I first went to Wordsmiths in Decatur a few months ago for the pub date of David Fulmer's most recent (and wonderful) novel The Blue Door. I'd heard about it for years, but hadn't made my way over there. When I walked in, I knew I'd been missing out. Wordsmiths is a beautiful bookstore with wide open spaces and plenty of shelves full of great books. It's tucked away in an old buiding right off the square in Decatur, and it's a grand place to wander with a cup of coffee on a Saturday afternoon.
The store is in trouble, and not because of low sales, but because of debt. The owner has asked for donations to keep the store open. He's not just asking for handouts, though, he's going to offer store credit or discounts in exchange.
Atlanta has some wonderful independent bookstores - Eagle Eye, Atlanta Book Exchange, Books Again, Wordsmiths - and they're worth preserving, whatever the cost. I grew up riding my bike with a few bucks and an empty bag to the Oxford Book Store on Peachtree. I would sit for a few hours and eat a blueberry muffin, drink a sprite, and read a book. Those are some of my fondest memories of childhood. Oxford is gone down now, and folks around here talk about the loss of the store like one would talk about a dead relative. Wordsmiths' has worked its way into Atlanta' s hearts and bookshelves like Oxford did, and I think it's worth a few bucks (or definitely more) to help save it. One could look at the situation as owner Zachary Steele just trying to save his own shirt, but a lot goes when an independent closes, and I would prefer not to see any more shut down around here. Atlanta's a funny town, we like our flash and new cars, but we also like community, and you find that in the good old independents - like Wordsmiths.
You can donate on the Wordsmiths homepage.