25 April 2020

El amor en los tiempos del corona: Supporting Independent Bookstores

I value reading rather highly. I have a reading habit which I established back when I was younger, and I haven't really shook it off. When I was in graduate school, no matter how much work I had to do, I blocked an hour of reading time during the day, calling it my "one hour vacations". And nowadays, I still have very consistent reading schedules during the day, even during a pandemic.

I've been a fan of independent bookstores. I have my regular English-language bookstore which I go here in Berlin, and even during these unusual times, I have found ways to support them. Yes, I use Amazon, but only as a last-resort. I use Amazon as a way to keep track of the books I want to read, but I always go to my independent bookstore and order it there first. I would only use Amazon when my bookstore wouldn't be able to get the titles I want.

In any case, during the times of Corona, I contacted my independent bookstore, and sure enough, they have alternative methods of running their business. They even deliver! So I have been sending them the titles I wanted, and when they can find it, they'd order it and deliver it to me. Only when they cannot would I go to Amazon and buy it.

It is especially important during these times to support these independent initiatives. It is very clear that e-commerce would emerge as a winner in these trying times, but there's an argument for diversity to be made. These independent bookstores, restaurants, and other small businesses add colour to our neighbourhoods, and these are the ones that are especially facing tough times nowadays.

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