A young couple, Marko and Jennifer, owned an independent bookstore in San Diego, Calif. The couple suddenly found out that Marko needed emergency open-heart surgery. Jennifer found care for their daughter so she could be at the hospital for her husband’s 10-hour surgery, but without a staff, they had to close down the store, unsure when it could reopen. What to do? Enter Scott, friend of Marko and Jennifer. Scott worked at one of the competing bookstores in town. Other booksellers asked what they could do to help. It turns out that eight other bookstore owners were happy to lend a hand keeping the shop open until Marko recovered. Those of you who love the small bookstores know that the owners are deeply engaged in the community. This story of Marko and Scott shows the reason why the small independent bookstores are thriving. Community, rather than cutthroat competition, can always make a difference.
by Kathryn Casper, OSB