I love books, and I appreciate a good bargain. Those two facets of my personality mean I buy books where they are most affordable. Many times, I have found that books are cheaper in places other than a bookstore -- whether it be Target, Costco, or online at Amazon. But that doesn’t stop me from spending time, and money, in my neighborhood big-chain bookstore.
In all fairness, I think shopping in a brick and mortar store has just as much value as shopping online. So, let’s review the pros of each one, and what I mean when I say “value.”
Online: Most times, I can find a better price online. If I add enough books to my virtual shopping cart, my purchase qualifies for free shipping. I could theoretically shop for, and receive my books, in my pajamas. Because I am trying to qualify for the free shipping, I am more inclined to buy more, to search around for another book that intrigues me.
When the package does arrive, I still feel a little rush and a jolt of surprise, even though I know full well what I have ordered. It’s like Christmas morning, when you’ve asked for a specific gift, you see a wrapped package that looks exactly like the shape of the gift you want, but you’re still surprised and delighted to unwrap it and find it is the coveted present.
Bookstore: I have purchased plenty of books that I didn’t even realize I wanted until I discovered them while browsing through a bookstore. Covers entice me from their perches on a bookshelf, I read the summary and the first page, and I’m hooked.
I continue to write and am working towards the day my own book is published. Being in a bookstore, surrounded by all these published books, is an affirmation. These authors did it; I can do it too. And, as I am increasing the number of publications to my credit, there is a thrill, a shiver of pride, that surges through me when I walk by a shelf, pick up a certain book, and find my essay inside.
So, when the time comes, the plan is to make my own books available for purchase in a variety of settings -- traditional bookstores, within general buy-everything-stores, and online.