Monday, August 15, 2011

Have you told them lately that you love them?

Your local indie business that is.

Hold on a minute before you think "this isn't about magic" and flip over to something incredibly magical, like checking today's Google header. (It's boring; I already checked.)

Think about the local businesses you frequent. Is there one that you include in your ideal Saturday? One where you're as part of the scenery as the leggy potted plants or notch-ear cat? One where you know you'll always get honest, sage advice? What about the place you've always admired but haven't yet made yourself a fixture? What place would you be devastated to lose?

Got that place in mind? I'll wait while you do.

Good. Now that you have it, why not, in the next week, head over there and say thank you? Would it really hurt?

So what prompted this post, you might wonder. The ideal Saturday in my home city isn't complete without a visit to a favorite independent bookstore. This past Saturday they had an event, like they often do. Afterwards, friends and I chatted with the owner, a brilliant bookseller who I've come to admire a great deal over the years, and during the conversation a startling fact slipped from her lips: we might lose the store.

I thought about it for hours afterward. I even tried to rally friends. I can't imagine living here without it. And you know something sad? In all the years I've been going there, I don't think I've ever said "thank you for being you and giving the community this place." Yeah, businesses are about bottom lines and making a living, but there are some fields that are more a compulsion or a calling than a job one goes into looking to retire early or get voted onto the Most Influential lists.

Saying thank you won't make the businesses stay around, but they'll know they're appreciated. They'll know that what they do isn't perceived to be just about selling a product or service, it's about an experience, a community, and sharing a bit of magic during the mundane days. I plan to thank my local indies this week. Who would you thank? 

PS Haven't found an indie that gets your heart all fluttery? Check IndieBound for local independent bookstores. Ask friends for their favorite spots. Watch community bulletin boards for flyers. You'll be well on your way to finding your own magic place.


  1. Shelby! She's my natural choice. (Not a bookstore, but she is quite a magical pixie, is she not?)

  2. Oh most definitely! I thought about her as I wrote this post.