Books | Arts | Business

Author Calls On Writers To Staff Indie Bookstores This Weekend

OPB | Nov. 29, 2013 10:11 a.m. | Updated: Nov. 29, 2013 12:48 p.m. | Portland

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Author Sherman Alexie is challenging writers to go to work at independent bookstores Saturday, to encourage readers to buy local.

Sherman Alexie reading from his new collection "Blasphemy" during Think Out Loud

Sherman Alexie reading from his new collection "Blasphemy" during Think Out Loud

Allison Frost / OPB

Alexie grew up close to Spokane, and now lives in Seattle. He says authors should go and work a shift at their local bookstore, in support of the stores that support them throughout the year.

“Independent bookstores are really the source of most alternative literature movements,” Alexie says. “My career wouldn’t exist without them.”

Alexie says booksellers’ recommendations made the difference in his access to readers before he won critical recognition and mass-market success.

Alexie issued the challenge in September. The National Booksellers’ Association picked up the cause, and now writers and bookstores across the country are participating.

Authors around Oregon are taking Alexie up on the challenge, from Astoria to Sisters. The booksellers association, which is the non-profit arm of the industry, says writers like Willy Vlautin, Cheryl Strayed, Laurie Notaro, and Amanda Coplin are participating.

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