There had been concern for years that print books would fly away like the now-extinct dodo bird. E-book readers such as Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and others were gaining popularity, and as more books became available in e-book formats, the compounding effect took charge. It seemed as if Amazon was coming out with a new model of its industry-leading Kindle every few months. It wasn’t quite that often, but it sure seemed that way.
Print books are dead
That was the popular sentiment, anyway.
But print books are NOT going away, not just in Boise, but all over the United States. According to a recent article on tonerbuzz.com, “Print books are here to stay!” Citing a report from the Pew Research Center, the article includes the following pie chart:
But that 37% is misleading. That percentage is of all of the respondents; if you look at only those who said they have read at least one book in the past year, it is actually over 51% of the readers who read only print books. And as far as digital only readers, they account for only about 10% of the readers. The remaining 39% of the readers say that they read both print books and digital books. As one who loves to travel, I see many readers on planes and at resort, but they are using their e-readers (except for those picking up a paperback at the swimming pool’s lending library).
Rediscovered Books is the main independent bookstore in Boise, and it also has a location in Caldwell. These stores sell new books, as well as puzzles, gift cards, but not games (that’s another story). Rediscovered also has a store, Once and Future Books, that buys, sells, and trades used books. Like most businesses that were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, store hours and shopping hours have been greatly impacted.
It’s not just books and other literary items that Rediscovered Books is known for. Like most independent bookstores, Rediscovered is a very strong supporter of local authors. And it’s not just the authors who are on the New York Times Best Seller List. Sure, it helps that Boise is home to more than one top author, such as Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Doerr for his 2014 novel All the Light We Cannot See.
But it’s also the [essentially] obscure authors, such as myself and others whom I won’t name (meaning they’re also obscure), whose books are carried and promoted by Bruce and Laura DeLaney and their staff at Rediscovered Books. They’ve carried my indecently published novels and jointly authored novellas, and even given us a “Meet the Authors” night.
The next time you are looking to buy a book, a print one of course, head to your local independent book store and look in the “Local Authors” section. Most bookshops (except the larger chains) have a section for the local authors. Tell the staff what type of book you’re wanting to read, and they’ll be able to suggest one that they’ve read and liked. Not only are you supporting a local, and most likely “small author,” but you’re also helping a local business stay in business and keep paychecks flowing to the staff. The revenue stays local as opposed to the big chains where the profits go “to corporate” out of state.
Are you not sure where to find an independent store where you live, or where you’re going? I use the tool at indiebound.org: https://www.indiebound.org/indie-store-finder. Just type in an area or a ZIP code, and it will pull up all independent bookstores within one hundred miles of that area.
Remember, when you shop at an independent bookstore, whether it's in Boise or Boston, you helping to keep “the little guy” in business.
Thanks for shopping and reading books!