Books from the bricks and mortar

Over past 20 years I bought most of my books on Amazon, its inventory and delivery are the best in the world. I can find rare or specialized books priced competitively on Amazon, and its delivery is fast. The last time I got a book at a store was in 2009, and it was a gift; the last time I bough a book for myself at a store was in 2006. Amazon swallowed the book distribution sector whole. I felt sad to see small book stores close down, but I didn’t miss the book retail chains that Amazon killed one after the other.

Today Amazon is in a dominant position, but its value proposition has eroded, books got harder to find and are more expensive. Amazon’s delivery is still the best in the business, but I had numerous issues with it over the past years. While the company always reimbursed me, these issues are a tax on my time and tranquility.

For the first time in 14 years I got books from a local bookstore this week. I did it for a few reasons:

  1. I picked up the books in store the day after ordering online. Even small inventories may have the book you’re looking for, while with Amazon you always wait for the delivery. It was a breath a fresh air to order, pick-up, and start reading a book in less than 24 hours.
  2. A brick and mortar shop can order the books they don’t have in store. It’s possible to order most books Amazon sells from any book shop, at least at the ones I have looked at. I may still get some books online, but for most of my needs my local retailer serves me better.
  3. I like local pick-up. There are too many deliveries now because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I like that my local shop keeps the books around for when it’s convenient for me to pick up. Not dealing with delivery contributes to my tranquility.

Support you local book store, and see if they have what you want in stock. It’s nice to go out and talk to people.