I read this article in Publisher's Weekly (further link to Editorial Ass a.k.a. Moonrat). She suggests, "Buy a book this weekend. Just buy one."
Most everyone's heard about how the economic crisis has affected the publishing industry. Many people will be reining in their spending habits and chopping gift budgets. But if you're buying gifts, why not make it a book? I typically buy the little kids books anyway. I love to share some of the titles my son asked for over and over (A Fly Went By, The Fraggle books, Go Dog Go, The BFG and one with the line, "Cheese it, the cops!"). If anyone remembers it, let me know!
Normally, unless it's an author I love to read, or a writing buddy, I check out books from the library. Or frequent Half-Price Books. Or Amazon used. I know, I shouldn't admit it. But if I bought all the books I read, I'd be serving paperbacks for dinner. (When you do go to the library, save a clerk's job and avoid the self-checkout kiosks!)
However, this year, everyone on my gift list is receiving books. I love B&N and Borders, but consider giving some of your business to an independent. Legacy Books has just opened in Plano. It's a huge store with a comfortable environment and knowledgeable booksellers. Hopefully everyone knows about Powell's Books in Portland, the largest independent in the country.
And if we all encourage our friends and colleagues to do the same, maybe we can make a difference. Push a publishing house into acquiring a new author's book. It might just be yours. Or mine.