Where Do You Buy Your Books?

Bookstores are dying! Print books are making a comeback! Men don’t read fiction! The publishing world is full of fake news.

The truth of the matter is that in the US, bookstores are on the ropes (along with many other brick-and-mortar stores), the Big 5 aren’t dead, print books aren’t making a comeback, and men do indeed read fiction.

Yesterday, I received Mary Rosenblum’s email. I subscribed quite a while ago because of friend found her critique of his book very helpful. She offers interesting insight into the world of publishing.

Her email contained a link to her blog post on which publishing venues are crushing it in the various genres. Her information was drawn from Author Earnings. I found the data and her speculations of interest. Hence my question

Where do you buy your books?

For myself, I buy all of my books online. And I can’t actually remember when I last bought a book in a store. Maybe 20 or 30 years ago. Possibly less than that. I honestly don’t remember.

Why online? First, I’ve always loved mail-order. Second, it’s easy. I don’t have to go anywhere to buy the product and only to the mailbox to pick it up. The cost of shipping is negligible when compared with the value of my time, wear and tear on my car, and sales tax. Although some online stores now charge sales tax.

For books, I buy ebooks mostly from Amazon. A few from Apple. Never from Barnes & Noble because they are usually higher-priced and their search engine is lousy.

When I retired, my team gave me a Barnes & Noble gift card — and I was very happy to get it. But trying to find something to buy on B & N’s website was a trip through Dante’s Inferno. Their subject search is pathetic when compared to Amazon’s. In the end, I searched for an author’s name and got what I wanted.

Physical books, I buy used from online vendors. But even there it’s difficult to get away from Amazon since they now own ABE and bookfinder.com.

Unfortunately, Amazon gets the lion’s share of my book business. And perhaps most people’s. Mostly because the competition is either on life support (Barnes & Noble) or doesn’t really care to compete (Apple) or is just very small (Smashwords and Kobo). I wish it wasn’t so, but it is. Quite honestly, along with Walmart, Amazon is the evil empire.

So where do you buy your books? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, happy reading!

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2 thoughts on “Where Do You Buy Your Books?”

  1. Well, truth be told, I seldom buy ebooks. Most of the ebooks I have (and they are many) comes from the authors asking for a revew or a critique, from free offers of many kinds or from services (like NetGalley) who give books away for free in exachenge of a review.

    The books I do buy are mostly hardcopies. Living in Italy and reading in English, I’m forced to buy online, but I take any chance to buy in a store. Some books in English are sold even in Italy, but especially I go on buying sprees when I visit Dublin. There’s my favourite book store there: Chapter, where I can buy new as well as used books. I’m always mindful to leave some spase for books in my suitecage 😉

    Sure, I don’t suppose that most readers act like me, but I’ve recently joined a reader community and I see most of them do buy and read hardcopy books. The readers who read the most make a huge use of the library too.
    So I suppose the book market is a lot more complex than the press makes it 😉

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