The holidays are coming up! Some of us want them to back off and some of us want them to come sooner. Whichever camp you’re in, you’re probably beginning to think about gifts for your friends and family. As far as I’m concerned, the most perfect gift you can ever give someone is a book. Wait — I take that back. The best gift you can ever give someone is a gift card to their favorite bookstore. There are some people for whom you can buy a book, but in most cases you’re safer getting them a gift card. This ensures that the person can then choose whatever they’d like to read. So, yes, bookstore gift cards.
When you’re looking to get a gift card, though, don’t stop looking once you’ve found your local Barnes & Noble. While it’s true that all bookstores need our support (hell, even Borders went under), the independent bookstores in your community need support more than Barnes & Noble does. Flavorwire recently did a great post about 45 indie bookstores across the country that you can support this holiday season.
First on the list is the great Parnassus Books, which was founded by author Anne Patchett to fill a bookstore void in Nashville. If I lived in the Nashville area, I would definitely do some holiday shopping at Parnassus. Quimby’s, located in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, is on the list as well. This quirky bookstore sells homemade, indie zines and underground publications. I can personally recommend the Housing Works Bookstore in New York, having been there earlier this year. The interior is just stunning and their proceeds go to a very good cause. The Last Bookstore, located in Los Angeles, is also on the list. One day I hope to check out this amazing bookstore. If you don’t know anything about it, you should totally check it out.
Click through the list on Flavorwire and see if there are any indie bookstores in your neighborhood. Another great place to find these stores is Indiebound. Check it out and support your local bookstores this holiday season!
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan