Given its size and population, Central Oregon is fortunate to have so many great Indie bookstores at people's disposal: Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, Herringbone Books in Redmond, Roundabout Books and my shop, Dudley's Bookshop Café in Bend, and Sunriver Books & Music in Sunriver. All of these bookstores are owned and staffed by members of our community. If you've stopped in any of them, you know they all have their own flavor and they're great at what they do.
One of the reasons we're so lucky to have all these bookstores is that Central Oregon has a strong "Shop Local" ethic. Sure, the tourist dollars are great, but we wouldn't be here without the support of local readers. What's the biggest threat to our stores? No surprise to say that it continues to be Amazon, the online 800-pound gorilla. The pandemic has only increased its sales to insane new heights and hey, I get it. Convenience, price, pretty fast delivery—it's hard to say no.
What if I told you could just as easily order your books online from any of these local bookshops and keep your money right here in the community? Each and every one of us has a robust online sales platform that can deliver books right to your doorstep or anywhere else in the country. Your selection is not limited to only what we have in the store, either. If we don't have it on the shelf, it'll come directly from one of our partner warehouses, in many cases just as quickly as Amazon can deliver it—and sometimes even faster.
Here are a few stats to consider:
• Jeff Bezos makes approximately $2,489 per second—more than twice what the median U.S. worker makes in a week.
• Bezos is so rich that an average American spending $1 is similar to Bezos spending $1.2 million.
• In 2018 alone, Amazon's retail sales displaced 62,410 storefronts—a 42% increase from 2016. Even considering Amazon's massive distribution network, the net result is a loss of 703,537 jobs nationwide.
No matter where you choose to shop online this year, please do it early, Like now early. The pandemic has stressed the publishing supply chain in multiple ways.
Given that, I'll ask the question: would you rather give money to your neighbors, the ones running the local bookstores, trying like hell to weather the pandemic so we can be here for years to come? Or would you still prefer to give it to... him? Where you spend your money matters more than ever in 2020.
No matter where you choose to shop online this year, please do it early, Like now early. The pandemic has stressed the publishing supply chain in multiple ways. Many books are likely to go out of stock by the end of the month, and independent booksellers—and even Amazon—may not get them back until after the holidays. So, whether you're shopping online or in our stores, if you see something you want, now is the time to grab it before it's too late.
Your bookstores of Central Oregon thank you!
To shop online with Dudley's, please visit bookshop.org/shop/dudleysbookshopcafe. To shop online with other local shops, please visit their respective websites.