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John Grisham

America's Favorite Storyteller

Why I Love Indie Bookstores

Hello Book Lovers:

John Grisham here, hiding on the farm in central Virginia, safe and secure. I trust you are too. Be careful out there.

Camino Winds was published recently, and normally I would be making the rounds, visiting stores to promote my new novel. But as you know, the world has changed dramatically in the past few months and almost nothing seems the same.

I had planned to tour with Camino Winds but that’s not possible now. With its prequel, Camino Island, I toured for the first time in twenty years and had a delightful time. I went to 25 bookstores and did all sorts of events with local writers. I enjoyed that, and I enjoyed meeting a lot of readers, but the most interesting part of the entire tour was hanging out in some wonderful independent bookstores. We have some great ones in this country, and they’re owned and run by dedicated people.

Independent booksellers view their stores as far more than retail outlets. They welcome debut authors on the road for the first time, and they welcome the literary stars for unforgettable readings. They host book clubs and story time for kids. They recommend the books they’ve read and loved, and they know the ones to keep away from certain customers. They host wine tastings, cooking classes, small concerts, recitals, and art fairs. Some have cafes, bars, and coffee shops. And the music – every store has its own sound and its own play list.

In many communities, the bookstore is the life of the town, the hub of commercial activity.

To booksellers, their stores are institutions that cannot fail.

They need your help, and we need them to stay vibrant.

Buy more books!