I was away for a few weeks, then spending time getting caught up with work and my home life, so it's been a while since I participated in the Book Blogger Hop, sponsored each weekend by Crazy for Books. This week's question asks how/where do you get your books? Do you buy them or go to the library? Is there a certain website you use, like paperbackswap?
For once this is a quick & easy answer for me. I work in a bookstore and I have a great relationship with most of my sales reps, which means I'm extremely fortunate. If there is a new book I want to read, mostly I just have to ask for it and they will send it to me, gratis. I get an employee discount on our store merchandise, so I end up buying quite a lot of books, too. Mostly signed ones, as I'm a bit of a collector. I'm also a big fan of the library system and think it's a great way to get out of print books. I have two e-reading devices--a Sony e-reader and my smartphone--both of which I can use to download e-books from independent bookstores' websites.
NB: My answer is complete. Only read further if you want to know why I do not get my books from Amazon and why I think Amazon.com is bad for the world.
I have never once ordered a book from Amazon.com (though I do occasionally order merchandise on line from other vendors) and there are several reasons why. First of all, it takes away sales from the local community and it adds NOTHING. Here are some factoids found at www.Indiebound.org. What is in the regular typeface is taken verbatim from the site and what is in bold black is my addenda.
When you shop at an independently owned business, your entire community benefits:
- Spend $100 at a local and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43. Spend the same $100 at Amazon.com and your community receives NOTHING.
- Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.
- More of your taxes are reinvested in your community--where they belong. Including public education and public libraries, two of our most precious resources to readers and bookbloggers.Amazon collects almost no sales tax (except in NY, and I think one other state) despite having on-the-ground affiliates in every US state. If Amazon collected sales tax, there would be hundreds of millions of dollars of additional revenue across the country. Might be nice to see that kind of money in a recession, eh?
- Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.
- Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.
- Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.
- Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains (And forget about Amazon. Go ahead--ask Amazon if they'll donate a gift card to your school's fundraiser. Or to donate books to the local library that flooded. Or to give money because a community member's dog has cancer and the owner cannot afford treatment.)
- More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.