Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Buy a Book Saturday (and Sunday, and ...)

(Updated November 29, 2014)

Woohoo! Thanksgiving is upon us! Turkey. Stuffing. Cranberry sauce. Pie. Repeat. 

And every bit as traditional, shopping. Me, I'd just as soon that commerce wait till after Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are surely soon enough to start. Between those two now-iconic shopping days comes the recent innovation of Small Business Saturday, meant to encourage holiday purchases that support merchants in one's own neighborhood.

Beginning in 2010 (Buy a Book Saturday), I've allocated at least a part of a post each year at this time to supporting a particular sort of small business: authors laboring away in the privacy and solitude of a home office, den, or other cranny. No matter that they likely aren't a part of your geographic neighborhood, assuming you're a reader -- that's why you visit this blog, right? -- wherever books are prepared is part of your spiritual neighborhood. Why not support small business and nurture your soul?

As I put it in 2012:
In the upcoming season of gift-giving -- whether your observation of choice is Christmas or Festivus, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day or Boxing Day, Eid-al-Adha or Lohri, the winter solstice or the New Year ... or just holiday/post-holiday sales -- consider books. Print, e-, or audio ... they're all good. 

Which books? I (almost) don't care whether they're one of my titles or in the genre. In keeping with my small-business theme, I'll suggest you consider a new writer or two, eschewing the tried-and-true (and often formulaic) perennial bestselling authors. And living authors would be a nice touch. 

An afterthought regarding mid-list authors (which is most of us: any writer who's neither a bestseller nor the author of a forever-in-print classic): Brick-and-mortar shoppers/browsers may not find these works on bookseller shelves. Be of good cheer -- almost certainly the store will be delighted to special-order books for you. Booksellers would much rather you order from them than from an e-tailer.

Buy a Book Saturday! Nourish the meme -- and the rest of the mind! Spread the word!

November 29th update: Who knew I had such influence? See "Obama and daughters hit bookstore for Small Business Saturday."

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