There are countless reasons to shop small - but this week, there’s a particularly good one. On July 15th and 16th, Amazon will hold Prime Day - a global two-day event of discounts, and one of Amazon’s most effective promotions. But while it seems like a great idea to grab the deals while you can, something else is going on behind the scenes - Amazon employees are striking in protest of their working conditions. According to the Hill, the walkout “represents the first major action of its kind in the U.S. during the sales event.” The movement has picked up some traction, and some candidates from the 2020 Presidential race are weighing in.
This action by Amazon’s employees may have you wondering what you can do to help. After all, according to Business Insider and numerous other publications, things really are quite bad if you work at Amazon. The best way to help out is to listen to the employees themselves, and the employees are telling us: boycott! But it goes beyond simply avoiding your ever-tempting Amazon account. Amazon also runs Whole Foods, Audible, Twitch, Goodreads - and more (click here for a full list). So to help you navigate other places where you can get your goods on Prime Day, we’re assembling a handy list!
Now, we know that Amazon sells far more than books. However, you can make your protest even more active by shopping at small bookstores instead of spending any money at Amazon this Prime Day. It’s hard to find an indie bookstore that hasn’t been brutally affected by Amazon’s cheap selections that come in two days, guaranteed. But as Raven Book Store of Lawrence, Kansas points out, getting your books through Amazon has a far more branching negative impact than you’d think. So, for this article we’re primarily focusing on bookstores where you can shop small, shop local, and divert your dollars from prime-time. That being said, if you’re a DC local looking for somewhere besides Amazon to grab all of your necessities, check out this list of Made in DC businesses.
Why are we writing about this? Studio Gallery is a place for the visual arts, and doesn’t sell books? Well, first of all, we do sell books - just more in the small-batch, limited edition, fine art arena. (Shameless plug - contact us to buy a copy of Snap Shot, an art book by Gary Anthes that accompanies his current exhibition.) There are numerous reasons why you may want to consider putting your money elsewhere - among them is Amazon’s crazy low tax rate on their $11.2 billion in profits and their connections to ICE. As a small business, we know firsthand the power of shopping small and listening to employees when they’re saying something is wrong. We believe in the power of community and making your opinion heard through all means - including where you choose to spend your money. And if you weren’t planning on spending money today, then follow the bookstores local to your area on their social media! We can tell you first hand that this has a big impact on small businesses.
So, without further ado: here is a list of small, independent bookstores that you can shop in ANY state - and yes, we’re counting DC, because why isn’t it a state already!? Anyways - happy browsing!
Homer Bookstore - Website
Warwick’s Books - Twitter
District of Columbia
Bookends - Website
Leelanau Books - Website
Books Revisited - Website
Francie & Finch Bookshop - Website
Sundance Bookstore - Website
Main Street Books - Website
Commonplace Books - Website
Tsunami Books - Website
Savoy Bookshop & Cafe - Website
BookWoman - Website
Four Seasons Books - Website
Disclaimer: While the Studio Gallery staff loves independent bookstores, we obviously haven’t been able to personally visit every shop on the list! Browse and shop at your own discretion. This post was created in July of 2019. If there are any broken/nonfunctional links, please let us know so that we can update them. This is by no means a comprehensive list. If we missed your favorite bookstore, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it! A big huge thank you to Print Run Podcast, whose thread about indie bookstores helped us find a lot of the ones featured. Featured photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash.
From Gallery Director Svetlana Shaindlin.