15.1.14

i miss going to bookstores


same book in the store, world's biggest (only copy in yyz): 18 bucks
same book on web-order, deliver to manulife centre: 14 bucks
same book, used, on web-order, deliver to home: 5 bucks
same book, electronic version: 12 bucks

tis a gift, so no electronic version,
author is alive, so will buy a new book (royalty for writer!),
i cant give my copy away, as i love it too much.

the question is: if they ship stuff to downtown for 14 bucks, walking up to a shop to get it myself for 18 bucks makes no sense (extra whooping 21%), so i, once again, did not walked into the book shop.

book shops now look like some sort of nightmare-ish mash of median-level cafe, glitzy gift shop with overbearing desire for intellect. not the greatest scene....?! so many genres but very little depth in the stores- of course, huge stacks of trendy books from best-seller list (which always includes a couple diet-life style books, which is also quite a bizarre thing) and variety of celebrity-endorsed books, along with more lego sets (since when did they get those ugly and vicious expressions?) and third-world produced cheapo tea sets, i rarely find any of the books i truly love in the stores.

giant book stores not only killed small stores, it's also killing my incentive to walk into it... of course, there are used book stores, however, i really do try to buy 'new' copies if the authors are currently alive (so that they may get some royalty out of the book itself)... leaves little choice but to browse on web, which is never the same as taking a book into your hand and slowly see if 'we' may dance.

i miss the sense of adventure in bookstores.

2 comments:

  1. The second-hand bookshop will no doubt survive; and even if they move to the internet, there's no substitute for the smell of it - until the technology catches up with that one!

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  2. I never thought of support for living authors... but these big online stores are also terrible for other reasons, i.e. how badly they treat their workers.
    http://articles.mcall.com/2011-09-18/news/mc-allentown-amazon-complaints-20110917_1_warehouse-workers-heat-stress-brutal-heat
    So you're screwed every which way. And the royalty questions... I don't know, you probably know more being part of the arts sector, but I feel like that has more to do with messed up stuff in publishing rather than the consumption side of things. If book publishing is anything like the music industry then the artists/authors are probably getting screwed most of the time by the big publishing houses. So hard not to be totally demoralized as a consumer. I personally support second-hand bookstores, for personal reasons (of wanting to touch AND smell books) and for political reasons (of wanting to support small independently-owned businesses). But I definitely buy on Amazon much more often than take the time to peruse a second-hand bookstore... or even an online second-hand bookstore.

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