Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Chuckles Chat #38 Book Buying

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

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Last week I looked at Book Therapy so this week I thought I'd look at where we buy our beloved books. 

As a kid, my town had a great book shop called McDougall Brothers and every time I went down town with my mum, if I was patient and behaved, I was allowed to go in and choose a book to buy. As I loved books, I was happy to behave and get my reward, then go to Cardosis for a cheese and ham toastie and a Lime ice cream drink! The man in charge was always ready to recommend books or order something in for me. I loved that shop. My town was small, about 70 000 people so it seemed strange that Waterstones decided to move into the town, just a few doors away. With trade then split, sales reduced and McDougall's closed down which gutted me as it was the better shop. Ironically, Waterstones shut down too and then we had no book shop! Thanks Waterstones, for ruining my life. It meant we had to go to Glasgow if we wanted to buy books which was way too much hassle-two buses, or a bus and a train each way plus all the travel costs...we didn't have a car back then. My book buying came to an end.

Many years later, our family would make the journey occasionally to Glasgow by car, trying to fight for a place in the multistorey car parks which was an ordeal in itself. I'd go and look in the big Waterstones store which was on about three floors I think, while my dad checked out Tower Records, HMV and Virgin. Borders then opened and it was the biggest book store I'd ever seen! Sadly I never got to visit it much before it shut down, as by then I just hated going into the city. I still do! I hate the crowds and the problems with parking, the traffic and endless dead end streets! I rarely go into our town either as there are few shops of interest.

We do have a second hand bookshop that I used to visit all the time but as I have retreated back into my favourite genres, I've found it hard to get my favourite books in places like this! You never see Indie books here or modern horror and urban fantasy so I don't go more than a few times a year. We have a lot of charity shops in the town but again, I rarely get a book of interest. We also have The Works which can be good for the odd bargain. There is a Waterstones at a shopping centre halfway between my town and Glasgow but it is a very small one and I don't buy much there. It caters mostly to crime, women's fiction, science fiction,  contemporary and young adult so it is rare to see something I want.

I get pretty much all of my books at Amazon. There are of course many advantages to shopping there. Firstly, you get the books delivered to the comfort of your home without worrying about parking or travel. There are also discounts and sales through the year where some of the books you want might be cheaper than you get them in the shops. The choice is greater and you can browse at leisure before buying and check each book against Goodreads reviews before you buy. You can download free samples of books which gives you a chance to try new authors before buying the full book and there are lots of Kindle freebies available too. Amazon have a ton of Indie and self published books available to grab, which you don't get in book stores. That is the main reason that I love Amazon!

Where do you buy your books? Do you have book stores where you live or do you rely on libraries and online shopping?

14 comments:

  1. We don’t have any bookstores where I live, so I have to travel pretty far to get to one. I occasionally buy new books at Target, Walmart, or the grocery store, but they don’t have a big selection. Almost all of my books come from trading at the used bookstore or from the scratch-and-dent section of Book Outlet.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. It's depressing to live so far away from bookstores especially when I can't drive! I'm just not prepared to take two buses into the city to look at a bookstore then not buy anything! Amazon saves me!

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  2. That is such a sad and tragic childhood story, Chuckles! I am sorry you are in such a book desert. It makes me sad for you. When I was a kid, I lived within walking distance of a drugstore that sold all the new horror novels and that's where most of money went (the rest went on candy ~ nothing too much has changed in all these years!). I'm lucky enough now to live five minutes away from 2 used bookstores and within 15 driving distance of a B&N and a truly lovely independent bookstore. I do admit that I use Amazon for convenience, freebies and impulse clicks and need to take more time visiting the "real" stores near me so they'll stay in business.

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    1. I hate the book desert! *sniffles* It sounds like you have some good access to bookstores though which is great. Yes books and something tasty to eat are a must for a night of winter reading! With my obsession with Indie and self published apocalypse and horror, Amazon really is a must for me.

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  3. That sucks to have no bookstore at all nearby! Growing up, I had Borders and B&N within a reasonable distance, plus a used bookstore I used to go to all the time. Now there's just a B&N about half an hour away. I don't go often though because I hate the area where it is---the streets are confusing, and the traffic is terrible. As frustrated as I am with Amazon for multiple reasons, that's still where I get most of my books because 1) people keep giving me gift cards lol, 2) I read mostly ebooks, 3) it's often the cheapest.

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    1. I can understand what you mean about not going out often. I like being at home and not having to deal with parking, crowds, queues, hassle...I'd rather sit inside and get everything delivered. Amazon is far from perfect, you're right there, but it does give me great access for free books and different genres not available in the shops.

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  4. In Germany I used to buy books from amazon only. Best prices,so many different versions to choose from & fast delivery. I loved going to bookstores to have a look around but I hardly ever bought anything.

    I still get my ebooks from amazon, but as amazon doesn't deliver physical books in Australia, I had to look for something else. Now I am using bookdepository as well as the local bookstores 'Dymocks' and 'QBD'. Mostly bookdepository though. I put an order through maybe once every 3 months when my TBR is gone or super low^^ I am always looking forward to those days, because it is the only time I buy 3-5 books together!

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    1. That must have been depressing to lose access to the physical books from Amazon. Former penpals from Australia used to have the same problems getting books that the rest of us took for granted. Posting books to my friend there used to cost a small fortune. I'm very lucky to have the access that I do!

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  5. I live in a small coastal town that's actually a single tax colony founded by artists and educators. We have several small bookstores and they can order in anything I want that they don't have. I also have a used bookstore here and find a lot of books that are donated after people buy and read them from the book stores. It's wonderful what I can find there. But I also buy print and ebooks off of Amazon.

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    1. It sounds like you have the best of both worlds when it comes to books! That sounds like a great place to live-when there are no hurricanes of course. I do enjoy ebooks but there is nothing like a new novel from Amazon in my sweaty little paws!

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  6. I prefer not to use Amazon, but there's no denying that it's amazingly convenient -- and the only place to spend Amazon vouchers, which are people's go-to gift for me, haha. But I do like to support brick-and-mortar shops, and will travel to do so -- regular trips to Brussels, for instance, while I'm in Belgium. :)

    I do miss Borders, because they had hands down the most variety of books available to just browse through, a thing I definitely miss with online shopping.

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    1. Sadly, trips to Brussels are a bit outside my book budget! *smiles* Borders was great and the choice of non fiction topics was great. I miss that! Not being able to drive myself is a problem of course and I avoid the cities where possible!

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  7. Our town used to have a used bookstore which was housed in a historical place that used to be the town library. It had spiral cast iron staircases and the second floor had really heavy see through stones/tile. There was a furry cat that lived there which left everyone alone so I was okay with it. However, when the owner died, it closed and now the building is part of a big town debate.

    A few years ago we got a huge Borders, and I liked it, but they went bankrupt. We went 3 years without a bookstore and now we have a small BAM! in the mall. I do a lot of my buying from Amazon and Book Outlet. For some harder to find titles, I've started using Thrift Books. Nothing beats shopping at home in your pajamas!

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    1. I was gutted when Borders went out of business...I couldn't even get to their final sales which was annoying. Yes home shopping in the PJs is very satisfying!!!

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