May 3, 2019
I don’t ever buy anything from Amazon. On the rare occasion that I visit the website, it is to locate a book, which I will then order from a local bookstore. Yup, I’m spending a few more bucks. No, Amazon is not getting my money.
I don’t need to tell you that the American bookstore is in a heap of trouble. Borders, which once had more than 650 locations, filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Barnes & Noble operated 720 stores in 2010; it now operates 627 stores, and the company put itself up for sale last year. More locally, the Dartmouth Bookstore recently closed its door on Hanover’s Main Street.
I happen to love going to a bookstore, particularly the serendipity in going into one without any preconceived notion of what I am looking for and combing the stacks until I find the book (or, more usually, books) that call to me. And the future of the brick-and-mortar bookstore looks fairly grim.
But there may be a glimmer of hope.
The Canadian bookstore chain Indigo (which has a fabulous store in Montreal, which I visit every time I go) is planning on expanding into the United States. And the stores won’t just sell books.
According to this article in the New York Times, the chain is going into “cross-merchandising” in a big way, selling such things as artisanal soup bowls, beach mats, scented candles, inspirational wall art, Mason jars, crystal pillars, bento lunchboxes, herb growing kits, copper cheese knife sets, stemless champagne flutes, throw pillows and scarves. The theory is that customers who are wandering through the book aisles might also happen upon a baby onesie or “reading socks” or a throw rug at the same time.
I probably won’t be buying a vegan leather purse anytime soon, but if an Indigo comes within driving distance of Thetford, I’ll be there.