Melody

Musing Mondays

Today's MUSING MONDAYS post is about changes to the bookselling industry in the last century.

Do you like the changes that have come to bookselling in the last several decades? Do you shop online? Do you prefer big chain stores, or do you prefer small, independent shops? Why?

When I was a student, I used to shop at smaller, independent bookstores because it is convenient and is within our neighbourhood. Those big chain stores are mostly situated in the town areas, and at that time, I would rather borrow books from the public libraries or buy my favourite books from these smaller stores.

And then of course, there are also small used bookstores around so we have a choice to buy or rent the books if we want. At the used (rental) bookstores, we will pay the full price of a latest release (cheaper if it is an older release) and if we decide not to keep it, we can always return to the stores within a month (or two months depending on how many books you rent) and they will refund part of the money to us. In this case, we paid only a few dollars as the renting fees. I find this works best for me if I am not sure if the books I want to read are keepers.

I love browsing and shopping at bookstores, no matter if they are big chain stores or small, independent stores but I do shop online too, because it is convenient and/or I find the books I want are not available or hard to find in bookstores. I was quite happy to find some out of print books on ebay lately because I know I would never find them in bookstores. Thus, I do not really have any preference when it comes to book shopping, as long as I get what I want.

9 Responses
  1. Alice Teh Says:

    Same thoughts here, Melody. I will shop anywhere - online, offline or big or small bookstores. The medium doesn't matter as long as I get what I want or need. :)


  2. You'd think BR would have more big chain stores, but it doesn't. We don't have the small stores either.

    Glad you mentioned the public libraries. That's my favorite place.


  3. Melody Says:

    Alice - Glad we share the same thoughts. :)

    J Kaye - Public libraries is a good place to get all the books we want, but sometimes those popular books are so hard to get! ;)


  4. mariel Says:

    I confess, I’m a bit of a bookshop snob, which I am regularly mocked for! It comes from spending several years working as a bookseller and children’s bookseller for a company that had a chain of shops, but managed to maintain its local independent feel. However, the book industry (in the UK at least) is not doing well. Our profit margin was quite low and we were losing large numbers of customers to online shopping and worse, supermarkets.

    My company was actually bought out two years ago by a bigger chain that doesn’t have quite the localness that mine did, but whose shops do have an individual feel about them (depending on the creativeness and motivation of staff). For this reason, I almost always buy from bookshops, and try to buy from shops that used to be part of my company (I trust and like the staff more!), only buying from online bookshops if I can’t find the book anywhere else!

    But I do appreciate that online shopping is often cheaper, and I would rather people bought from there rather than not at all. And I am a HUGE fan of public libraries!


  5. Melody Says:

    Mariel - I understand how you feel. I agree online shopping do play a part on the closing down of some bookstores (especially those smaller ones). I find our local book industry is rather competitive, although we don't have too many major stores here. Smaller, independent stores are hard to find nowadays.

    I usually buy my books from the bookstores, unless they're not available. Online stores have great discounts too, so I find that hard to beat! As for public libraries, I don't borrow books from them anymore because I don't think I'm able to return the books on time, but I do go there with my young daughter. She loves looking and browsing through those books. :)


  6. Iliana Says:

    I try to support the indie bookstores (well, now that I live in a city where there are actual indie bookstores) but honestly it's just so hard on the pocketbook. Being bookworms we spend so much money and I tend to find the best deals at B&N or Amazon. When it comes to browsing I support all and the library too of course :)


  7. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I cannot imagine how much we have spent on books, and I'm too scared to count! LOL.


  8. I wish there were more independent stores close by where I live. Los Angeles is just too far to travel to buy books on a regular basis. :-( I do buy a lot of books online, but there's nothing that compares to being able to browse the shelves of a real brick and mortar bookstore.


  9. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I wish there're more independent stores in my area too! I think I buy my books online nowadays more than I did in the past.