Greg Michalson at Unbridled Books has an interesting post on his blog about the importance of independent bookstores pushing lesser known works. He discusses the problem surrounding “how are you to discover a wonderful book you don’t already know about—that you haven’t specifically gone into the store, on a mission, so to speak, to track down and buy—when but a single copy or two is hidden away, spine out, at the back of the store.” One of his answers is that independent bookstores and dedicated and determined booksellers have a tremendous role in getting good books in front of the public. “Booksellers must find those quality reads by little known authors, care about them and take care of them by, well, hand selling them,” Michalson writes.
It’s a really interesting post. I’ll have more of my thoughts on this later, but the short answer is that Michalson’s point cannot be overstated. So many of even our biggest most successful authors are the result of grassroots bookselling by independent stores. As readers, and consumers, we owe those stores our gratitude and economic support.