Indie Bookstores: Post-Election Safe Places

Yesterday, many independent booksellers responded to the election with messages of hope and outreach on social media, including:

via Ellen Plumb's City Bookstore

A Room of One's Own Bookstore, Madison, Wis.: "Hey, we are so glad you woke up this morning. You are loved. You are needed. We appreciate you. Let's get through today and find something good to read, yeah?"

Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.: "Today Bookshop Santa Cruz rededicates itself to being a safe place in this community. A safe place for all people. A safe place to share ideas and to evaluate options. A safe place to escape through books if needed. A safe place to find empathy within pages. A safe place to further discover what defines our community."

Aaron's Books, Lititz, Pa.: "We at Aaron's Books rededicate ourselves to sustaining civil discourse in our community. Our space is one for learning, dialogue, new experience, and supporting diversity in an uncertain world. Let's explore together."

McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.: "With a difficult election season behind us many this morning feel anxious about what might be next. Please know that McLean & Eakin will still be here to help you make sense of the world or even just escape it for a bit. As always McLean & Eakin will have books for Liberals, Conservatives, Gays, Straights, Native Americans, Jews, Latinos, Muslims, African Americans, Christians, foreigners, locals, every American."

Charis Books and More/Charis Circle, Atlanta, Ga.: "Stories, above all else, remind us when we feel heartsick and broken that we are not alone. Books are, inherently, objects of hope. Books and the arts build on the lessons of the past and reach towards a future of possibilities. Books teach empathy and foster connections. At Charis we do this work with you, organizing for intersectional feminist justice, with books as our building blocks.... You are not alone. We are going to write the next chapter together with ourselves as possibility models. We are the ones we've been waiting for. If you need a place to be today, Charis is open 11-7. Today we mourn and share our stories so that in the days to come we may organize, fight, and love one another better."

Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.: "Our doors are open for all who want to run their fingers along the book spines, flip through the pages of an old favorite, and be with their friends, family, and community."

Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C.: "Don't give up. Stand up and read up, instead."

And in Bookselling This Week, ABA CEO Oren Teicher summed up the situation, writing, "As this bitterly contested election season comes to a close--regardless of which candidate you supported--it's clear that we live in a terribly divided country. The role bookstores play in healing division has never been more important. As citizens, attempting to comprehend what has occurred, all of us in the bookselling community have a special obligation--and opportunity--to foster communication and to help reconcile our communities. President-elect Trump, Secretary Clinton, and President Obama have all indicated that the time to unite our country is now, and there is no better place than within the walls of a bookstore for that process to begin."

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