Friday, 13 September 2013

Supporting the Indies. . .

I can't imagine living anywhere without a healthy dose of independent stores, no matter what they sell, be it butchers, bakers, bookstores and of course yarn shops (Liverpool desperately needs a good indie yarn shop).  So I was delighted when a friend told me about the Liverpool Independent Card.  For a small yearly fee, your card gets you discounts on all sorts of independent businesses. I've been very impressed with their website which is busy profiling all of them - some of which I already frequent - and it's made me determined to get out and visit as many as I can. I have several long breaks between shifts each week and so I spend a lot of time in cafes knitting, reading, writing letters and generally watching the world go by; the fact that coffee features large in this program is great for me.  Love the graphic design of the card too.

Then there's Amazon. I hate Amazon; I've been boycotting them for years.  I hated them when I was an indie bookseller.  I hated them when I worked in publishing. I hated them when they bought out the Book Depository which was a great online source for books. I hate the idea that they may be building a huge warehouse near Liverpool.  I hate that they don't pay their fair share of corporate taxes and get away with it.

I can order hard-to get books from UK independents like Foyles, or ask my local bookstore (which is also signed up to the Indie card) to order for me.  Music and DVDs have been much harder (the selection at HMV, really the only retailer around, is pretty poor).  But a mention on the Persephone Books website led me to Hive.  They have a very decent selection of books, music and DVDs AND they discount, AND they offer free shipping for a minimum order AND best of all, they donate a portion of each sale to a local independent that you can choose to support (I've chosen the shop in Liverpool's beautiful Anglican Cathedral).  They will also deliver for free to that indie and you can pick up your parcel there. Perfect! I tested them out (they have great customer service) and ordered Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe and a DVD that I've been dying to add to my collection since I saw the movie several years ago at a David Lean festival at Toronto's old Cinematheque.  The movie is Passionate Friends, based on a novel by H.G. Wells with a screenplay by Eric Ambler and starring Trevor Howard, Claude Rains and Ann Todd.  It's definitely not a sequel to Brief Encounter, but just imagine what would happen if Alec did come back into Laura's life nine years later.  That's more or less the theme of this movie. I've always had a huge crush on Trevor Howard so am looking forward to a swoonfest with this dvd soon.  I am so happy to have discovered Hive.

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