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For the Love of Reading: Bookworks, An Independent Bookstore

By Jessica Metcalf

In a world of big box stores and online giants, it is refreshing to see a small business thriving and claiming a role in the community. In the fall of 2014, Bookworks celebrated 30 years as a locally owned-and-operated independent bookstore in Albuquerque's North Valley.

Amanda Sutton, Head of Events and Marketing at Bookworks, explains that the experience that an independent bookstore- particularly Bookworks- offers its customers is different from that at a big box store. "We offer friendly customer service and expert book recommendations because our booksellers read, A LOT. When you spend a dollar at a local business, 70-80% of that dollar stays right here in your community. That can't always be said for shopping at the big box stores, whose corporate offices are based in other states or multinationally."

Also unlike larger stores, Bookworks strives to create a community around the love of reading and encourages people to linger. "We are a "third place" for people to come hang out, browse and learn something when they are not at home or work," Sutton says. Bookworks hosts 5-10 events a week for adults and children- most of them in the store- and rewards its customers with a loyalty card program. After attending ten such events, they receive 30% off of their next purchase.

This year, Bookworks is celebrating the first ever Indie Bookstore Day on Saturday, May 2nd with promotions and author events in-store, all day. It's a perfect day for Albuquerque folks to meet local authors, browse and buy some books, and bond with the staff and other patrons over a shared love of reading.

Sutton says, "Reading opens our world to people and places beyond what we encounter in our everyday lives. Reading allows us to get away from reality, to confront it, to learn new things and become more open to diverse ideas and worldviews." She believes, too, that, "Reading an actual, physical book exercises your brain in a way that electronic readers and reading do not." So if you're in the area, check out Bookworks on Rio Grande Boulevard and buy yourself a physical book- or two.

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About The Author

J.L. Metcalf has a Bachelor's degree in English from Rhode Island College. She has...

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