Online Book Shopping

Image representing Barnes & Noble as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

At the end of June, almost a year ago, I received a teacher appreciation gift card to Barnes and Noble. It was a lovely thought; what teacher would not enjoy some good summer reading? The only problem is that I am a library girl. I visit my public library once or twice a week and always have piles of fiction, non-fiction, travel guides, cookbooks and magazines on my nightstand.

I do enjoy my Kindle. Downloading digital books makes packing reading material for vacations light and easy. I try to borrow my e-reads as much as possible; because if I do buy a book, it has to be through Amazon. I know they won’t take my gift card.

Third generation Amazon Kindle

So now I have held onto this gift for close to year and I am concerned it will expire shortly. I have read many book reviews in my quest to find something which I feel is worthy of purchasing.  Those qualifications would include: an author whom I enjoy and possibly have another book by, a book that had fabulous reviews, one that covers a topic of interest to me, something I could pass on to friends or family when I am done.

I came up with a list and decided to finally buy my books. Part of me still felt guilty about buying from an online chain, rather than supporting the local, privately owned shop. I suppose the compromise could have been to drive to the big store at the mall, but I rarely head out in that direction.

The Book Shop With Wigtown being named The Boo...

I decided to approach the owner of the independent store and see if we could work out a deal. I figured if I had her order the books for me and I purchased enough extra material over the gift card value that she would be happy for the business and I could finally unload the card.

I was disappointed that the owner could not figure out a way to make such a plan work- even if she offered to buy it from me at a discount and I bought books she already had in stock. You would think that in an attempt to attract customers she might have been willing to find a creative strategy. Instead she suggested I either gift the card to someone else or buy online. Imagine that- an independent store, struggling for business, yet encouraging me to shop online!

I still could not bring myself to do that; so in order to ease my disappointment,  I went to the library. I found one of the books from my wish list on their well-stocked shelves. I also located the next book I will be reading for my book club. I spontaneously grabbed one of the books which they had cleverly displayed near the front desk. While I felt badly that I couldn’t do business at the local shop, at least my public library was there for me.

Then I went home and placed my order online. The package arrived today. Now I have plenty of summer reading lined up for the next few months. I am only a year behind.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol
    May 17, 2012 @ 11:17:47

    Two or three years ago, my kids gave me a Nook for Christmas and I have loved it dearly! I quickly learned that using my Discover card for all purchases (including groceries) earned me bonus cash, which could be turned in for a B&N gift card, which would supply me nicely. Then this past Christmas I got my iPad and discovered I like the backlight for reading, so now the iPad has apps (oh so many apps are available) for Nook, for Kindle, for iBooks and Bluefire Reader, into which I can upload my library ebooks. Now I use my Amazon Visa card to get bonus cash there and at iBooks and my Discover card for bonus cash for B&N and I am such a happy camper. Extra bonus is I no longer have to remember to enter those pesky ATM card transactions!



  2. Looking Out The Window
    May 17, 2012 @ 21:49:02

    I really love the independent book store, and struggle like you with the fact that they can’t compete with the big online retailers. I do lots of business with a local used book store. They fill a niche that works well off of all the online retailers. They also stock local and small press that the online retailers don’t, which is great. You may be able to find a local used book store and then you can support a local business in a different way. They will love to get your brand new books into their used book store and you may find some great reads for yourself as well.



  3. themiddlegeneration
    May 18, 2012 @ 07:33:41

    There is a used book store in the area and I will go there when my kids need something for school. They have a pretty good selection and it is a good way to keep recycling books and, as Carol said, saving trees.



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