I firmly believe that independent bookstores provide a great service to the community. The Brown Bookstore in Providence, RI, has been an independent bookseller since 1970. Recently, Brown University has announced it is considering contracting bookstore operations to a national vendor—either Barnes & Noble College Booksellers or the Follett Higher Education Group. The Save the Bookstore Coalition, formed 3 days after the committee made its recommendation, plans to hold a rally tomorrow afternoon at 5:30. The speakers will include Brown professor Robert Coover.
I can’t say enough about supporting the local independents. Retail chains return substantially less money to the local economy than locally owned businesses. Plus do you want cookie cutter stores all over the country? And yes, I do shop at chain stores—it’s impossible not to these days. In some communities it might make sense to have a Barnes & Noble, but Providence nor Brown do not need another chain. The independent bookstore adds a flavor to the campus that a Barnes & Noble just can’t replicate.