Book lovers and book stores are a dying breed these days. If you want to support diversity in your community, and spread more money around your local neighborhood, the best thing you can do is buy your books from a local indie book store. But what if your book store doesn't have the book you want? It's a common problem - small book stores simply cannot afford to keep every copy of every book ever made on hand.
Luckily, book stores have the ability to order books for you. And most local book stores will be thrilled at the opportunity to help you (and their own sales) this way. Even if you only order one book a year through your local book store, that is one more sale than they would have had otherwise.
I myself am having a hard time keeping off the Amazon crack. I have a Kindle, so most of my book purchases are e-books through the Amazon Kindle store. But there are still books that, for whatever reason, I want to have in physical format. It may be because the book has a lot of special formatting and layout work (which does not translate well to a Kindle). Or it may be a book that features pictures (ditto) or a knitting pattern book (I just plain want these in physical format).
I would estimate that one out of every 10 books I buy is a physical book. And for these purchases, I have been focusing on buying them locally. So far the experience has been really great. Our small town supports a plucky local indie book store, which has been happy to have my business. I phone them when I want to order the book, and they phone me when it is ready. It takes all the guesswork out of the process.
Before I realized I could just call in an order, it used to be a frustrating procedure where I would drive all the way into town, browse the store, realize they didn't have the book I wanted, then buy some random other book or magazine just because I felt guilty. No more!
Some local book stores will even mail the book out to you. This is a particularly great service for people who can't get to their local store, either due to transportation issues, health problems, or because your work hours conflict with the store's hours.
Explore your options for supporting local indie book stores! You won't be sorry!