Independent bookshops are amazing spaces that can be comforting, inspiring, and transformative all at once. Even when I only mean to browse new releases and have no intention of buying a book, I inevitably find a treasure on the shelves to take home with me. Many independent bookshops offer reading groups, author signings, and other events for adults and children such as midnight release parties. Such events are key to fostering a sense of community in local bookshops.
June 18-25, 2016, was Independent Bookshop Week in the UK and Ireland. Although Independent Bookshop Day in the US occurred back in April, I decided that Independent Bookshop Week in the UK and Ireland justified a visit to Politics & Prose—my favorite independent bookshop in DC! The bookshop is spacious, easy to navigate, and filled with wonderful suggested titles and staff picks. In the basement of the store is an amazing area for children’s and young-adult literature, and a coffeehouse with great food and locally-produced artwork.
I purchased a copy of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed on this trip and spent some time hanging out in the coffeehouse with my husband, Darrell. Overall, it was a great visit, and I am grateful to have access to such a wonderful independent bookshop. Encouraging people to shop locally and celebrate economic diversity in communities—including supporting independent bookshops!—is an important goal of the IndieBound and Independent Bookshop Week project.
Interested in learning more about bookshop spaces? A book that recently came onto my radar is Jen Campbell’s The Bookshop Book. I have not read this book yet, but I have read great reviews of Jen’s work and have added this title to my ever-growing TBR list.