Thank you for letting Cellar Door Books become a part of Riverside's literary community. The last five years have taught us a great deal about this core of readers, and proven the depth and power of fiction and non-fiction alike. Thank you for walking this journey with us.
We've successfully avoided talking about the Amazon in the room these past years, I think, but we can't really afford to turn a blind eye any longer. Not as they crawl from the computer screen into the world of brick-and-mortar, not as they plant themselves blocks away from other established indie bookstores to great effect, and not as they needle their way into your grocery stores. We need to talk about this, unflinchingly.
When you choose to buy on Amazon, you choose to ignore local economy and community in favor of mere convenience. It's cheaper, it's faster, it offers you and your organizations kickbacks for using them, and they have everything - no choice necessary. They are the ultimate in convenience. But you must understand that when you choose them, you also choose to put small businesses in Riverside out of business. Period. There's no sugar-coating it.
So what do you get when you choose to shop small and shop local? What do you get when you buy your books from Cellar Door? You get a dedicated group of readers who share the love or loathing of a character with you. You get booksellers, not algorithms, who choose a book with you specifically in mind; booksellers who can help you find the perfect gift for the child you know well or the one you don't know at all. You get a true collection, made from painstakingly going through hundreds of titles, reading reviews by other indie booksellers all over the country, listening to our publisher representatives' favorite new books each season, and paying close attention to our customer's picks both old and new. We don't have everything, but what we do have is good. For your used books, go to Downtowne Books, Renaissance Books, or the others in Moreno Valley, because they know used books and our community. If you don't live close to the area, go to indiebound.org, find your local indie bookstore, and become part of their community. Or, if all else fails, go to our website and we'll ship directly to you. You do, in fact, have options.
For our dedicated customers, who recognize the online behemoth for what it is and don't need this reminder from us, a million times thank you - and please help us spread our message. For everyone else, we desperately hope that you come to understand what you do when you shop with Amazon. If you're still unconvinced, if you're not that dedicated of a reader, if you have no sentimentality attached with shopping at independent bookstores, that's fine. It's inevitable. But please have some consideration for your coworkers, friends, and family that are massive readers. And don't be surprised when the small businesses you do love, whatever they may be, disappear, and all you're left with is the illusion of choice. This goes beyond just our bookstore.
Thank you and we look forward to continuing our part in Riverside's indie community!
- Cellar Door Staff