Last year, Denver was still in the running for a second headquarters for Amazon. Instead, the corporate behemoth split its plans for H2Q between Washington, D.C., and Queens — and then dropped the latter in the wake of heated criticism of the deal.
While Denver didn't get H2Q (or the complaints that would have surely followed), on March 7 Amazon opened its first bookstore in Colorado, at 2787 East Second Avenue in Cherry Creek. Second Star to the Right Books, a locally owned shop at 1545 South Pearl Street, didn't exactly roll out the welcome mat. Instead, it posted an open letter under the banner hashtag #ChooseIndie with these words: “The day has come. We all have been waiting — maybe with trepidation, maybe with anticipation — and Amazon Books has arrived in Denver. Therefore, we at Second Star to the Right Books wanted to take this opportunity to re-introduce ourselves, our bookstore, and the magic of an independent bookstore.”
That magic isn't lost on readers. Says Jane:
It is almost sacrilege for Amazon to open a physical bookstore (and one so close to the original site of Tattered Cover, to boot!). It was Amazon and other online services that created such challenges for independent bookstores!
We should #chooseindie in all our shopping, and when we go out to restaurants, too. Local businesses need all the help they can get.
Support independent, local bookstores. Tattered Cover is #1.
I guess there are a few books not being sold on-line. Gotta grab up that market, too.
Indie bookstores need to support indie authors! Stephanie Churchill Ling, David Blixt.
Responds author Stephanie Churchill Ling:
While I do agree that indie bookstores could help indie authors, honestly, Amazon does more to help indies than about any place else. It's just a tough thing for indies (authors and book shops) any way you look at it!
And El concludes:
We didn't get Amazon headquarters, but we get a bookstore? Is that a consolation prize?
Keep reading for more on Amazon and Denver:
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"As Amazon Opens Bookstore, Local Seller Fires Back with #ChooseIndie Campaign"
According to Second Star's manager and event coordinator, Mariana Calderon, the store had reached out to other independents around town regarding the #ChooseIndie campaign. “It's up to them if they want to share the letter,” she says. ”I think every store will decide how they want to address it. But it's not part of a concentrated citywide effort. It's really more from us, a love letter to bookstores, to Denver, to put it out there that there's a choice. And one of these choices, we think, is better than the other.”
Want to decide for yourself? Both the Amazon store and Second Star From the Right, which specializes in books, toys and gifts primarily for children and young adults, open at 10 a.m. today.
What do you think of the campaign? Of Amazon opening a bookstore here? Post a comment or email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.