“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for individuals to denounce the corporate bands which threaten to homogenize our cities and our souls, we must celebrate the powers that make us unique and declare the causes which compel us to remain independent.”
Thus begins the Declaration of Indiebound. Indiebound is the creation of the American Booksellers Association and it has been formed to encourage local bookstores, as well as other independent retailers, to join together in the belief that “healthy local economies help communities thrive”.
I discovered the ‘declaration’ tacked to one of the sturdy old wood columns of the Fountain Bookstore located along the cobblestone streets of Historic Shockoe Slip here in Richmond Virginia. The Fountain is a wonderful bookstore; full of charm, personality, and a selection of books that would warm the heart of any self-respecting book lover.
While we’re on the subject I have to mention the Delocator website. This site is the brainchild of xstine; a global media artist whom I heard speak at the MiT5 conference back in the spring of 2007. The idea of delocator is to guide people to independent alternatives to chain cafes, bookstores, and movie theaters.
You can enter any zipcode and a list of independent coffee shops, bookstores, or movie houses will appear. There is also a version that will work on Google maps and your cell phone. It is a great service made better by allowing anyone to add their favorite independent shop. When I got to my computer (I decided to wait for the rush to die down to get my new iPhone) I saw that the Fountain wasn’t on Delocator. The Cafe Gutenberg, a very cool Richmond cafe just a couple of blocks away, was. I corrected the imbalance by adding the Fountain Bookstore to Delocator.