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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Something for you smart people to think about/discuss...

How far are you from an actual brick-and-mortar bookstore?
We live about 10 miles away, by freeway, from both Borders and Barnes & Noble.

We are sort of on the outskirts of town, but this area is developing really fast, and I've been hoping that a big bookstore would go up around here, cuz I love going to bookstores. There is just something happy about wandering around a really nice bookstore, looking for a good one to read. Anthony and I often end up at one when we go out alone, but I also love taking my kids, sitting in the kids section, and reading to them. (All the libraries close to us are depressing, but a new giant one is going up just a few miles away).

If you're like me, and love going to IRL bookstores, then you might be interested in this: New York Times article. I thought it was interesting, and I wanted to see what you smarty pants think about it.

If you read the article, then I want to know...

Are you a perpetual online used book buyer? Does this article make you think twice about buying used, if given the option?

Also, I was wondering what would happen if publishers and major bookstore chains offered to buy back your used books for a credit. If they took some of the used books out of circulation, would that force enough people to buy new books? Is that even fair? We do have libraries for those who can't afford to buy books, but is it fair to take away our option to buy used?
Hmmm.

I have tons and tons of mediocre books (ones I wouldn't read again or bother passing along to anyone) stacked in my closet. I would love to return them for even a small credit. How much of a credit would you need to make it worth returning the book? What about The Host? $0.25?

Read article. Discuss.

And for pete's sake, if you haven't already, please vote on this month's book club book in the post below. I'll tally the votes and determine a winner Monday evening.

14 comments:

ManicMandee said...

I'm scared. Is this article gonna freak me out about all the parasites on used books or something? Give me a heads up first. Yeah, I buy most of my books online. But if I had the choice and the cash, I'd totally be taking my purse to Barnes and Noble. I love that beautiful, romantic place with all those crisp, gorgeous books!

Sam, Shel & Co said...

If I've seen a book somewhere else and know for sure that I want it...I don't mind buying online, either new or used, if I can get a better price or if I can't get it here.

But, generally, I like to browse and browsing online just isn't the same. Our favorite place to hang out is Borders...we've gone there on many a date. But,they are 16 miles away and we don't get over there often.

I love a good used book store, too, though. We have a couple in Monterey that are really fun to poke around in. And, I would love to sell some of the books that I have that I'll never read again. But, to me, it's not worth the effort to sell online for a penny or a quarter. Don't let the penny price fool you, anyway, they're making something on the shipping. No one wraps up and takes something to the post office to make a penny.

Cristin said...

hmmm very interesting article. Sadly, I buy most of my books online but only because of it's convenience. I much much much prefer to go to a brick and mortar and spend a few hours looking around, reading covers and leaving a store with at least a small pile of books but the closest big bookstore is 40 minutes away. I grieve gize, I love bookstores! I prefer Borders but I also LOVE Powells books that was mentioned in the article. I don't know if they still do this but they did buy back books for a small credit, we use to do this with LM's computer books, but they also sale new and used books in there store. Sadly, the closest Powells is 40 minutes away. sigh...I didn't realize things were so bad for brick and mortar bookstores...it's really sad.

Memzy said...

Hmmmm. Not sure how I feel about this. Up until recently I never bought a book in a used bookstore or online. I just went to the store to buy a new one. Shed and I have many a date night at Borders, etc. But I recently have enjoyed paying super cheap online. I don't know what the answer is but I can't imagine it will be all that different from how the music industry has changed. Just like your cute little Ken Doll. You'll have to order your "books" to download onto that right? Just for a fee.

Landee said...

I know I'm dead inside but it's all about convenience and price. This is the wave of the future. I go to real bookstores once a year and that's just because there is a long wait at a restaurant and a bookstore is next door.

The reality is, just like the music industry when Napster hit, the publishing world is going to have to figure out how to adjust to this. No one is going to buy from bookstores because they feel sorry for them. EVERYONE wants lower prices. They are just going to have to figure it out.

The Kindle may be part of the answer because then the publishers & authors always get a cut every time it's downloaded. This doesn't do much for the bookstores though.

But, like I said Landee <--- dead inside.

Hot Pants said...

You all know how I feel about a "used book". I love getting a brand new book and taking it home, and setting it on my nightstand to gather dust until I'm ready to read. And Dwight and I love to take a walk around the bookstore on a date or with the kids. I even love looking around the selection at Target. But, given the economy and the price of books, and the rise in the amount of books I have been reading lately, I have been browsing around the used section at Amazon more. I figure it may be cheaper to buy used and invest in a can of Lysol instead. The bookstores in the airports offer to buy your book back at half price if you bring it back in the first 6 months. Maybe the big stores should do it too.

Markie23 said...

