Support the Independents!
It suddenly dawned on me about a month ago. I was at a Border's Bookstore, about to make a purchase after having cruised around for an hour. And then I realized: Suzanne at Mac's Backs may not have this book in stock at the moment, but she can certainly order it and have it to me in a few days. And I can surely wait for it. I figured it's a small price to pay to keep the handful of remaining Cleveland-area indy bookshops alive and healthy. Or at least alive. In the month or more since, I've ordered a couple more books from her that way. And perhaps in the fall, I'll begin doing the same with the Learned Owl in Hudson, and then maybe Fireside in Chagrin Falls. I'm already in the habit of stopping by Loganberry Books in the Larchmere area and at the lovely Appletree books on Cedar Hill in Cleveland Heights, and chatting briefly with the ever-knowledgeable proprietor, Jane Kessler (who's nicely profiled here by my old Cleveland Edition colleague Kathy Ewing). Eventually, I'll get in a routine of more regularly patronizing all half dozen remaining indy bookstores in this area. And I hope you'll do begin doing the same, gentle reader. I plan on occasionally reminding you about it.
But why stop at getting in the habit of supporting these community jewels, these food-for-the-brain emporiums? How about doing the same with locally owned and operated restaurants, which are just as threatened by national chains as their bookstore counterparts. But how can you tell an indy eatery from a chain, you ask? There's one really easy way. Go to this site, and graze around. I guarantee you you'll find several places that will make you happy (Gavi's in Lake County is a special treat). Your stomach will thank you for it. And I will too.