It’s going to be super tempting to order everything from Amazon this year: you don’t have to go out into the plague, it comes quickly, it’s cheaper, and you can get everything in the one place. That said, you’re a dick if you do. Local indie bookshops have twisted themselves in knots trying to keep books in your freshly-washed hands during this whole thing, and this holiday season, you need to pay that back by spending your money there instead of putting into the latest ivory back scratcher in the Bezos collection. Will this new Bookshop.org initiative help fight back against the Amazon hegemony? I don’t know. I always assume the worst will happen. But maybe give them a try if you really can’t get out.
Initially starting with 250 bookshops, more than 900 stores have now signed up in the US. “We went from selling $50,000 (£38,000) worth of books in all of February, to selling $50,000 a day in March, then $150,000 a day in April,” said Hunter. By June, Bookshop sold $1m worth of books in a day. The platform has now raised more than $7.5m (£5.7m) for independent bookshops across the US.
“We were four employees plus me, working at home, getting up as early as we could and going to bed as late as we could, trying to make it all work. It was a real white-knuckle ride,” said Hunter. “But it was extremely gratifying because the whole time we were getting messages from stores saying, ‘Thank God you came along, you’ve paid our rent, you’ve paid our health insurance this year.’ If you’re going to have to work in insane circumstances and with huge amounts of stress, it’s good to be doing it in something you feel good about.”