I love to read (you may or may not have already known that about me). When my family traveled, I would have a small gym bag for my clothes and toiletries - and a suitcase for my books. (Don't talk to me about e-readers. I have one, and I acknowledge their usefulness - particularly for reading while nursing a wiggly baby - but nothing can ever replace a real book to me.)
I love to go to bookstores - especially local ones - and browse the stacks. It's very difficult for me not to leave without a new tome to add to my library (at least now, I can get books for Brooklyn's collection...) There's a wonderful atmosphere that you don't find in a big-box bookstore, and you can have a relationship with a book that you chose with your own hands that pales in comparison to the sterility of ordering online.
Brick-and-mortar bookshops are suffering - people have begun to use them as catalogs, looking at the physical copy and then leaving to order it from Amazon.com (or using the shop's WiFi to order it directly from their phone). Why pay the cover price, or have to wait for an ordered book to come in, when you can have it for half price on your doorstep tomorrow?
True, it may cost a little more (in terms of money - but aren't relationships more important, anyway?) to buy the book from a real, live person, but in doing so you can know that you're directly supporting that real, live person - someone you can get to know, discuss books with in a depth that online reviews can never have, and know that besides keeping your money in the local economy, you're also supporting an outlet for local authors. Sometimes they even provide the opportunity to meet those authors - both the local ones, and the occasional nation or world-wide writing star.
And that's why I love to visit Nightbird Books. Now located in a lovely space on Dickson Street, they have a wide selection of books on an array of topics. I've gotten poetry, knitting, classics, local, cooking, typography, Christian, gardening, interior design, crafting...
...and books for Brooklyn! I've seen these at a couple of local shops, but each location has different ones (they're board classics - so, Pride and Prejudice counts up through the story: 3 estates, 5 sisters, 10 thousand pounds a year...) I couldn't resist a kid-friendly version of The Hound of the Baskervilles when I was photoshooting on Saturday.
Along with books, they also have Things To Write In - journals and notebooks, and locally handmade cards, as well as bookmarks, word-related games and some exceptionally beautiful calendars.
I enjoy not only buying books from them, but also sitting and knitting or reading, or meeting a friend, and adding to the ambiance is a sensible selection of coffees --- and Brooklyn enjoys watching the birds. Because, of course, there are birds - it's Nightbird, after all!
I mentioned their upcoming collaboration with Terra Tots last week - they're also planning on hosting a craft fair on November 30th (intending to support local artists and artisans, and make it a little easier to shop local for Christmas), and every Wednesday evening (year round!) they open their breezeway to the Green Fork Farmers Market.
And all of that together inspired my latest design. Farm Girl speaks of pretty practicality (warm, washable, from-stash locally purchased yarn, and a simple, classic design - and I used a repurposed, broken knitting needle as a closure), and we had fun shooting the photos for it at Nightbird.
Sometimes local shops specialize in specialties - like Shindig Paperie, which carries paper goods that you can't find anywhere else, or Terra Tots, whose staff provide valuable knowledge along with their unique goods - but sometimes, you're faced with choices. There are so many choices that we're denied (GMO and "hidden ingredient" labeling, and the assurance that our clothing and electronics were manufactured in a humane work environment with fairly compensated laborers, to name a few), so when we are given a choice, let's try to choose local and brick-and-mortar!
Find Nightbird Books on Facebook and Twitter, and visit their wonderful shop on the corner of Dickson and Church Streets.