How many of you have an independent bookstore in your town or city? If you have at least one, I would definitely count it as a blessing and a high achievement if they have been established for a long period of time. There's an air about independent bookstores that just feels different than a bookstore chain. Don't get me wrong, I adore Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and adored Borders when they were still around. But I have to show my love for my independent bookstores.
I think of myself as very fortunate because I have several major independent bookstores within my city and one amazing and immense independent bookstore just three hours away in my state's capital. They provide a unique store with it's own decor to explore, titles that other bookstore chains don't always have right at the release date, and book signings with various authors whether local or not, debut or veteran.
To tell the honest truth, I wouldn't have known about these delightful indie bookstores in my own city had it not been for Christin of Portrait of a Book. Many many thanks, Christin. And it's through these independent bookstores I've been able to meet other local blogging friends both new and old. I don't hesitate when I say that independent bookstores like Blue Willow Books, Murder by the Book, and Book People are the heart of the book blogging community. If you have an indie bookstore in your town, I hope you take the time to visit and get to know the workers. And if you already are a regular patron, be sure to thank them for all their hard work (if you don't already that is ^_^).