The Great Indie Bookstore

The Great Indie Bookstore

Posted on April 30 by Kerry Karram in Events
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Oh gosh, it was one of those days.  I was heading out for a long weekend and I wanted a book to read.  Since we were right near a “big box” store I thought I would dash in quickly, grab a book and go.  The first employee I bumped into I asked, “I need a book, got a recommendation?” 

She looked at me like I had three heads, “Uh. . . um, do you have a title you are looking for?” 

When I told her I didn’t, she pointed to a wall that had 6 staff picks and beside it a sale table piled high.  I promptly turned around and walked out. 

I’m going to tell you a bit about me;  I don’t own an electronic reading device. Not that I have anything against them, I just prefer to feel a book in my hands, hear the noise as I turn the pages and yes, even smell that special smell that a book has.  I like to have recommendations for books from people and not what an algorithm decides I would like. 

Speaking of algorithm’s…do you know about those?  Here’s how they work (I asked a computer software engineer to give me the lowdown in dummy terms): the algorithm is a proprietary solution implemented to try and get more sales by an approach where people who bought “x” also bought “y”. 

Does that sound to you like a well thought out and meaningful recommendation?  Maybe I bought “x” and disliked it, so why would I then want to buy “y”?  Does the algorithm know what I thought about the story?  No it doesn’t.

So, that tells you something about me.  I like to hold a book in my hands and when searching for a good title I would like a real person who has read the story and knows my tastes to assist me in a fitting choice.  After all, I will likely be spending hours in a relationship with my new book so I don’t want a “speed dating” intro into that relationship, or, even worse, a blind date. 

How is it that the reader can get that special attention?  Well, I get it from my independent bookstores.  I’m so lucky as there are two “Indies” as they are fondly referred to, a 10-minute walk away from where I live, and the proprietors are the best people on the planet.  They encourage the love of reading.  They will take the time to open a book to a particular passage and say, “Here, read this bit…I know you will love it!” 

They host reading nights where readers have the opportunity to meet the author.  I had the best time at my book’s launch. Indies are gathering places for people who love books.  They are havens for culture and they contribute to the fabric of a neighbourhood and are a place to build relationships. 

And guess what?!  This Saturday, May 2nd, 2015, all across Canada hundreds of authors have signed up at over 100 Indie bookstores as guest booksellers to recommend and help “spread the word”, both verbally and written, to enthusiastic readers.  I’ll be at Armchair Books in Whistler.  Why not head to your local Indie and be a part of the experience!  

Kerry Karram

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Kerry Karram

Kerry Karram uses the handwritten diary of Inspector F.J. Fitzgerald to chronicle the harrowing ordeal of four NWMP officers lost in the Yukon wilderness for 52 days in the winter of 1910-11. Death Wins in the Arctic reflects her deep interest in Canadian history and her love for the North. She lives in North Vancouver with her family.