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.
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.