Here are some fun (and also persuasive) facts about shopping local. They kind of span the distance between bookstores and shopping local in general, but they're all applicable to bookstores of course. (The bolded text is word-for-word from.. a random sheet I found at the store that has no clear source on it. So this is me citing that. Just so you know.)
1. For every $100 you spend at one of our local businesses, $68 will stay in the community. What happens when you spend that same $100 at a national chain? Only $43 stays in the community.
Um, hello!? Numbers and statistics can sometimes be the easiest way to put things in perspective. I mean, there's really nothing else I can (or need to) say about this one.
2. You wouldn't want your house to look like everyone else's in the U.S. So why would you want your community to look that way?
I'm a champion for individuality, and there's so much truth in this one. Milwaukeans (is this what we call ourselves? I've got no idea.) have so much freaking pride in their city that this feeling of just... ENERGY is palpable when you're here. AND I LOVE IT. You literally feel like a PART of something, just being in the city.
3. Local businesses are better at creating higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.
Oh, hey. I don't know if anyone else noticed, but we're totally in a huge freaking recession. So I find this one particularly relevant, for obvious reasons.
4. Buying from a local business conserves energy and resources in the form of less fuel for transportation, less packaging, and products that you know are safe and well made, because we stand behind them.
Have you ever spent hours on the phone with customer service for some national company, only to be put on hold like 50 BILLION times, and more often than not, hang up the phone feeling like your problem was not solved in the slightest? Yeah, same here.
5. We know you, and you know us. Studies have shown that local businesses donate to community causes at more than twice the rate of chains.
Yeah, chances are slim that that national chain you just bought a book from is going to donate any money to your local causes. Oh, and they also aren't going to advertise your school's play/other obscure and very random community event. Because they don't know it exists. If they do, I'm going to go out a limb here and say they probably don't care.
6. Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money available to beautify our community. Also, spending locally instead of online ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested where they belong -- right here in your community!
Money! For the community! When it is so sparse! I like pretty communities. You too, yeah?
7. We pick the items we sell based on what we know you like and want. Local businesses carry a wider array of unique products because we buy for our own individual market.
We use our customer database for good. We can suggest books to you based on what we personally remember you read and liked. If you want something we don't have, we can GET IT FOR YOU! Spare me the dramatic, "Well, I kind of wanted it today..." Interestingly enough, Amazon doesn't have that instant-ship option either.
8. You are our friends and neighbors, and we have a vested interest in knowing how to serve you. We're passionate about what we do. Why not take advantage of it?
Seriously. Pretty similar to the last one, but we. effing. love. books. We want you to love your books, too. So we will do whatever we can to make that happen.
9. Creativity and entrepreneurship are what the American economy is founded upon. Nurturing local business ensures a strong community.
As previously stated: strong communities = THE AWESOME. Being part of a strong community = THE AWESOMER.
10. The more interesting and unique we are as a community, the more we will attract new neighbors, visitors and guests. This benefits everyone!
I know, I know. Sometimes you want to keep something all to yourself. But what's the fun in that?
So, go to your local bookstore! And if you don't... maybe you'll at least feel a little guilty about it after reading this ;)
Indiebound Store Finder <-- Use this fancy linky to find an independent bookstore near you!
The coolest bookstore known to man <-- Well, what do we have here?
Boswell Book Company <-- Awesome, awesome, awesome bookstore that I love.
Our Milwaukee <-- Great website dedicated to shopping local in the Milwaukee area.