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Why Support Your Local Christian Bookstore? Earned Here - Spend Here
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In this edition of Christian Life in London we are presenting the first in a series about the "Buy Local" benefits. Consumers have so many more options today and shopping without leaving the comfort of home usually means buying from afar. In this edition we are asking you to consider buying local and, specifically supporting your local, independently owned and operated bookstores.

"Buy Local" — you see the decal in the store window, the sign at the farmer's market, the bright, cheerful logos for Support Ontario Farmers, Earned Here so Spend Here, Our London, and so on. The obvious message is "let's-support-local-business", a kind of community boosterism. But buying close to home is more than just a feel-good, it's-worth-paying-more-for-local matter. A number of researchers and organizations are taking a closer look at how money flows, and what they're finding shows the profound economic impact of keeping money in town — and how the fate of many communities around the nation and the world increasingly depend on it.

At the most basic level, when you buy local, more money stays in the community. Money is like blood. It needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going. When money is spent elsewhere — cross border for example, it flows out, like a wound. By supporting the local retailers, consumers keep their communities from becoming areas devoid of neighborhood shops and services.

Another argument for buying local is that it enhances the "velocity" of money, or circulation speed, in the area. The idea is that if currency circulates more quickly, the money passes through more hands—and more people have had the benefit of the money and what it has purchased for them. If you're buying local, chances are that store is not making a huge profit. That means more goes into input costs—supplies and upkeep, printing, advertising, paying employees—which puts that money right back in the community.

Now, take a read of the following submissions by four of our local Christian Bookstores. These are convincing presentations on why these enterprises are most worthy of our support.

Creation Bookstore
900 Oxford St. London

Peaceful Dove
677 Hamilton Road London

The Mustard Seed
502 Springbank Dr. London

Why Support Your Local Christian Bookstore? - Creation Bookstore — 900 Oxford St. London

I would like to say at the beginning of this article how grateful I am for the support we receive from all of you who frequent Creation Bookstore. We are able to continue only because of your loyalty to us. We truly consider it a privilege to serve you.

A lot of things go through my mind when someone asks why they should buy from their local Christian Bookstore. Let me mention a few that are at the top of my list.

1. Price
Let's deal with this head on. The most common reason we hear why people don't shop from "bricks and mortar" stores is because they think we are too expensive. Yes, it is true that if you are buying one copy of a book our price will likely seem more at face value. That however, is only part of the story. Many people think when they see an on-line sale price of $9.99 with a regular price of $15.99 that they are getting a fantastic deal. Read the fine print regarding shipping charges, import costs, your credit card exchange rate fees etc. And then see how much it really costs.

Many are surprised to find out we can compete on quantity purchases. Are you looking for multiple copies of a book? Contact us and we usually are able to match or beat on-line pricing and delivery.

The exchange rate is something customers ask us about regularly. A book has a price printed on it as $13.99 US and we are charging $14.99 Canadian. Why the price difference when the dollar appears to be at par? Let me ask you this: Why is California lettuce .69 in Michigan but .99 at my local grocery store. It came from the same farm. Why are Florida oranges one price across the border but 40% higher in Ontario? There isn't nearly enough space in this article to address this difficult issue. Let me say that it's simply not as easy as going to the bank and exchanging Canadian dollars for US currency. It is a far more complex issue that includes freight, duty, federal, provincial and municipal taxes, wages and many other items. It is not because we as a retailer are overcharging.

2. Service
Everyone has a horror story about the lousy service they received from Company XYZ. Even the most reputable businesses can't please everyone all the time. As a business, we are always doing our best to serve the customer first. We want and need to earn your business. You are not an interruption but the reason we are here! We train our staff to be as helpful to our customers as possible and not just be cashiers. If you have a question we will do our best to answer it. If we don't have an answer we'll try to get one for you. This service is nearly impossible to obtain on-line or from a big box store that happens to carry a few Christian items. We can help!

3. Community
Much of what I read in the New Testament deals with the Christian Community. The Book of Acts tells us believers had material possessions in common. They gave willingly to help the less fortunate. Churches sent donations to help other churches that were struggling. The widows and orphans were supported by the church.

