Saturday, November 13, 2010

We hold the power

I posted on my other blog about Joseph-Beth filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Even though the Lexington location will remain open, it saddens me to see such a fine bookstore struggle in this bottom line world. One of my earliest attempts at blogging was of my first book signing, which was at Joe-Beth. I love that store.

 At first, I was angry at the upper level management. How could they let this happen? And then a whisper of truth entered my head. It's not their fault. We hold the power.

Every time one of us walks into a bookstore to peruse a book, only to go home and order it on Amazon, we take from the community and give to the monopoly. Every time we opt to go to Walmart instead of our local grocer's, we feed into the giant corporations. Every decision we make either bolsters or condemns. I'm not suggesting that we completely stop going to national chains, but what I am suggesting is that we use all of our resources in moderation. I, for one, am making a commitment this Christmas season to support my local stores, the shops that are a little out of the way, that only have a small contingency of  workers. I'm really going to make it a priority to go to places that still have some individuality left, some vestige of the entrepreneur's heart. And I think I'll take this philosophy and expand it to not only stores, but restaurants, movie theatres (we have a wonderful one downtown), and coffee houses.

Maybe it's time that we take the power back from Wall Street, that we look at a tag to see where it's made. Maybe it's time that we realize that we, the people with the paycheck, we hold the power.