WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: It’s Important to Support Our Local Bookstores (Episode 258)

On today’s Business Beat, Jeff discusses the importance of supporting local bookstores and highlights “The Bookstour,” a new documentary by Mason Engel that features 100 indie bookshops and shows why it’s important to shop local.

Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to learn more about “The Bookstour” and the importance of supporting local bookstores:

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Well, here’s one for you, Paul! I know you love local bookstores and know the importance of supporting them. We’ve featured stories here on the Beat on how and why it’s important to save local bookstores as valued gems in our communities. But the pandemic’s impact on our ability to simply go into a local bookstore has been in some cases catastrophic — certainly a major blow in most, if not all, cases.

I mean, after all, we were doing all of our shopping at Amazon during the lockdown, right? Well, now we have a choice, and for those of us who crave a return to shopping in our local communities, in particular to visiting a local bookstore, the time is now to go and go off into support these beloved local merchants.

Now one gentleman in particular — his name is Mason Engel — is not only going; he’s just produced a documentary film entitled “The Bookstour,” wherein he captures his visits to 100 different indie bookshops in 100 days as he travels from Indiana to California after having his own realization as to why it’s so important to shop indie.

Mason says, “I thought it’d be cool to take a road trip from Indiana to California and wanted to visit as many local bookstores as I could. Once in Lawrence, Kansas, I was walking up to a local neighborhood bookstore, and I saw a pamphlet in the window called “How to Resist Amazon and Why.” And this stopped me cold and inspired me to commit to finding a way to help local indie merchants, and the idea of creating a documentary of my visits to local bookstores was born.

“For me, the goal of the film is to compel people to shop at bookstores” Engel said, “and to do this, we want to appeal to people emotionally through the stories we tell of each bookstore in the film.”

Now just like Mason, I, too, feel a strong desire to support local merchants, and I love Mason’s story, having myself lost a couple of local merchants that were embedded in my lifestyle and with which I had meaningful relationships with the owners, one of which was a local beloved bookstore.

I applaud Mason for his mission. Let’s all make an intentional effort to go out and shop at our local merchants whenever possible.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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