If you’re a big reader, you’re probably familiar with all the niche quandaries that come with such a relaxing hobby.
First there’s the problem that keeps us up at night, the nightmare that consumes our lives – we are of course talking about the devastating realisation that we’ll never get through all the books we want to read in our lifetime and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it. Alexa, play R.E.M.
Then there’s the small matter of our ever-growing TBR (to be read) pile which, come to think of it, isn’t so much of a pile as it is an interrogating high-rise reminder of how problematic we are as humans. Give us a calming, largely horizontal hobby and we will find a way to turn it into a stressful Goodreads vertical challenge but that’s a can of worms to crack open on another day.
Which brings us to the third reading-related conundrum – the moral dilemma of where to purchase our beloved books. Fortunately, out of the three, this one’s a hell of a lot easier to solve, thanks to innovative profit-sharing booksellers like Bookshop.org
We all fall into idle habits here and there, regularly sourcing our reading material from cheap, goliath online retailers who can have your order signed, sealed and delivered before you’ve even blinked but there’s a whole other world of online booksellers we’re missing out on and Bookshop.org is one such gem.
Set up by Andy Hunter, the writer and co-founder of Literary Hub, the online bookshop is on a mission to make buying books easy and convenient for everyone but not at the expense of small and local independent booksellers. At the time of writing, Bookshop.org has generated £1,229,094.48 for local bookshops since its UK launch in November, providing an ethical and more transparent alternative for those who love the ease of shopping with Amazon.
Nicole Vanderbilt, UK managing director at Bookshop.org, told the Guardian, “Our mission is to support indie bookshops precisely so that as many people as possible can continue to shop directly from them.
“We are in this to ensure that indie bookshops continue to exist and thrive in a world where consumers are increasingly buying online. There is simply nothing like the experience of shopping at an independent bookshop.”
It makes it easy to buy your treasured tomes at the click of a button whilst financially supporting local indie bookshops at the same time. That’s a recipe for a feel-good read right there!
If you need any more convincing to change up your book shopping habits, keep reading.
It makes buying books a breeze
Whilst binging on blurbs, chatting in whispered tones with fellow bookworms and catching the whiff of a new-born paperback in a physical bookshop might be an unparalleled shopping experience, one doesn’t always have the time to lend to that kind of haul, especially when the most charming bookshops are usually off the beaten track.
Shopping directly is undoubtedly always the best way to support your favourite booksellers, but Bookshop.org has created a close second best, making it possible to buy books online whilst continuing to support your favourite local bookshops from the comfort of your own home. Throughout the pandemic, it has also provided an essential storefront for booksellers who were forced to shut and did not have the resources to run their own ecommerce website.
If you want to order a book online from one of your favourite local bookshops, you can find them on the map and Bookshop.org will ensure they receive the full profit from your order, so despite not stepping foot in store, you’ll be showing your local bookstore some serious love.
There’s no fomo like book fomo but with all your reads in one handy place and delivered within two to three days, your only worry is finding a place for them all to live.
It’s dedicated to supporting indie bookshops
How does it work? Indie bookshops can create their own virtual shopfront using Bookshop.org. All the partners who sell books using their platform will earn 30% of the cover price from each sale. When a sale is made but not attributed to a specific bookseller, 10% of the cover price goes into an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among participating independent bookshops.
You can discover rare reads & new voices
Bookshop.org champions authors from all over the globe, allowing you to discover stories you’ve never heard of before. Booksellers at indie bookshops help to get new authors and emerging voices out there into the hands of book lovers they wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise. From armchair travel to International Booker Prize titles as well as curated reading lists from some household names such as Marian Keyes, you can broaden your horizons and give your TBR pile the shake up it needs.
Bookstagrammers can turn their favourite hobby into a business
It supports anyone who advocates for books through their affiliate programme, which pays a 10% commission on every sale, and gives a matching 10% to indie bookshops.
If you are an author, a website or magazine, have a book club (s/o to us – we’ll come back to that in a minute), an organisation that wants to recommend books, or even just a book-lover with an Instagram feed, you can sign up to be an affiliate, start your own shop, and be rewarded for your book addiction. You’re welcome.
We’re a Bookshop.org partner!
The Zoella Book Club has joined Bookshop.org as one of their partners. So any book mentioned within our articles you’ll be able to shop in one convenient place. Not only will this make it easier for our lovely Book Club community to read along with us (or jump ahead if you’re keen) but it means that, alongside advocating for books & new authors, we can champion local independent bookshops, too.