Friday, November 25, 2011

Turn Black Friday to Book Friday

Oregon writer Scott Sparling, author of the novel Wire to Wire (published by Tin House Books), wrote a blog post recently that we thought was brilliant. Here's some of what he had to say (I encourage you to read the full blog):

Despite what you may have heard from various small-minded people in my past, I am not the one who ruined Christmas. But I do know how to save it.
On the day after Thanksgiving, go out and buy anything you want…just as long as it’s a book. That’s how we’re saving Christmas this year. Forget Black Friday. It’s Book Friday now.
And by go out, I mean to a physical bookstore with a real bookseller inside. From what I’ve heard, last Christmas was tough for some independent bookstores. Chances are, your favorite record store is already gone. If your favorite bookstore is still open, use the power of your holiday spending to help keep it that way. Go out on Book Friday and buy books for everyone....
Or let’s say I invite you over to the house for a holiday dinner (which I won’t, but hypothetically). Don’t show up with a bottle of wine or flowers as your gift. Bring me a book.....
But which books, you wonder? Well, the one I wrote would be a fine choice. But so would any other. How about one of the National Book Award winners, or all of them? How about the equally fine or finer books unrecognized by awards? Perhaps you could find a website that recommends good books. There must be one somewhere.....
They do have to be real books, however. With physical pages and covers. That’s what Book Friday is all about....
How many books should you buy on Book Friday? Simple. Just take the prime number closest to your hat size, multiple by the number of letters in your last name, and divide by the speed of a bus traveling from Baltimore to Poughkeepsie. Knowing you, that's probably three or four. 
Also, I know you like sitting at your computer and sending money to far-away places, listening into the ether for the efficient whir of gears as robots robo-pack your purchases. That’s not gonna cut it this year. No sexy UPS guy with a package from Amazon is gonna get us out of the mess we’re in. The bottom line is this: Independent bookstores are good for our communities and good for America...and the world, come to think of it. Basically, if you don’t support your local booksellers, you’ll be ruining more than Christmas. You’ll be ruining the future. And you wouldn't want that rumor to get around.
So head out to your favorite bookstores on Book Friday, and stock up. I’ll be out there with you. Do it for the local economy, for the people you love, for me, for my mom, or for yourself.

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