The electronic reader has had quite an impact on the book world and it’s a growing industry. I’m not going to make specific comment on that industry in today’s post, but I am going to acknowledge that we are losing bookshops. So my thoughts then turn to what can we do?
I am a reader. I read both electronic and paper books.
Electronic for ease. I can be sitting on my sofa, browsing and have downloaded three books while the kettle is boiling. It’s doing no favours for my TBR pile and I’m not actually reading any quicker, but I am definitely buying more books than I have ever been. And yes, though I may download some free books, I am also buying many more than I ever used to, because buying books has never been so easy for busy people with little time.
But, I love holding a book in my hands and I still buy and read paper books. With the ease of downloading books and having a busy life, I have found I also buy a lot of these books online as well. The place I have been buying them, is the place I download my books. The place people are scared is taking over the world.
I have nothing against Amazon. They’re a business. They were set up to make money and someone with brains has managed to keep coming up with great idea’s that keep their company in the lead. Now while I have nothing against them, I would hate to see more bookshops close, so last month I decided to do something about it. This was prompted in part by a blog post by Pete Dominican here, where Pete discusses attempting a life without Amazon at all, not just with books.
So with struggling bookshops and concerned about my automatic running to Amazon for all needs, I signed up for a Waterstones membership card. It’s a loyalty card. You earn points as you shop. Now the great thing about this is, it’s not impacting on my hectic life and making me drive into town just to get a book because Waterstones have a delivery service like most High Street shops. Out of interest I have checked out the price on my first required book, on Amazon, then on Waterstones. Amazon came in cheaper as expected, but with the cost of delivery, they came in about equal as Waterstones whose delivery is free. So all my paper books are now bought at Waterstones. Don’t be fooled that Amazon’s books are cheaper, remember to add the cost of delivery. And because I have the Waterstones loyalty card, if I am any town, I tend to pop in any Waterstones I pass, more than I would have before. What is it about a pretty piece of plastic that promises me books?
So, if you live in the UK, would you consider checking out Waterstones, or elsewhere rather than automatically going to Amazon? I’m sure there are similar shops in the US and other countries as well that have these kind of loyalty schemes. Bookshops you hadn’t realised you could so easily support. Is this something you would now consider. Do you already?
This isn’t about bashing Amazon because they have great business acumen, are really user friendly and I could decide to publish with them in the future, this is about supporting bookshops.