Grass Roots Books and Music

Your friendly neighborhood booksellers share bookish love!

5 notes

On Being an Indie Bookseller

It’s hard. And incredibly delightful. 

Let me clarify that I mean Indie as in independent not in the coffeeshop-macbook-eccentric-dressing sort of way (though we do enjoy those customers when they come in). I say it’s hard because sometimes it seems that no matter how hard we work, we will inevitably be replaced by online book buying or giants like Barnes & Noble. But really, the extreme pleasure outweighs that struggle. I am endlessly grateful to be a part of this legacy of a bookstore, which prides itself on its relationships with customers more than anything else. Every day we get to have one on one conversations with the variety of people we have coming into the store, and in this way, we learn so much about what the public holds close. We hear about the passions of one couple to push for a better health care system, the dreams of another to be a writer someday, and sometimes we can even help them get on their way. 

That’s my favorite part about this store. It’s been around for 42 years and has yet to become complacent or stagnant. We continue to back local artists and writers who are just getting started, sell tickets to local events, work with charities and promote reading among children by supporting schools and educators. Grass Roots has worked hard to serve the changing needs of the community; in one way by selling Kobo e-readers, which in my opinion is the e-reader that was made for true readers in mind. Many things have stayed the same though, like our monthly book club and our continuing tradition of author events.

My point in discussing all these things is to remind you what is magical about small bookstores. That as soon as you walk in, you are among family — people who share a love and commitment to the same things as you: the sharing of knowledge with integrity and joy. You come into a place with a world of learning instantly available at your fingertips, with passionate guides to help you on your way.

The most loved book on my shelves at home is a worn and tattered copy of Harry Potter, each ding and blotch is a reminder of the many journeys we have taken together, the innumerable lessons it has taught me. This bookstore is much the same to me— the scars in the brick, the mixing of new and old structure, all stand testaments to the generations of readers it has served and grown with.

By Kendall

Filed under a long winded love letter to our bookstore by me