Sunday, June 30, 2013

Where Do You Buy Your Books?

My husband and I shop at a mass market retailer store on days when we're looking for a one-stop option to buy our baby and kid stuff, toys and gifts, household supplies, personal care products, and random seasonal items. At this place, one thing I try to avoid buying are books because such businesses don't rely primarily on book sales to be successful.

I respect everyone's book buying choices, and if you buy your books at mass market retailer locations or grocery stores, that's really perfectly fine with me because hey, you're supporting authors, and that's a good thing. And if I ever get published, and my book gets the privilege of being carried at one of these places, by all means, feel free to buy a copy.

Though I've bought books at mass market retail locations on rare occasions, I may wonder if, after I make my purchase, an angel nobly guarding over an indie bookstore will get one of its wings amputated with rusty gardening shears. 

So I buy from indie bookstores and Barnes & Noble as often as I can; these are my top choices for book purchases.

But here's this...I've also bought books from Amazon, currently the biggest online mass market retailer. Just by sharing this, maybe I'm conjuring up imagery of screaming, de-winged angels weeping tears of blood. And before I get called out for contradicting my earlier claim that I avoid buying books from mass market retailers, I want to say that Amazon isn't usually my first choice for where I shop for books. (Although I love using Amazon for buying a bunch of other stuff.) For example, I might buy from them when a bookseller doesn't carry the book I'm looking for and I don't have the time to call around to other places to see if they carry the book. That's where Amazon comes in very handy. And maybe someday, a novel of mine can be found on Amazon too. 

So I do what I can to support bookstores because booksellers ROCK. They totally do. I just don't buy from them 100% of the time. 

Where do you buy your books? 

19 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I only buy eBooks now, so my first stop is the iBookstore. After that I'm afraid it's Amazon, because so many books are only available from them.

Jill Haugh said...

I don't often buy them. Times are tough 'round these parts. I go to the library. We have an incredible interlibrary loan system, and most times, I punch in the name of the book and it gets delivered to my local library--free of charge.
I am pining for a Kindle Fire though.
Right after we get the new fridge...
~Just Jill

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I try to spread the book money/book love around and buy from a variety of places depending on the book and the situation in general - Are we near the indie bookstore? Then I'm stopping in. Are we ordering something else from Amazon? Then I'll add one or two books to the cart. Did I get a B&N coupon in my email? Etc.

John Wiswell said...

Hatred for Amazon needs to be tempered. It's the biggest retailer, but it's also by far the biggest platform for self-published authors. I have many friends who publish Kindle first.

I buy paper books from Amazon. I have no real local bookstore; the nearest is 90 minutes away, which is a distance my health does not let me drive often. There is one tiny second-hand shop 30 minutes away, which I do patronize. But Amazon is much more convenient, especially in ordering new books and having them shipped directly to friends for gifts.

Pat Hatt said...

Amazon is where I go, when a book is wanted at my show

Julie Dao said...

I think if anyone says they have never bought a book from Amazon, they are in denial! Amazon's a great resource. I prefer to buy B&N and indie if possible, and those are my first choices, but if I want something fast and can't find it through those outlets, Amazon it is.

S.P. Bowers said...

Well, I do shop at amazon. But most of the books I buy now are ebooks. There is a local Barnes and Noble but I have had difficulty with them in the past, they are rude, condescending and seem to actively be trying to drive customers away. I just got to the point where I didn't want to subject myself to that. Though if I do get some book browsing, kid free time I will still go there because there really isn't a close indie.

Real College Student of Atlanta said...

I usually order mine online at Amazon because it's so quick and that's where my book is for sale too. it's a reliable service!

Jay Noel said...

Amazon and small indie bookstores. I know, I'm book bi-polar!

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Almost everywhere.

Brick-and-mortar indie stores, brick-and-mortar chain stores, online indie stores (online book shopping isn't limited to Amazon!), but yes, Amazon too. Plus book festivals, yard sales, and used bookstores, not counting what I get from the library and local book swaps.

Paul R. Hewlett said...

Lots of places really. Amazon, certainly, I love brick and mortar book stores, especially independent ones. We have one near me that is called the Book Mouse (awesome). I also love to go to the local animal shelter book sale to buy some hard cover books that people donate. great post!

Paul R. Hewlett

Sherry Ellis said...

I have to admit, usually it's Amazon. I do on occasion got to Barnes and Noble or another independent book store to buy children's books.

Gina C said...

Interesting to see where everyone is buying!

I buy some books on Amazon, but usually try to purchase books at The Strand or Books of Wonder, two indie shops in NYC. I also love the Barnes & Noble in Union Square here something fierce. I used it as a caffeinated library when I first moved to the city, young and broke.

Nicole said...

I buy from Barnes & Noble (in-store) or Amazon, and I still hit up the library quite a bit too.

Ghadeer said...

I usually just borrow from the library, but when I do buy, it's definitely from bookstores!

Stephsco said...

I use my library pretty heavily. When I buy, I like to buy from my local indie. A few times I have looked for specialty books that Amazon has, and well, Big Machine or not, that still supports the authors. I go to author events at my indie and usually buy their books as part of the admission, which is always a good thing to support an author that way.

DL Hammons said...

The majority of my book buying is split between Hastings and B&N, with a bit done at Amazon if I can't find it anywhere else. I have an e-reader, but I'm still not ready to give up the physical book yet! :)

Elise Fallson said...

I wish I could say I buy my books in an old bookstore that smelled of paper and history...but ever since I moved to France, I just about stopped going to bookstores. It's frustrating finding books I want to read but having them translated into French. It's just not the same reading experience and honestly I feel a lot gets lost in the translation. I really miss going to bookstores. Though there's a real famous English bookstore called Shakespeare and Company in Paris (only a 4 hour drive from where I live, lol). So my only option is Amazon if I want to buy anything in English...and I do buy a lot of them, especially English books for the kids.

Cynthia said...

Thanks for all your responses, everyone! It looks like Amazon is popular with many of you, and understandably so. It's so convenient to get the books you want delivered straight to you.

I was just at an indie bookstore looking for a book; the store didn't carry this book. So I'll probably end up getting it on Amazon, and I'll be sure to whisper a quiet prayer for the indie bookstore angels when I submit my Amazon order. =)

...Oh, and yes, I use my library too, of course!

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