With the beginning of Lockdown 2.0, there’s a new go-to place online for everyone to get their book fix. Bookshop.org finally opens in the UK this week.
After opening in the US earlier this year, Bookshop.org has now brought together over 130 independent sellers from all over the UK and aligned them into one singular website, making indie selling the easiest it has ever been. Bookshops from all over have joined the site after its success across the pond, and are helping to end Amazon’s reign of terror over the bookselling scene.
Throughout lockdown publishers reported exponentially increasing sales, as many people were able to rediscover reading with the spare time that they were afforded. Although the chance to do things you enjoy was a huge silver lining that came out of the first lockdown, it also came with an unavoidable negative – shops were closed, and so all non-essentials had to be sourced online. Sites like Amazon were easily able to claim dominion over people’s new book-buying habits, yet a strong community of readers tried to advocate for buying from local, independent booksellers.
This is where Bookshop.org comes in. This time around in lockdown 2.0, they’re ready to combat the public’s increasing reliance on Amazon in order to help us give our money to sellers who truly need it, rather than filling the pockets of Jeff Bezos. Bookshop.org is an easy way to purchase your favourite books, with the comforting knowledge that your money is benefitting local, independent businesses. The site also provides its sellers with the whole profit margin from each sale, and handle all shipping and handling themselves, allowing the sellers they support to truly benefit from featuring on the site.
Founder Adam Hunter, in an interview with The Guardian, explained that “bookstores have been in trouble for a while because of Amazon’s growth, but this pandemic has really accelerated it. Amazon has gotten much more powerful, while there are 100-year-old stores that are hanging on for survival. I think we were so successful because enough people were conscious of that, and wanted to rally around their beloved bookstores, because they care about the world that we emerge from this pandemic into”.
The future is looking bright for independent sellers in the wake of the second national lockdown, and Bookshop.org really does seem to have opened at exactly the right time. Carry on reading all of the books your heart desires, but this time, why not try supporting your local bookshop at the same time?