I used to love going to Borders, but it's been at least 5 years since I've even entered a book store. I'm not counting the BYU bookstore of course - because I am mainly going there to pick up supplies, or visit the candy counter. I have purchased books there, so I guess it really does count, but I am more of an on-line shopper now.
I think a more drastic change has come in how I watch movies. I used to LOVE going to the movies and it wasn't uncommon for me to go to the theater more than once a week.
Then DVD prices shrank to the point that it was cheaper to buy the DVD and OWN the movie than it was to take the family (or even just the wife nowdays) to the theater.
So we went through a faze of buying a ton of DVD's. I figured even if I didn't really like the movie it was still cheaper to buy it than to see it in the theater.
Now I have discovered bit-torrents and shamelessly download movies (yes, my halo is badly damaged). If I really liked the movie I will still buy it on DVD, but I no longer buy DVD's of movies that I would only watch once.
I don't think I saw more than 3 or 4 movies in the theater last year. I expect that I am not alone, and that theaters will soon be closing their doors the way bookstores are. Hollywood may also have to start making better movies to make money.

Hot Pants said...

Now I am feeling sorry for all those movies stars that only made a mere 15 million last year as apposed to the 18 million they could have made if it weren't for people like Markie....and Dwight. I bet they are really going to have to cut back on their handbag budgets now!

Jenny ESP said...

MM--read the article if you're interested. Its not about germs, it's about the so-called "demise" of those romantic bookstores you love so much.

Shel--this article sorta made me give up the idea of a bookstore being built closer to us. I used to live near a really nice used bookstore and I would buy most of my books there. They would also let you bring books back for credit, so I got rid of a lot of my books that way. But online used bookstores have saturated the used book market. I sold my used books on eBay for a while, but it was a huge hassle, and I would sell one here, one there, very sporadically, so I stopped. But if I could return them all to a store for credit, I'd do it in an instant.

Cristin--that makes sense. You are much too far. I'm sure I will still buy books online from time to time, and after I get my Ken Doll, I'll buy digi, but I'll also continue to buy from IRL bookstores when possible. Sniff, sniff.

Memz--good point. A-change is a-coming. Ken Doll doesn't have all titles on digi as of yet. I would have to buy a flesh and blood copy of Letters from a Nut, for example, but I could download a digi of Elfstones of Shannara. Either way, I'll still give the brick-and-mortar's business--I buy a lot of books for my kids and Tony. I swear, half of my grocery money goes to buying books.

Landee--you need to go see the wizard about getting a heart. But I also agree with you. I am a consumer and want a low price, but I also want the author, publisher, bookstore to get paid. I think the big loser will be the bookstore, but I'm sure the whole publishing industry will feel the repercussions of that loss.

Hot pants--I know, right? Maybe the answer is a bookstore or publisher buy-back. But the publisher would have to destroy the book, or "go green," (which is a sorta sad and creepy), in order to slow down the used book market. Right? They couldn't resell it used, and compete with themselves. It makes sense for bookstores to have a used section--all profit--but the publisher can't be in competition with itself.

Markie--Doesn't Cherie work at a bookstore? Cold hearted snake indeed!!! But srsly, the times are a-changing. I still LOVE the movie-going experience, and if a movie looks good, I will definitely fork out the bucks and go see it in the theater. I couldn't wait for the DVD to come out every time. We do try to go to matinees, but going out to the movies is one of my main forms of entertainment. Also, eating out at restaurants. But when they invent digi food that you buy online, I might single-handedly put Red Robin out of business.

This is deep S you gize. (meaning stuff)

Hot Pants said...

You want to know what the coolest "digi" thing out there is? Digimon.

Katie said...

I love the library because it is free, but I must say that the crisp pages of the Hunger Games added a bit to the story.

I don't really like waiting for books at the library, but you are waiting for you online books too. I like free. It is better than cheap.

I am also going to put all of the nominated books on hold. They must have been good enough if someone nominated them, which means they are all checked out.

Mary said...

I love going to bookstores..new or used. I like both Borders and Barnes and Noble, but they're both in Boise so about 25 mins. away. But we have a fantastic used book store in Nampa that I love. They have some great antique books as well as paperback. I'll take you there the next time you come.

Landee said...

Btw, the only book that had a waitlist at the library was Graceling. And I'm number 27. Dagnabbit. Off to Amazon.com I go!

::giving B&N the proverbial finger or the real finger, you decide::

Jenny ESP said...

Mom--I've been to that used bookstore with you at least twice, silly.

Katie--are you saying you finished HG without telling us? And that brand new Centennial Hills library opened on Sat. I hear it's way nice and futuristic and you never have to wait for a book. I'm gonna go check it out tonight.

Landee--I'll be done reading long before your book is even shipped.