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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Chat: Online Retailers vs. Brick-and-mortar Bookstores

It's Book Chat time!!  This week's chat is on book buying, and whether you favor online retailers like Amazon, or local indies or "big box" stores.  Make sure to let us know your thoughts on the topic in the comments, or link up your blog or vlog post on the linky below!

NEXT WEEK: Instead of a Chat, next week we will be having a Book Push on favorite contemporary reads, in honor of Just Contemporary month.


  1. This is a really interesting one - like you, I do both, but I'd like to say I buy more 'in person'. But as you've said, the truth of the thing is it costs too much to do that all the time.

  2. I prefer online because the books I want to buy are pretty much NEVER in any of the book stores. Also, they are so much cheaper online.

    I do love going into bookstores, though. I pretty much always leave a bookstore with at least one book, sometimes more if there is a special on.

  3. So as a book buyer, do you re-read allot?

    I think that's what keeps me from buying. I never re-read.

    But you have a definite point about supporting the books you love.

    Physical bookstores are soooo marked up it truly hurts me. Especially since I usually know how much I can get it for online and it's almost always considerably cheaper.

    Amazon bought BookDepository? WOW! I had no idea.

    I wonder if another reason Amazon is cheaper is because they don't have the overhead a regular bookstore does (i.e. the cost of location and more employees).

    I adore buying used.

    Regarding your question: I absolutely don't believe it's our responsibility to feel bad for the physical bookstores. We would have to purchase less books and do more re-reading to support the mark up.

    I do believe used bookstores will rise as big named bookstores fall.

  4. Great topic. I definitely have strong feelings about it.

  5. I am a compulsive book buyer so, most often, I will see a review for a book online that I just must have "Right Now" and will immediately go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and buy it. This issue of mine has been made even worse with the lovely immediate gratification of ebooks which are sent directly to my Nook or Tablet. However, I also frequent local bookstores as well as Books A Million where I purchase books and I never pass up a yard sale where books are being sold. (Luckily for my family, I also give away a lot of books to friends or you would find us on a certain A&E show.)
    I also find it important to support the authors and publishers, so with each of my favorite books, I like to have one copy to read and one copy that goes onto my favorites shelf and is not opened. Its a strange habit but at least my crazy book eccentricities means twice the sale for those books I love best.

  6. This is a great topic. As a reader, I love finding my books in a bookstore. There's just something about being surrounded by books, and being able to pick them up. But with my book spending habits, while I find the books in the store, I generally buy them online for financial reasons.

    I love the idea of the book literacy program though. :)

  7. I wish there were more independent book sellers in my town. We have two book stores. One is a used bookstore which is cool if you're looking for something out of the ordinary (which is usually not my cup of tea) the other is...well, I'm not sure. It has a lot of books on religion and "New Age" practices. They have a fiction section that takes up maybe two sets of book shelves.

    The bookstores I could see myself going to are an hour away. Sometimes I go to these but I usually can't justify spending the gas money to go. Plus, the books are so much more expensive.

    Needless to say, I do most of my buying online at Barnes and Noble. I can find really inexpensive books there and if I spend over $25 I get free shipping! I also have a Nook, so I do a lot of purchasing of e-books through that too.

    - Jackie

  8. I think I do a mixture. I like buying online as sometimes I get better deals, but buying in store means I have the book sooner. :)


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