Rediscovering books during the pandemic
With Britons waking up to a second national lockdown this morning, people may find that they have more time to fill. Reading books can provide a great escape from the chaos of both the pandemic and the US elections; Bloomsbury has already reported that their profits jumped by 60% between February and August this year. As traditional bookshops shut their doors once more, Amazon dominates as the de-facto platform for those looking to invest in a good novel. This may change, however, with the recent launch of Bookshop in the UK this week.
Bookshop: an online retailer with a mission
Bookshop.org is a site that aims to humanise the digital buying experience and supports independent bookshops by allowing them to establish a virtual shopfront on the platform while receiving the full profit margin from every transaction. They state on their website “If you want to find a specific local bookshop to support, find them on our map and they’ll receive the full profit from your order. Otherwise, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookshops.”
The books are slightly discounted and are delivered within two to three days. Customers can browse lists of suggested novels curated by booksellers, authors and more (unlike those created by amazon’s algorithms) that replace the tables of recommended books in physical shops.
Help local booksellers safeguard their future
Bookshop.org is a great way to help local brick and mortar bookshops who play an important cultural role but can’t afford to take on global corporations like Amazon. Lockdowns have been a particularly difficult time for high-street stores and as Christmas approaches, using Bookshop to buy gifts could provide independent book retailers with a vital financial boost to get them through to next year.