It's the most wonderful time of the year to shop local

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 06:03:51 AM. This holiday season, support independent booksellers by shopping locally, says Biblioracle John Warner.
How does that one Andy Williams Christmas song go? It’s the most wonderful time of the year With kids jingle belling And everyone telling you, ‘Be of good cheer’ It’s the most wonderful time of the year As the son of a bookstore-owning mother, my memory of the -to-Christmas period is a little different. The opening stanza could use a little rewrite. It’s the most stressful time of the year With kids always kvelling And husbands rebelling while customers expect good cheer It’s the most stressful time of the year For independent bookstores like the one my mother once co-owned (The Book Bin in Northbrook) the holiday shopping season is make or break. Some years that period would account for more than 40 percent of her store’s annual sales. Though, “make or break” is a bit of a misnomer. A good year meant surviving, rather than thriving. A down year meant one step closer to the doors closing forever. So the day after Thanksgiving, the workday pace would ratchet up, the store hours would extend from 5:30 to 9 p.m., and unfortunately for my mom, the expectations and behaviors of the three males she lived with changed not a whit. Sorry ’bout that, Mom. What can I say? It was a different time, and I was the youngest. I dredge up this sorry bit of personal family history to offer two recommendations as we enter the holiday shopping season: 1. Shop local. 2. Be nice to the people in the stores, because they may have spouses or children who do not fully appreciate the additional stress...Read more
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