In Praise of Independent Bookstores

We’re a week late to the party here, Independent Bookstore Day having been celebrated April 29th, but our local bookstores could benefit from our business year-round.

The demise of independent bookstores has been predicted for decades now, though what is predicted to finish them off has changed with each new trend: the rise of the paperback; the rise of chain bookstores; the rise of Amazon; the rise of ebooks; the rise of other screens competing for time and attention. Still, independent bookstores hang on and even add to their numbers.

One reason for their endurance is that independent bookstores not only carry the latest bestsellers, but also the works of writers in the local community. They enrich the culture of reading right where they’re at, with author events, book clubs, and arts-related gatherings.

The Bookstore in Lenox, Massachusetts, for example, hosted Elizabeth reading from Love and Its Interruptions and carries her books on its shelves.

The Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Lenox, Massachusetts

The Bookstore in Lenox, Massachusetts


When she visits Washington State, University of Washington’s University Bookstore will host a reading Thursday, June 1 at 7 p.m. from her newest offering, While Choice is Ours! As the U District store staff puts it, “Elliot’s words are wonderfully authentic and rhythmic and sprinkled with unexpected humor and irreverence. Poetry was meant to be read out loud and we can’t imagine a more enjoyable experience than hearing read by the author herself!”


The Flagship


You’ll be hearing more about Elizabeth’s newest poem collection in future days, but in the meantime, pay a visit to your local bookstore and indulge in a cup of coffee and few good books.

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