Support your local bookstore

I have a warm spot in my heart for independent bookstores, as such a store paid for my college education. My family business was a bookstore. It is no longer around however, having gone out of business years ago. Blame Amazon?

Secondly, I read lots of books, and own even more. (Yes that implies that I buy books that I don't read. I don't feel bad about that. I enjoy books.)

Thirdly, I love, I mean, I LOVE Amazon.com. What convenience, what great prices, what free shipping. I even own some AMZN stock. In truth I bet in the last year I spent more money on books at Amazon than from local bookstores.

See the conundrum coming?

Whenever I am in a strange town, or out 'shopping' or on vacation, I can spend lots of time browsing bookstores. I will buy books sometimes, and sometimes I will write down book titles for later consideration, or even later Amazonning. Ok, so I am conflicted about this whole thing.

I would be very sad to see the local bookstore close.

Oh wait, the local bookstore in the town I live closed years ago. (We still have a used bookstore, which I frequent.)

I don't have a punchline. I am not sure how I feel about this. Should I stop shopping at Amazon and give up the convenience and good prices? Should I never order a book on Amazon that I first saw in a local bookstore?

Here are three articles on this very topic, for your fascination:

A letter from the owner of a great local bookstore, the Harvard Bookstore in Harvard Square, Cambridge Mass.

Amazon should partner with independent bookstores, an article suggesting ways in which the two could benefit mutually. Hmm, perhaps a fantasy.

Amazon's Jungle Logic, an Anti-Amazon screed from a set of authors.

 

Posted on January 26, 2012 .