Dan Stringer

navigating the convergence of faith, culture and the common good

10 reasons to buy (at least some of) your books at Archives

March 31, 2016

As one of several hundred Fuller Seminary students fortunate enough to live across the street from Archives Bookshop, I originally posted this last week on our student housing facebook page. I’m re-sharing it here for the benefit of other Pasadena friends, as well as anyone with the opportunity to shop at an independent bookstore near you.

1. Whether you’ve ever purchased a book from Archives or not, we all benefit from its presence in our neighborhood.

2. If my calculations are correct, walking across the street consumes slightly less fossil fuels than planes and trucks shipping us the exact same books that are already on the shelves at Archives.

3. Our shopping practices have consequences beyond our wallets. Just as there’s a systemic cost to buying the “cheapest” food/clothes/gas/electricity, there’s also a cost to buying the cheapest books.

4. When we send our money to a faceless online retailer outside the community, our money is removed from the local economy, the local tax revenue stream, and the seminary ecosystem.

5. Erin Dufault-Hunter and Tommy Givens (professors who know a thing or two about ethics) encourage their students every quarter to #ShopLocal at Archives.

6. Call me a purist, but scrolling through screenshots just isn’t the same as browsing a real bookshelf.

7. Archives will gladly buy your used books. It’s a fantastic way to obtain store credit, clear precious shelf space in your tiny apartment without shipping/driving your books anywhere, and make your unwanted books available to someone who might actually read them.

8. John & Judy (the owners) go to my church and are awesome folks. Running this store is their life’s craft.

9. There’s always a decent sale going on at Archives, like the $1 Book Sale happening April 1 & 2, where 10,000 books will be a dollar each (tax included).

10. Better to have Archives on the northwest corner of Walnut St. & Oakland Ave. than a redundant encore of some megacorp that already exists in our city. There’s only one Archives.

[painting by Joseph Stoddard]