The Upside To The Decline Of Christian Bookstores

The Upside To The Decline Of Christian Bookstores

The demise of Christian bookstores may actually be good news for American Christianity itself. If you’ve visited a Christian bookstore lately, you might have noticed that they traffic in much more than just books. As the market contracted, the diversity of inventory expanded to include products with higher profit margins. Shelves are filled to overflow with a range of religious home décor, toys, music, and clothing designed to appeal to spiritual shoppers. You’ll find inspirational figurines, Bible-themed Monopoly-style board games, automobile decals, and even religious breath mints. Christian kitsch can help retailers pay the rent. But the “trinketization of Christianity” has plastered a cheap face onto a rich religious movement with a more than 2,000-year history. Purging these items from the marketplace helps strip the consumerist veneer off the faith.