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Patrick Carman's 'Half Nelson' proposal: for each Amazon purchase, buy a book at an independent bookstore

'39 Clues' author Patrick Carman says he knows Amazon is a convenient option, but suggests buying a book from an independent bookstore each time you buy from Amazon.

By Staff Writer / January 16, 2014

Tammy Heupels (l.) sits with her son Johann (center) and Annie Philbrick, owner of Connecticut's Bank Square Books, in the store's reading area.

Ann Hermes


Author Patrick Carman knows Amazon can be convenient.

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And so Carman, the author of the “39 Clues” series for children, is proposing a compromise between the online behemoth and local indie bookstores.

Carman wrote on his Facebook page that his idea was inspired by the recent closing of Mrs. Nelson’s Toy & Book Shop in California.

“Like most people, there are things I love about Amazon,” he wrote. “It's cheap, it's fast, and it's at my doorstep. But Amazon will never replace the important role my local indie plays in my community.”

So the author has put forward the “Half Nelson” idea. If you buy a book from Amazon, just be sure to purchase one from your nearest indie location, too.

“I will continue to enjoy the cheap, fast, at my doorstep service Amazon provides – a whole 50% of the time!” Carman wrote. “And I will enjoy wandering the [a]isles of my local bookstore and supporting their important work in my community the other 50% of the time.”

Some left supportive comments on Carman’s Facebook page, stating they would give the compromise a try. 

“This is a great idea, Patrick, and a good way to raise awareness of what's been going on with independent bookstores,” user Andy Nelson, son of the Mrs. Nelson’s owner, wrote. “Unfortunately, it's too late for Mrs. Nelson's (my mom's store), but other stores still need the help.”


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