Creation Bookstore is part of the Christian Community at large. We promote church events in our store. Every week ministries approach us for donations and we gladly help as many as possible. This can't be done without you supporting us.

When you buy from your local Christian Bookstore you help keep people that attend and support local churches employed (no it is not volunteer labour like a lot of ministries). Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying. It's not "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". That's greed. I'm saying let's support each other including other Christian businesses because we're Community.

People come to the store because they like the atmosphere. "I just needed to come here today" is not uncommon to hear. Others see old friends and catch up on the latest. Some open up and discuss a difficult time they're going through and we are able to pray with them. We have had people come into the store and commit their life to Christ.

Community. Supporting one another. Lifting each other up. Being a Community. That's the best reason I can think of for your support.

Thank you again for the privilege of letting us — Andrea, Pat, Teletha, Heather, Ryan, Susan, Nancy, Cathy and Kevin - serve you, the Christian Community here in London.

Truly Local - Peaceful Dove at 677 Hamilton Road

Peaceful Dove was started in London Ontario in 1991 by two sisters named Fatima and Natalia. It was their dream to open a bookstore in the community. This dream has served the Christian community for many years and the plan is to serve for many more.

A little bit about Peaceful Dove is we are specialized in catholic literature, but provide and meet many other Christian needs. We may look small from the outside, but we have a beautiful open floor plan with lots to meet your needs. Why shop at Peaceful Dove? We share our faith with our customers and relate with them on a personnel level. To us it means more than a sale it is personnel. We are not behind the cash register, we are people meeting the needs in the faith community and making sure that what you buy will meet and build your faith.

Some of the many things we carry are christening outfits for boys and girls, as well as first communion outfits. We have a wide variety of books to meet your needs, and have many great gift ideas throughout our store.

Our mission is to provide an environment to nourish the spiritual development and growth of our Catholic community to celebrate the glory of God in His son Jesus, and Peaceful Dove follows this every day.

I look forward to serving you when you come to visit Peaceful Dove at 677 Hamilton Road

The Mustard Seed - Serving the Christian Community with inspirational books and gifts since 1974

The Mustard Seed has operated out of the current location at 502 Springbank Dr. For 11 years. We offer a large selection of inspirational books and gifts to serve the Catholic community as well as other Christian denominations.

Our bible section includes a variety of translations with an emphasis on the NRSV and RSV, Good News, NAB and NABRE, New Jerusalem and Jerusalem, as well as a selection of others including Douay Rheims, NKJ, KJ, NLT and CEV in a variety of bindings. Our children's selection includes complete bibles as well as beautifully illustrated bible stories. We also carry complete bibles for young and older adolescents with extra sections to ignite a lifelong devotion to reading the word of God. For more in depth study we carry many commentaries and summaries by well-respected bible scholars.

For adults we carry titles by authors whose works have remained classics in modern day Christianity such as Dorothy Day, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, G.K. Chesterton, Richard Rohr, Ronald Rolheiser, Peter Kreeft and C.S. Lewis. Works by and about saints such as St. Francis, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese, St. Anthony of Padua as well as world renowned figures such as Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II also provide reading material that continues to be relevant through the ages. Our prayer books cater to beginners and seasoned seekers of a meaningful relationship with God.

For those who are grieving or supporting a friend or family member at a difficult time, we offer books, and devotionals as well as mementoes.

Our greeting card and gift sections include items to commemorate sacraments such as Baptism, Christening, First Communion, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Matrimony, as well as other milestones such as Graduation, etc. We carry a unique variety of icons - richly symbolic images of Christ, His Blessed Mother, and saints - the perfect ordination or clergy appreciation gift.

On our shelves you will find inspirational jewelry such as pendants and bracelets including rosary bracelets, crosses, crucifixes and saints medals. We are also happy to special order any jewelry items. Other products regularly in stock include clergy wear, candles, posters, framed wall art and much more. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are available to help you select the perfect gift!