Think eternally, shop locally

Sarah R. on Reasons to Support Your Local Catholic Bookstore.

Yes.  Yes.

If there is not a local store you are able to shop at, mail order is the next best thing. For that reason, I’m 100% behind all catholic retailers.  But you’ve got to support your local shop, because they do a work the mail-order folks can’t do.  Mine:

  • Provides real live friendly clerks to answer questions about the faith from passersby.
  • Opens a whole world of catholic thought to people who just stopped in a for a first-communion card.
  • Lets you look at the books!  It’s way easier to size up a book in person than on the pc.
  • Supports local catholic events with a bookshop presence.
  • Turns out for parish sales, allowing Catholics who would never even know great Catholic books exist to browse at their leisure.
  • Provides a venue for authors to sell books and meet readers.
  • Offers free book study courses — authentic, faithfully Catholic religious ed that reaches an audience your parish may not be equipped to teach.

This is not a profit-making venture.  No one is getting rich stocking GKC and nun-of-the-month calendars. Book stores have miserable margins, small dealers face higher costs than the big guys, and the Catholic niche is tiny.  These shops are run as a ministry.

If you knew your parish religious education program was evangelizing hundreds of non-Catholics and fallen-away Catholics, wouldn’t you put a few bucks into the special collection for that ministry?

If your parish had a full-time staff person whose only job was to answer questions about the faith from people too shy to darken the door of a church, don’t you think a little contribution towards that person’s puny salary would be in order?

Support your local Catholic bookstore.


Here are the ones I know about in my corner of the universe:

St. Anthony’s in Greenville and Spartanburg

St. Francis Shop in Columbia

Pauline Books and Media in Charleston

UPDATED to add:

Queen of Peace Bookstore in Vancouver, WA

If you know of others, please add them in the combox.  Or write a post with your own links.


7 thoughts on “Think eternally, shop locally

    1. Just got back from the signing and the party, a fabulous Catholic evening. The book:

      I know Ronda Chervin a bit though the Ballards; Ruth and Richard are friends of ours we met through Fr. Longenecker in 2008 or 2007. I interviewed Ruth awhile back about being an ikon writer, which was published in the St. Austin Review, and I put it on the blog as well:

  1. Yes! Our local Bookstore (Queen of Peace in Vancouver, Washington) has a large reading room where I had one of my booksignings for The Tripods Attack, along with a small chapel and kneelers. Wonderful, wonderful place without the slightest bit of pretension; totally kid-firendly, with used toys in a box in the reading room and a relaxed atmosphere.

    I shop there & Steer folks there whenever I can. A Catholic oasis in a desert of secular culture, such places are the best thing to have when you can’t get to adoration, IMHO.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *