In honor of World Book Day on April 23rd, it seems the right time to say this: we believe in books.
George R.R. Martin wrote it well in his novel A Dance With Dragons, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.”
Great books can do this to a person. Essential to the human experience, books transport us, inform us, and have the power to lift our spirits when we need it most.
But books don’t sell themselves, which is why we also believe in bookstores — and the incredible, knowledgeable, and passionate people who run them.
Sadly, after a decade of recovery and growth that affirmed the importance of reading, writing, and publishing, bookstores are suddenly facing a moment of monumental crisis at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic. In some instances, these beloved institutions, which mean so much to so many communities, face the very real possibility that they will never open their doors again.
We cannot let this happen because we need bookstores now more than ever. As award-winning poet and writer Jen Campbell wrote in her book The Bookshop Book, “Bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.”
We are therefore asking for your help to save these best of places. Please visit your community bookstores online or find them at Indiebound.org. Your actions matter and they are waiting for you: a little shopping today will do so much to ensure their futures. You can also make a donation to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation here: Save Indie Bookstores.
Everybody wins when bookstores succeed. Thank you for your help and happy reading!
Maria Pallante, President and CEO, Association of American Publishers (AAP)
Mary Rasenberger, Executive Director, The Authors Guild (AG)
Allison Hill, CEO, American Booksellers Association (ABA)