We Need Diverse Bookstores!

  • By Hannah Oliver Depp
  • August 30, 2019

And Loyalty seeks to answer the call.


We’re on the cusp of something great with independent bookstores. We’re not dying out; we’re growing. We’re connecting to our immediate communities and the larger world of books in new ways.

Opening Loyalty Bookstore as a pop-up last year in Silver Spring, MD, was a joy that grew into a vision when we opened full time in Petworth, DC, seven months ago. My mission as a bookseller and a black, female small-business owner is to enrich communities through strong, independent thinking and to ensure a competitive future in the retail world.

Loyalty Bookstores is the manifestation of that work.

Shirley Chisholm famously said, “If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Our staff and selection highlight the array of voices and experiences that make our neighborhoods unique. We’re working with community leaders, lawmakers, and customers to keep our downtowns and small business thriving. Our message is reaching everyone: We create a community through books, and we’re here to stay.

Shopping at an independent bookstore provides curated experiences and unique events. But, according to the American Booksellers Association, your dollars spent at Loyalty and other indies also directly help your local economy: Out of every $100 you spend, over half stays in your community.

Your tax dollars are directly reinvested. Local businesses donate to charity at more than twice the rate of chains. We provide creative, fulfilling jobs and care deeply about the wellbeing of our staff. You also help the environment by buying local so that there is less packaging/transportation, thus reducing your carbon footprint.

Simply put, shopping at an indie means more choice in the market, more diversity, and a truly unique community to call your own.

If you love independent bookstores, please consider participating in our Indiegogo campaign to help us secure the future of our store in Petworth and to open a full store in Silver Spring.

Every independent bookstore is a reflection of its community and a challenge to that community to continue to grow. We reflect the true range of our communities in Silver Spring and Petworth. Loyalty Bookstores is not just making sure we have a seat at the table; we’re inviting the whole family. Please sit down and join us.

Hannah Oliver Depp owns Loyalty Bookstores.

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