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  • NYS Writers Institute

A president in praise of independent bookstores

Former President Barack Obama generated tremendous buzz with his recent Facebook post supporting independent bookstores.

On Saturday, he wrote: "While in office, one of our family’s traditions was visiting a couple of nearby small businesses for Small Business Saturday—and we’d always make a stop at a bookstore to find some books to read for the holidays. Although everyone’s traditions might look different this year, we can still find ways to support these terrific small businesses. So I hope you’ll take a minute to order a book online from an independent bookstore near you."

Local bookstores are in trouble. Elizabeth A. Harris wrote about their grim situation recently in The New York Times: "The message: Buy from these shops, or they won’t be around much longer. According to the American Booksellers Association, which developed the campaign, more than one independent bookstore has closed each week since the pandemic began. Many of those still standing are staring down the crucial holiday season and seeing a toxic mix of higher expenses, lower sales and enormous uncertainty." "Your Local Bookstore Wants You to Know That It’s Struggling," New York Times, Oct. 15, 2020

Obama's Facebook post received received nearly 1 million likes, 26,000 comments, and has been shared more than 38,000 times. We love bookstores, don't you? And now is the most wonderful time of year to show our support with our shopping.

Looking for a bookstore? Enter your city in the American Bookseller Association website to find stores near you.

While some bookstores are open for in-person browsing, others are doing online-only sales, so call ahead. Missing your favorite bookstore from the list below? Add a comment with the store name and web site. Thanks and happy LOCAL shopping!

The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany:

I Love Books, Delmar:

Quirky Reads Bookstore, Hudson:

The Spotty Dog Books & Ale, Hudson:

Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs:

The Open Door Bookstore, Schenectady:

Marketblock Books, Troy:


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