I love to read, so I appreciate how one of my favorite things to do in my spare time seeps into my professional life, as well. Customers are usually happy when they’re in a bookstore. We’re a place where people come to find inspiration, or learn something, or just to relax. I love it when I see a couple who are obviously getting to know one another come in to talk about books. The whole concept of the third place, where people can be part of their community, is very important to me.
A few years ago, I heard Azar Nafisi talk a couple of times—she’s the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran. So she’s been in a situation where freedom of thought was suppressed. She doesn’t take democracy for granted. And she so inspired me when she talked about how we, as booksellers, are guarding democracy by keeping these spaces open for people in the community to gather, to be together, to learn. We’re a place where ideas that might clash can rub shoulders on the shelves. An independent bookstore keeps diversity of thought alive—and diversity in writing. I’m glad to be able to buy from small, independent publishers. I buy from all publishers, but I especially appreciate the tenacity and commitment of the littler ones who work on the same small margins that we do. We’re all in it together.
Carol Price is the Owner / Manager of BookPeople of Moscow in Moscow, ID and the president of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. This profile was featured on the Booksellers of America Facebook page.
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