Ways To Support Your Favorite Local Bookstores When You Can't Visit

Keep supporting the indie bookstores you love.

Our favorite neighborhood bookstores keep our reading lists full all year long. They're our go-to places for reading recommendations, literary conversations, and close-knit, book-loving communities. When you can't visit your favorite shop, there are still ways to support them—and shop their shelves—from a distance. In addition to buying books, we've found a few other ways to contribute to the local shops we love. We're all looking forward to browsing our favorite bookstores in person again, but in the meantime…

Shop Remotely

Even if you can't visit your local indie bookstore in person, there are usually ways to shop remotely. Browse their online store and order a new book for yourself, or order one and have it shipped to a friend. Some bookstores also take orders over the phone and have curbside pick-up in place—check the shop's website to see how you can place an order.

Sign Up for Subscriptions

Some bookstores offer subscription boxes that deliver new books to you every month. These programs are great ways to offer consistent support to shops while getting a new stack of books delivered directly to your doorstep. Specialty boxes for kids and those geared toward holiday gifting are also fun to give and to get.

Buy Gift Cards To Use Later

When you can't visit, you can support local bookstores by buying gift cards to use later. This ensures that the funds go to the bookshop now, and you can look forward to browsing their shelves in person later.

Join Virtual Classes

Some bookstores are offering virtual classes and digital video series that include author talks, writing workshops, and book clubs. Even when you can't gather in the shop, reading communities are still coming together to celebrate books online.

Buy Merch and Gifts

In addition to books, many of our favorite bookstores' online shops offer apparel, accessories, stationery, and gifts. Pick up a t-shirt or hat to show your love for your favorite shop all year long, and gift one to a friend who also loves a bookstore browse.

Sign Up for Newsletters

To keep up to date with what's happening at your local bookstore, sign up for their newsletters or follow them on social media to find out what programs they're offering now and how you can order from their shelves remotely.

Donate

Some indie bookstores have fundraising drives set up to support their shops and employees. Check to see if there's a program in place that allows you to donate directly to your local bookshop. Then send an email letting the owners and booksellers know how much their bookstore means to you and your family—kindness travels, even when we can't.

WATCH: South's Best Bookstores 2020

Neighborhood bookstores support their communities all year round, and they can use our help now. Visit the websites of your favorite shops to see how you can help support them during this time, and follow their accounts on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to keep up to date. If you need some ideas for your reading list, check out this collection of book recommendations from some of our favorite bookstores in the South.

What's your favorite neighborhood bookstore? Have you ordered a new book from your local indie bookshop lately?

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