Dec 4, 2020 | LIFE | By Kristen Richards | Illustration by Jubilee Rivera-Hernandez
Books are our own imaginary home of escape. From the waxy cover of a new hardcover or the dusty, yellowing pages of a used book, to the fresh black ink of a paperback novel, we find refuge in the written page.
Whether reading a chemistry textbook or a collection of poems, the words on a printed page convey the importance of shared knowledge. Through physical books, we can allow ourselves to feel connected to every hand that played a role in writing and producing the words at our fingertips.
Because of the dire importance of books in both academic and recreational settings, it is imperative that we become mindful of where and how we are purchasing our knowledge. With the pandemic-induced economic crisis for small businesses and the rise of Amazon and its world of “fast, cheap, easy,” local independent bookstores are struggling.
Luckily, Colorado Springs has several local bookstores full of wonder for all members of the community to enjoy. There are used bookstores, independent bookstores that sell new books, and bookstores that are a mix of both.
Poor Richard’s bookstore is located on Tejon Street, less than a mile from campus. My personal favorite bookstore in the Springs, Poor Richard’s includes a mix of new and used books, as well as a variety of random trinkets and gifts. The bookstore is organized by topic, with a huge fiction section, a plethora of nonfiction, and everything in between.
Hooked on Books is a used bookstore, also located in Colorado Springs downtown. It sells mostly used books, except for offerings of newly released fiction and nonfiction and a section of antique books. Hooked on Books has a large section of Colorado-themed books. They also sell books in a variety of genres from local Colorado Springs authors!
Amazon’s book business is slowly but surely killing these small businesses and bookstores, so it is crucial that students who have the access and the ability to buy from local bookstores choose to purchase their favorite guilty pleasure novel and poetry books from independent bookstores instead of ordering online, despite the convenience.
For students living off-campus outside of Colorado Springs, there are online resources to help you find the local independent bookstores in your area. Indiebound.org allows you to put in a zip code and will show you all the independent bookstores in the surrounding towns and cities.
If you are discouraged by the pandemic and do not want to shop for books in-store, another great resource to support independent bookstores from the comfort of your COVID-free home is Bookshop.org, which lets you find a local bookstore near you that will provide either delivery or no-contact curbside pickup for all your book needs.
There are so many options — in the Springs and beyond — to support our local businesses and shun the overwhelming growth of big corporations like Amazon. In a time of uncertainty and crisis, we can all benefit from escaping into a world of black ink words and wonder, and in the process, we can support the small businesses that keep us happy and reading.