Saturday 25 July 2015

2016 Project: Make Mine an Indie - Independent Publishers and Bookshops

Most of you will know about the fundraising project that I have going on this year which incorporates a book buying ban. A lot of you will also know that I swore off Amazon way back at the end of 2011 and while I've had the occasional slip up, I would say I've shopped there probably less than five times since then. So far I'm doing a hell of a lot better with my book buying ban than I thought I would. I think the £20 penalty I gave myself any time I slip up is a big motivator but so far I've only had to pay it once since I started in March which is not bad for me.

Since I'm feeling so OK about acquiring far fewer books I thought I'd try to take it a step ... further?... in 2016 and shop only in independent bookshops and from small publishers. I feel like the ban I'm on this year and the subsequently selling my books for charity is really making me think about what I keep. If I love a book, but not so much that I'm going to need to reread it anytime soon, it goes. So far I'm not missing anything. Because of this I feel like I could get by with purchasing a lot fewer books than I have in past years, and because of that it follows that I should be able to spend slightly more money on fewer books but buy them from independents and online from small publishers.

Shop Indie Bookstores

I've recently become an affiliate of  Hive in the UK which is an Amazon like website that allows you to 'shop locally online', and of IndieBound in the US which is, as it sounds, a website through which you can find local independent bookstores, so I'm happy that I now have an alternative to Goodreads and Amazon for links.

OK so now all that's out the way, I've been doing a little research into some small publishers that look interesting and I'm going to be doing a series of features on some of them and the books of theirs that I'd like to read. There's also a possibility that I'll be incorporating some of the independent bookshops I love most and/or am most excited to visit next year into this series.

Initially I'll be focusing on small publishing houses based in the UK, but I may also eventually look at U.S based ones as well, as I'm constantly hearing fun things about various American publishers! I wrote a while ago about how my browsing habits have changed since I started blogging and I no longer select books as randomly as I once did, but I'm hoping that shopping independently will help me to discover things I had no idea about - The Unknown Unknown- and explore the huge diversity of the books available.

I'd love it if you'd let me know in the comments about your favourite independent bookshops and publishers!


  1. I've recently started being much more restrictive with the books I keep too! I mostly give mine away to friends or directly donate the books, since I've found that most of mine are ARCs or aren't worth enough to sell. I like your rule of only keeping something if you might re-read it, but I actually don't re-read at all, so it's hard to justify keeping anything that way! Instead, I'm only keeping books I'd think of if someone asked me to pick a favorite :)

  2. I've been really good about abstaining from amazon too! *high five*
    I'm in love with my local bookstore and I scour second-hand shops more often. However, I'm not so good at giving books away when I'm done with them, so I need to learn how to declutter books effectively!