Love Your Independents

The fate of the book store has been a constant talking point for some time now; even more so since the demise of the REDGroup and their flagship stores, Borders and Angus & Robertson. But somehow, in the midst of the chaos there are independent book stores that continue to thrive. The Weekend Australian recently ran a feature story that focussed on two of QLD’s wonderful independent book stores – Riverbend Books and Avid Reader (you can read the full story here).

I have had a long relationship with Riverbend Books, hosting poetry events on their large, open deck for the past 6-years in conjunction with QLD Poetry Festival and QLD Writers Centre. It is one of those stores that welcomes you from the street. Visiting authors have likened it to a community church or an old fashioned English pub, referring to the store’s power as a social space. And this is one of the key factors that makes the independent such an important part of the community; people crave social interaction when buying a book. They want that face to face engagement, the conversation, the sense of discovery and human connection. It is what makes book buying one of life’s true pleasures.

The other defining point of most independents is their event program. Both Riverbend and Avid have a constant stream of events happening from month to month and you don’t have to look too hard to find something that appeals.

The next event in the Riverbend Poetry Series is coming up soon and features a stellar line up of local and inter-state poets including, Vanessa Page (Memory Bone), David Stavanger (And the Ringmaster Said), Julie Beveridge (Home is Where the Heartache is) & Max Ryan (Before the Sky). Tickets are on sale now, so make sure you book early as these nights often sell out. To book your spot call (07) 3899 8555.

So next time you are looking for some reading material to fire up the synapses, or want to get up close and persoanl with an author, check out your local independent book store and make an outing of it. Buying books should not be rushed…

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