Your Local Book Store…

John Scalzi has this neat little post over on Whatever
Amazon, Local Bookstores, Me
Go on read the article… I’ll just wait until you are finished….

Are you done? Great, now while I can see Amazons marketing machine saying

“In a free market economy we are just trying to do all we can to create awareness of our brand and drive sales…”

Yep that is right… you have the right to do it… but should they? And should you as a consumer?
Personally I have bought books, cd’s, games etc from overseas – from the Amazon’s, Book Depository’s, Ozgamestore… and all for the same reason… the PRICE.
I have a young family, a mortgage, I am the major bread winner (not discounting the huge amount of work my wife does to help support me and enabling me to be able to do that…) I have to be careful about what I/we spend on luxury items like books…
However, something John wrote really resonated with me…

I have an Amazon Prime account and I get lots of use from it, because where I live often the alternative to buying from Amazon is buying from Wal-Mart, and on that strata of retailing, I’m happy to let them go after each other, with knives and bludgeons. If there’s a locally-owned alternative, however, then I generally go there. I pay extra for what amount to intangibles for me, but what’s intangible to me means a job and a business to someone else. That matters, especially these days.

How do I react to that seeing that I have admitted to using the cheaper overseas option before… I agree with what he has written – I really do! Yet how do these conflicting parts merge? How can I both support local and pay the premium and ensure I met all the other obligations in my life?
It’s really quite easy… I use priorities.
For instance I limit the amount of comics I collect and then buy them from my local comic store. I plan my new book purchases and buy from my local bookstore. I buy 2nd hand computer games from my local gaming store. I have a budget and when it is gone… I borrow books from the library and share/borrow games with my mates… In short I do what I can…
This carries across to other aspects of my life… I don’t always shop at the green grocer or the butcher, we can’t always afford South Coast Milk – but we try and we support when and where we can…
Its all any of us can do.

3 thoughts on “Your Local Book Store…

  1. Some questions re: John's determination to buy local:
    1) Where does he live? Because local prices fluctuate greatly and I know buying new and local in Australia vs online is the difference between getting one book or three. It's. It so here in the US, where price differences are a bit more negligible.
    2) What is he reading? This comes down to location again, because I have lived in some locations where nearly everything I wanted to read would have had to been special ordered by the local shops. And sometimes they just take too long. Particularly when distributors put the small shops at the bottom of their priority list.
    3) What is his budget and how many does he shop for? As both a previous little kid who loved to read and a current parent who loves reading also, I can remember my folks not being able to afford all the books I wanted. I would like my kid to not experience the same thing. I'd like my kid to always have more books than she knows what to do with.

    What Amazon has done is a total dick move, indeed. And I don't shop at companies that make total dick moves. But I have the luxury of saying that from where I live, where there are several fantastic locally owned options.
    Sometimes it comes down to location, location, location. And doing what is best for your kid.


  2. I agree Constance/FlyingPoppet… why here is Australia it took close to 2 months to get a Poppy Z Brite book via my local bookstore and twice the price versus Amazon/Book Depository – as it was a luxury purchase and not needed RIGHT now I didn't mind the wait. However, the added cost and time sure make me think…
    I am also lucky I can most of what I like to read locally or with a wait… but… certain topics and authors are just not supported local or even nationally.
    For instance I have never bought a John Scalzi from a local bookstore – some City based ones import US editions (at a HUGE markup) so I have to buy from OS – I usually use Subterranean Press but still…
    It is all good food for thought!
    In answer toy our points I assume… (John if you want to reply that would be great)
    1) John lives in Ohio smallest town I would assume similar to my home town here
    2) He reads a lot and does get an awful lot of ARC's so I guess he can get anything he wants…
    3) much higher than mine or yours! plus the free ARC's probably help!


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