16 July 2011

Book Blogger Hop: Do your books fall off the back of a truck?

 Book Blogger Hop

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:
The Economy
  • 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?
The Environment
  • 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.
The 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.


  1. You go, Crowe! Although Amazon has turned into a dirty little habit for me, I see your point. I know I have indies around me and I just need to take the time to google directions and find good parking near them so that I can enjoy them.

  2. Or your local library--don't forget the library!

  3. I wish there were more Indie book stores around me. I don't know of any except one used books store. =/ Very interesting post.

  4. Hear, hear! I stopped buying books from Amazon after the Macmillan publishing debacle when, in order to enforce their pricing on ebooks,
    Amazon pulled all the books from one of the four major publishing houses out of stock. Not just ebooks, all the books. I'd rather spend a little bit more at my local indie bookstore than give my tacit support to a company that'll throw its weight around like that.

  5. I try not to order from Amazon, but it seems they've been eating up some of the other sources I use, like AbeBooks and now, Book Depository! I'm a huge fan of the library, though, and my local indie store. :)

  6. Well said!

    Do you use Overdrive? It's a little tricky to set up the first time, but after that, it's awesome for downloading free e-books from your library. If you have a smartphone, you can download their app.

  7. Thanks for the comments, y'all. And Madigan, i don't know about Overdrive, so I'll have to check it out. I should also add that I use the library for many of my audio books, too!


Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)