Currently Serving: Northern California
Local Independent Bookstores
Why Shop LOAKL?
When you shop locally, you invest in your community.
We all know that, but sometimes we don’t have time to take a stroll to the local bookstore. So we guiltily shop online. With LOAKL, you get easy shopping without the guilt. You place your online order with us, and we source from a local shop. Instead of giving your money to an impersonal online retailer, you’re supporting the place down the street. And, importantly, you’re keeping vital tax dollars in the neighborhood—improving your schools, parks, libraries, and roads. Use your wallet to vote for the world you want to see.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is LOAKL faster than Amazon? Sometimes. When the book is in stock and available locally we can often find it very quickly! Sometimes it does need to be ordered, in which case it will not be faster. It will, however, be sourced from an independent retailer.
Is LOAKL cheaper than Amazon? No. But you shop with the knowledge that your money is going back into your community—to the businesses that support local teams and events, provide community gathering spaces, provide local jobs, pay local taxes, and give back to the neighborhood.
Is LOAKL better for the environment? Often times it is. Buying local prevents your books and supplies from taking yet another cross-country trip. We are looking for ways to provide greener deliveries such as bike delivery. Stay tuned!
Why Support Independent Bookstores?
In the town where I grew up, there were two places to explore reading: a small, unassuming shop where I bought Agatha Christie mysteries and MAD magazines, and a Carnegie library with a beautiful courtyard and majestic entrance with pillars so wide I couldn’t get my arms around them. It was in these spaces I first began to appreciate how these places were able to spark the power of being transported by reading.
“All readers …will recall the actual spot, the actual physical surroundings, where they first read the books that have affected them the most.”
—John Cowper Powys
Later, I found that when I travelled, I gravitated toward the bookstores in new and unfamiliar places—it was in Dark Carnival in Berkeley that I first discovered Edward Gorey and in a ramshackle bookshop in Spain where I was introduced to Borges, and later a tiny crammed bookstore near Portobello Road where I somehow stumbled upon a copy of Baudelaire.
After college, I got my first job in publishing—my dream job writing book jacket copy and press releases, and occasionally making book title recommendations. I felt grateful to be working with authors and independent booksellers. Publishing is a fun and unique industry—and independent bookstores are the magical places where reading, discovery, and community happen.
With every dollar we spend we contribute to the world we want to see, and what matters to me is the presence of our independent bookstores in our community. And if they matter to you too, I invite you to join us at LOAKL as we make it more convenient to find books locally from independent bookstores.
Thank you for visiting our site, and I hope you’ll help us spread the word! We welcome your feedback, as always.
Hannah Onstad, Co-Founder
WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING
“This is a great system and the best alternative to Amazon!!!!”
“Using Amazon feels wrong to me, it is just not where I want my dollars to go. I want my dollars to go to the local economy. Now I have a convenient way to make that happen! Reliable & hassle-free, LOAKL is now my go-to for books for gifts, school, pleasure reading. Now I feel better as I shop online.”
“Thank you so much for this service. It feels so much better to support our local bookstores and you make it so easy!”
“I’ve used this service twice and it’s awesome! Thanks LOAKL.com!”
“What an incredible new service, I love that I can patronize my favorite local bookstore and get it delivered to my doorstep!”
“Love the service. I will keep telling my friends about you guys.”
“When I was a child I loved books so much. My mother knew if I said I was going to the library, I was going to be gone all day. Later in life, bookstores were social gathering places for me. They’re where I picked up hot, intellectual dates. Not only were they sexy but nerdy too! I love to peruse the books and feel the paper, and feel which book I want. I love second-hand bookstores and feeling the bindings that are broken and bent, whenever you get a really broken binding you know this book has been loved. There’s a revival of bookstore culture. I want to ensure the experiences that I had are available for generations to come.”
“I do a lot of screen reading for work, but when I hold a book in my hands and read I feel like I’m on vacation.”