Don’t Tread on Words — A Bookseller’s Declaration of Independence

by The Village Green
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Independence Day is a meaningful holiday for our family and is a great day in Maplewood. Our daughter, Liz, grew up here and always loves spending July 4th in town.

[words] is offering Hachette's books at special discounts to support the publishers fight with Amazon.

[words] is offering Hachette’s books at special discounts to support the publishers fight with Amazon.

At [words] Bookstore, we post a window each year celebrating our nation’s freedom and saluting our community’s independent spirit.

This year, we chose to single out the Hachette Book Group and its authors who are bearing the brunt of the current battle to preserve both our freedom of expression and the literary ecosystem that fosters a free flow of ideas as well as the extraordinary quality of books that we proudly offer to our customers. We wish to support these authors who are losing sales because of the strong-arming tactics being used against the Hachette Book Group.

[words] celebrates Independence Day with a rallying cry for independent retailers.

[words] celebrates Independence Day with a rallying cry for independent retailers.

Accordingly, we decided to put all Hachette Book Group books in our stock on sale for 20% off during this Independence Day week and to create a window featuring some of these books with the proud Gadsden flag of the American revolution, “Don’t Tread On Me.”

Our other store window promotes the town-wide “Where’s Waldo?” scavenger hunt, that [words] runs and that hundreds of local children have enjoyed for the past three years. One of those children is our son, Daniel, who has autism, and who is warmly welcomed into the retail stores in our community, not just for the scavenger hunt but throughout the year.

We do not oppose online shopping, and recognize that it is often a useful option, particularly for items that we cannot purchase locally. Moreover, [words] has received more than a thousand orders online from our customers.

Nonetheless, our son Daniel benefits tremendously from participating in our wonderful, diverse community by the warm greetings that he receives from local merchants and customers, and we believe that, with his cheerful personality, he contributes to our community as well.

Our community will be much less attractive if it loses independent retail stores. We know that our village provides a critical opportunity for Daniel to interact with others, and we suspect that he is not the only individual whose life is enriched by this welcoming environment.

Maplewood celebrates independence and values individual differences. We hope that [words] is helping to keep that “Don’t Tread On Me” spirit alive in Maplewood this Independence Day!

Jonah Zimiles

[words] Bookstore [words] Maplewood

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