I always enjoy learning about your stores through your online presence. One of the first things I look for on websites is the “about us” tab. Mention an independent bookstore to folks in the industry, and they’ll reply with, “Oh… that’s so-in-so’s store.” Every great store has a passionate person, couple, family, partnership, etc., behind it. And I want to know who they are. That’s why I look for the tab that says “about us” or “our story” or “who we are” first.
Given’s Books in Lynchburg, VA, has an “our story” tab. But I really like the way they take it one step further and also provide a page called “A History in Pictures.” Not only can I read about the store’s beginnings in an old gas station, the subsequent move, and all of the additions to the building, but I can also “watch” the growth of the business through this pictorial history.
And whenever I see a bookstore depicted through the deteriorated graininess of images shot on 110 film with that trusty pocket Kodak, it just reinforces the permanence of the physical book and its independent bookseller.