Amazon Books

I love indie bookstores. They always seem to have so much more personality than big chain bookstores, no matter how tiny they are. But I also love Amazon, because I can pre-order books and have them delivered to my door the day they come out. And that is also pretty awesome.

But.

About a week ago, Amazon opened their first flesh-and-blood (or ink and paper, I guess) bookstore. It’s somewhat imaginatively named “Amazon Books”, and it’s a bookstore that only stocks books rated four stars and above. And their books are the same price as they are online; which is normally three to seven dollars cheaper than the price on the back cover.

Now, this might seem like a good idea on Amazon’s part, but there’s one small problem: Amazon already takes a massive amount of buyers from indie bookstore already, just with their online store. And there’s another small problem: they’re just up the street from University Bookstore.

University Bookstore ranks up there with Powell’s and Elliot Bay Book Co. as one of my favorite bookstores. They’ve got a good selection of both new and used books, and I’ve had more than one chat with their workers about favorite books and what we like to read; something that I’ve attempted at Barnes & Noble, only to have my attempt fail miserably. Everyone is extremely nice, really LOVES books, and the bookstore has a great selection on top of it.

And I worry about what Amazon Books will do to their business. My hope is that people will be stuck in their habits, and that U-Dub students will continue to buy their novels where they buy their textbooks, but other people might not.

So, I have one request: if you live in Seattle, or are visiting Seattle, don’t visit Amazon Books. Visit University Bookstore instead.

Happy Friday,

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5 thoughts on “Amazon Books

  1. It’s tough, it really is. Whereas I would love to buy books at ‘proper’ bookstores and not support these multimillion pound companies, for me it comes down to cost. I can buy many of my books at supermarkets and off Amazon for sometimes half the price they are in a bookshop. I try to balance it out by treating myself sometimes or going to second hand book shops, but I do feel bad that I am pouring money into Amazon when many bookshops are struggling.

    I am sceptical of Amazon Books but if I lived anywhere near there, I’m sure I’d use it to save on the Amazon delivery fees… while they are offering books so cheaply, it is difficult not to be seduced by the prospect of saving money, even if it isn’t what we should be doing.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post 🙂

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    1. It is very hard, especially since Christmas is coming up and a lot of my family are bookworms; it’s easy to be seduced into the idea of a brand new seven dollar paperback even though you know the reason Amazon can sell them for less money is because they already make millions of dollars.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck! Bookstores – or any shop – staffed by people who know what they work around are real treasures. Amazon Books worries me; if it expands, it’ll pretty much be King of the Heap. But I can’t help but think of what the chain stores did to the indie booksellers in the places I’ve lived (wiped them out), and my speculation goes all literary cyberpunk. Literaturepunk? Dang, there’s a free idea if you want it…

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    1. That’s what I worry about, too; Borders is gone, but Barnes & Noble is still going strong and more people will go to a big chain bookstore than a small indie one. And Amazon Books might just bulldoze both B&N and the little indie ones I love.

      Like

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