It’s not often that I buy online anymore. I prefer to go into my local Waterstones branch where I know I’ll get good service and be able to keep one of my favourite shops in business.
To help, I will now be adding links to the Waterstones website to my reviews, instead of Amazon, as most people choose to link to.
When I walk into a bookshop and see other people there, I feel a great joy in seeing that other people do care about reading and, when seeing younger children, I feel even better. It’s nice to know that children will be brought up reading and enjoying it because I know how it has helped me.
Being a bookseller at the English bookshop chain, Waterstones, I may have a slight bias view on this discussion. However, I do remember the appeal of finding the book I desperately wanted at the cheapest price possible, normally going straight to Amazon for my books. Without sounding preachy, working in a bookshop has, I guess, opened my eyes to the world of publishing and bookselling that is fighting so much against the likes of Amazon, supermarkets and WH Smiths. The thing about your local bookshop is that is relies solely on the community, especially one run independently. Amazon has a worldwide platform when a bookshop in your local town does not. Sure, you could say companies such as Waterstones in the UK and Barnes and Noble in America are nationwide, but they still rely on the English/American community to enter their bookshops, buy their books and help them keep providing these same great books directly to you. I’m pretty sure people will miss a bookshop on the high street if they do go. For those in the UK, the sole DVD and CD seller on the high street, HMV has recently gone into administration (essentially, gone out of business) and the shocking reality is that only three years ago, Waterstones – a shop in nearly every town and city throughout the UK that has been around for so many years – was owned by HMV. Can you remember a time when online retailers were the only ways to buy THAT book you desperate want? No, neither can I. Books have been around for such a long, long time, let bookshops be too.
For people who like Amazon/online shopping, it’s great if you could supplement your Amazon shopping with bookstore shopping. At times, bookstores can have better sales. Plus, bookstores always have cool author events!
Second to the library, bookshops are like paradise. They have a unique feel to them where you can fangirl and gush about how awesome this one book is (except there’s always more than one) face to face with someone who won’t judge you. It’s like the comic book shop for Marvel fans…without the costumes…
Building a friendship with the bookshop owner is so special because as they get to know the books you pick out, they can suggest others that you might never have picked up! If we don’t support our local bookshops we’ll lose out on future favourites and a vital part of our bookish community. Bookshop owners are literally living their dream and getting paid to do it by us, the humble customer and unlike Amazon or TBD, they genuinely appreciate every single visit, whether we buy or not.