There is a huge phenomenon centered around whether or not people should shop local, and for good reasons. Shopping at local stores is a good way to strengthen the community, meet new people, and put money in the pocket of individuals rather than corporations (most of the time). However, sometimes we don’t know where to begin with finding local places.
Ask for Recommendations
This is especially relevant for those of us who are new in town or new to looking at the local shopping scene. Ask around! Start with a trusted bookworm, a teacher, or a seasoned local. It’s the most obvious way to get recommendations, but also the simplest. More often than not, people know what they’re talking about.
Check Social Media
Search hashtags on Instagram, look around or ask for recommendations on Facebook, post on Twitter, and search Tumblr. When locals find a great gem, they’ll post about it. It’s quicker than word of mouth and allows you to do your personal research.
Wander Around Town
Look at advertisements and fliers in community areas, on electrical poles; you name it. You never know what you might be able to pick up on just by looking into the simple options. Furthermore, if you know of a local shopping center, try wandering around to see if you spot anywhere that looks promising. It’s a good way to get to know local shops, plus the owners may be able to direct you to a nearby bookstore.
Last but not least, there is a great website called IndieBound which allows you to search by address, state, etc. for local bookstores in your area. This is a very useful tool because it shows nearby places on a map and links you to the company’s website. This is the most poignant way of finding local bookstores and me personally really recommend it.
I mean no disrespect to commercialized bookstores or online shopping websites. I completely understand the appeal, and I too buy into them, but sometimes it just feels good to know where your dollar is going. Shopping local is good for everyone involved, and there are several ways to go about it.