Dear Faithful (and new) Readers~Hello! You might remember back in January when I posted here about spending my writing efforts in other arenas and that I would henceforth no longer be writing regularly in this space.
Well~things change and God nudges and it’s the first day of Autumn, always a marker for new beginnings. So I am writing to you anew. You may find more poetry here in the coming months as I’ve discovered a latent passion for both reading and writing it. You may also see topics a little more wide ranging than in the past; I look forward to sharing with you what comes to mind and pours out through my pen. Thank you for coming along.
In the meantime, let’s talk about books.
I know you’re as chagrined as I am that all things Halloween and Harvest are now overflowing at nearly every store you see. And alas, the holiday season isn’t far behind. (At my local Michael’s it’s already here. Sigh).
Thoughts of holiday gift-giving and receiving always bring to mind books I’d love to have or want to purchase. And I’m guessing you have many folks to consider as well when it comes to gifting, whether during the holidays or year round for birthdays and such. (Speaking of books about the holidays, I wrote one that I think you’ll find fun and helpful and encouraging–Living the Season Well-Reclaiming Christmas. You can purchase a copy from Indiebound, Books a Million and Barnes & Noble–all listed below).
But here’s the thing about buying books. The behemoth that is Amazon has nearly swamped the world with its reach and taken the soul out of bookselling and buying. And while I enjoy the ease with which I can purchase everything from bubble bath, to my favorite music and new baby clothes for my granddaughter from my phone…. well, part of me just really wants to do the Christian thing and put the soul back into commerce and spend my money somewhere there’s an actual human.
Consider this my feeble attempt at holding back the tsunami that is ecommerce. (I live in Seattleland where Amazon is headquartered. This is no small feat.)
In the years that I have been attending writing conferences and workshops and retreats I’ve met some fine folks in person who actually are still in business as Christian booksellers and who could really use our money and support. (Two are listed below).
They will not give you the deep discounts and deals that Amazon provides, but your money will go towards supporting the heart of a business and supporting good writers everywhere. If you don’t live in Wichita or somewhere in Pennsylvania, you can support them by ordering online.
One of the largest independent booksellers in the country is Powell’s books in Portland, OR. I love what they say on their website, explaining the whys of independent bookstores:
“Think about the last good book you read. Did it make you feel more connected to others? Maybe it served as a welcome escape. Maybe it helped you rediscover the beauty in life. Did it surprise you?
As an independent bookstore, we strive to offer the same variety and richness of experience as the books on our shelves. And because the only people we’re beholden to are our customers and ourselves, we can focus on what really matters — promoting diverse perspectives, upholding the free exchange of ideas, championing the enduring power of books, and bolstering the great community of readers and authors we’re lucky to be a part of.
Thank you for supporting these lofty goals. Your choice sustains a family business with over 500 local booksellers, and allows us to follow our passion for getting the right books into the right hands, 365 days a year.”
Here is my list (by no means exhaustive) of brick and mortar stores with their online websites, followed by online-only booksources. I hope you’ll consider these as your go-to’s when it comes to buying books for all those on your lists.
Powell’s City of Books-Portland Oregon, plus 4 other Portland Locations
Flagship location with over one million books!
Totally worth a field trip, my PNW friends
1005 W Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97209
Third Place Books 3 Seattle area locations–Lake Forest Park (original store), Ravenna and Seward Park
17171 Bothell Way NE, #A101, Lake Forest Park WA 98155
Hearts and Minds Bookstore–Byron Borger Dallastown, PA Byron is committed to supporting Christian authors and their work through his store, which is more like a ministry than anything else. His staff is remarkably helpful; there are actual people to talk with you call about your orders and books come wrapped with exquisite care.
234 East Main Street
Dallastown, PA 17313
Eighth Day Books-–Warren Farha Wichita, KS. Warren regularly sets up his display of books at the bi-annual Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids Michigan where I first met him in 2018. He is also the official bookseller for the Glen Workshop (Image Journal) in Santa Fe each year, where he also was a gracious servant to all of us book-loving attendees.
2838 E Douglas Ave,
Wichita, KS 67214
Goodwill Stores I buy most of my books used and Goodwill is always my first choice.
For collectible, rare and out of print, go to https://www.goodwillbooks.com/
Barnes and Noble (of course) Everywhere almost
Includes a link (big red button) to find a local independent bookseller in your area
Books a Million (BAM!)
Books, Toys, Tech & More
Thrift Books–New and Used Books–also a favorite source
Abe Books–Hard to find, out of print and rare–also a favorite
Oh~almost forgot–Half Price Books–they’re everywhere! Actual stores and online.
Happy Shopping! Tell me, what’s your favorite booksource? I’d love to hear in the Comments.