So, I haven’t talked a lot about it, but I’ve been slowly weaning myself off of buying books from Amazon. I’ve got several reasons for this (such as it makes it waaaay too easy to buy a whole bunch of books at once), but, mostly, it’s because I would rather support indie bookstores.
I live in a city of book lovers. I can list at least fifteen bookstores that are a less then twenty minute drive from my house. And, it’s pretty well know that Amazon has slowly been picking away at their business. Amazon makes it so easy to buy whatever you’re buying off of Amazon, and then throw in a book, too. The same things stores like Target try to apply with a book selection, but with a much wider selection.
And I’ve got nothing against Amazon. I like Amazon. I’ve gotten more socks and candies from other countries off of Amazon then I’d like to admit. But just in the book department, I like to know that my money goes to support stores that all they do is love books. It’s awesome!
But, both ways have their pros and cons. And so, how else to do this but with a pros and cons lists! Up first, Amazon Pros and Cons!
- Cheaper: you can get a hardback for as cheap as $7. That’s less than a paperback in a bookstore.
- Wider Selection: There are literally millions of books on this website.
- Easy Access To Reviews: You can look at a book, then scroll down to find reviews. I mean, it’s the ultimate easy way to get real people’s opinions on the book you’re about to read.
- You Know Exactly When You’ll Get Your Book: Often, most bookstores will offer to order a book for you. But you don’t get a tracking number; you just get a email/text/call when your book is at the store and you can come pick it up. With Amazon, you get…y’know, an actual tracking number.
- Supports an Already Multi-Billion Dollar Business, Instead of A Local Business: This might not be a con to some people, but just a fact. And that’s fine! But it is something to keep in mind.
- More Slogging Through Not-So-Great Books: The extremely huge selection not only means a lot of really great books, it means a lot of not-so-great books, all as easily accessible as the great ones.
- Harder to Browse: In a bookstore, you can flip through books as much as you want, or even read the first couple of chapters. On Amazon, that’s not possible. It seems like the average they let you read is the first fifteen pages. Which, often, isn’t enough.
- You Have to Wait For The Book To Be Shipped: Amazon has been getting weird with shipping. You have prime, you get three day shipping…but it takes a week to actually ship, which is extremely frustrating.
- More Money Goes To Support The Industry: Amazon’s prices are cheaper, but that means that less money goes to support the publishing industry, and the more money the industry gets, the more books we get!
- More Intimate: You get to build a sense of community with real bookstores, especially if you’re a regular. You know the people who work there, who visit often, even if you don’t know their names.
- The Workers Work There Because They Love Books: You can ask them for recommendations, chat with them about the recent books you and they have read, and just be surrounded by bookish people.
- It Supports Local Businesses: Which grows community! Which sounds like something that would be on a pamphlet for a cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood.
- More Expensive: Yes, a lot of us don’t have a ton of money, and getting books is cheaper…a lot cheaper, a lot of the time. As a poor college student, that’s tempting, and I’m sure it is for a lot of people.
- You Have to Deal With People: Ordering off of Amazon means you can buy books from your house in pajamas while watching Netflix at the same time. Introverts gotta introvert.
- There’s a Smaller Selection: Indie bookstores have limited space, so often, they won’t have the specific book you went in for. You’ll often buy other books, but still…not the specific book.
So, blogglings! Do you tend to buy books from Amazon more often or from local bookstores? Do you prefer one or the other? If so, why? Do you agree with my two pros and cons lists?