Joyce Hinnefeld


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"When in the course of human events . . ."

A few days ago I signed my name to Indie Bound’s wonderful declaration at, and it felt great. If you’re a lover of independent bookstores (and other independent things), I’d encourage you to do so too.

Earlier that day I'd seen a big copy of this declaration in the window of Bethlehem, PA’s own Moravian Book Shop. This store is the oldest continually operating bookstore in the world (check out, and I’ve loved it since I moved to this area eleven years ago. The Book Shop has joined with a bunch of other local businesses—like Clothesline Organics ( and The Yoga Loft (, to name a couple more Bethlehem favorites of mine—to promote local, independently owned businesses. I find this whole movement exciting on a number of levels, not least of which is an environmental one; buying and eating local food, for instance, is going to be crucial for global health, as people like Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver have told us.

I’m particularly excited about one aspect of this “buy local” movement, and that’s the resurgence of independent bookstores. I felt this way even before my novel was signed by an editor at a fantastic independent publisher (Fred Ramey at Unbridled), and even before Steven Wallace and his terrific crew at Unbridled started talking up In Hovering Flight in the independent bookseller community. Even before IHF was chosen as the September Indie Next book. I lived in New York City in the late eighties and early nineties, and some of my best memories are of the bookstores in the city then: Shakespeare and Company, Endicott Books, Coliseum Books, Three Lives. I’m delighted that Three Lives survived, but it broke my heart to watch so many of these other stores fall under the stomping feet of the big boxes.

But now local, independent stores are coming back. As are local organic farms and local markets. Small independent publishers. It’s pretty exciting to have my book connected with this whole movement. Let’s hear it for “Free Thinkers and Independent Souls”!

1 comment:

Sam D said...

Thanks for your support of us INDIEs. I'm looking forawrd to meeting you at the NAIBA event next weekend. :) Sam @ Aaron's Books, Lititz PA.