Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reading Is Sexy: We Need Bookstores

I lost my job three days before Christmas--a job I had for three and a half years--and stayed not because it was the best job, or I had enough hours, or was challenged enough, but because I love books! I also believe in independent bookstores staying alive.  And although my employment at the store didn't end under any terms I thought they would, I still want to live in a town that has an independent bookstore (whether I'm living here for another six months or another six years).

These are the kinds of businesses that are being run out of towns, small and large, across the country.  It would be easy to blame big box businesses such as Barnes and Noble or Borders, and yes, of course they do have an affect, but even these businesses are suffering: Borders Declares Bankruptcy; and even though they were a competitor of Buffalo Street Books, the big problem as stated in the well-written Community Buy-Out Proposal by Bob P., is that the market doesn't support this kind of business in a town like Ithaca.  And, what I think is the biggest issue and also obvious, is people shop online.  Online "stores" like Amazon, it's convenient and cheap.  Yet, many people don't realize that none of that money stays in the community. What kind of community do we want to live in? We can either talk about how progressive our city is, or we can make sure through our actions, that it stays that way; and not only continues to support the local businesses that already exist, but supports new small businesses.  There have been too many store fronts left empty, both in and surrounding the commons for far too long. It's time to put your money where your heart is.

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