, you should really try to accommodate them). So I chose a second independent bookstore, one that is closer to civilization and one that clearly advertises gift certificates on their website.
I'd only been to Creekside Books & Coffee once before, and apparently not that recently. So it was a shock when we drove to Skaneateles this past Sunday, gift certificates in hand, to find the bookstore reduced in size by two thirds. In fact, what had been the bookstore was closed and dark. What had been the associated coffee shop was now BOTH a coffee shop and bookstore. The selection was extremely limited, one shelving unit for MG, one for YA, two for fiction. I was bummed, but I set to work spending my money.
I found only one book from my wishlist, picked another from the paperback fiction bestsellers list, and grabbed a third based on a twitter recommendation. I'm super excited to read all three.
Thank you to Benjamin LeRoy for supporting independent bookstores. I hope everyone recognizes the importance of doing so. You can read more about why Ben chooses to give here and here.