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Musing Mondays … Bookselling industry changes

September 8, 2008

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Musing Mondays.

Do YOU like the changes that have come to bookselling in the last several decades? Do you shop on online? Do you prefer the big chain stores or do you prefer the small, independent shops? Why?

I wouldn’t say I like the changes, I think they were inevitable. Sometimes it seems that the mentality has become that “bigger is better.” I don’t necessarily buy into that. I love small, independent bookstores. I love the feeling they inspire. I’ve always imagined owning one myself but then what booklover hasn’t. Pulling up a comfy chair in front of a blazing fire with a drink of choice and a favorite book ~ in my world this is a perfect scenario.

I live in a city with one small, independent bookstore. I have spent time there though rarely buy. The staff is wonderful and I enjoy talking books with these avid readers. I don’t buy because 1 ~ I don’t keep my books, preferring to pass them along and, 2 ~ price can be an issue.

When I buy my book purchasing is at a big box store, Target, or online due to cost. I don’t buy new or hardbacks, only used, trade-sized so usually I can get a good deal even with shipping costs.


What are your thoughts on the changes happening in the industry today?

  1. LeeH permalink
    September 8, 2008 11:49 pm

    I have a friend who is very money conscious and rarely buys anything. She gets her DVDs and books almost exclusively from the library (or On Demand from Comcast…sorry, Marcia). But libraries are rarely for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the library. But getting fiction from the library doesn’t work for me, because I prefer to have a book on hand, ready to read when I am ready, and I want to take as long as I want.

    I love all bookstores. Like you, I’m a serious fan of Half Price Books (and I’m so sorry you’re deprived of one in Boise). I will look for a used book first, but if I want something and can’t find it locally used, I’ll get it new.

    I’m also a big believer in keeping books I love. Some books I got rid of in years past, only to re-buy them so I can re-read them whenever I want. I will happily buy a used hardback, even a book club copy, unless I can’t find one.

    I’ve had good friends on bookstore staffs in the past, even big box stores like Borders. I even had a Waldenbooks manager who occasionally let me borrow a bestseller now and then (many years ago).

  2. September 9, 2008 4:47 pm

    I don’t personally have any loyalty toward any one bookseller or any one way to buy or obtain books. I’m sure that I’m the type reader that more traditional people get mad at, but small or independent book stores are just not something I get attached to. I love the library as well and have ever since I was old enough to know what one is. I tend to forget to bring books back, but I would go there for a nice place to read – I’d just bring my own book. 😉

  3. September 9, 2008 5:04 pm

    Hi all,

    I miss Half Price books 😦 now at I’ve moved to Idaho. 🙂

    I wrote about it in another post for Tuesday Thingers … Favorite bookstores which can be found here. It’s tough not to feed my Half Price book addiction when coming home for a visit.

    Like you and Lee I also love the library. But being from an area that has limited library and long wait lists getting popular books can be difficult.

    I’ve found other sources to feed my addiction and hopefully they will continue to let me mooch from them. 🙂 Like two extremely kind friends I’ve met through blogging.

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