View Poll Results: When I purchase books...

Voters
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  • ...I'm looking for the best deal. I don't mind buying from the big retailers.

    21 46.67%
  • ...I go to independent stores, period.

    1 2.22%
  • ...I try to help out the little guy (though I've had moments of weakness at Borders, Amazon.com, etc.).

    23 51.11%
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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    new york city
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    156

    Book-buyers: Where do you shop?

    i confess that i just bought the new harry potter from borders. i try to be good about avoiding giant stores and patronizing indie sellers, but i was wooed by the 40% pre-order option this time. how do considerations like price, availability, and selling practices affect your book shopping?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    georgia
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    125
    i can't justify paying full price for a mass-produced book... ever. i buy used, go to the library, but for books i want to keep & read over & over again, i pay the least amount i can, even if it means I go to borders or b&n.

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    697
    i work in publishing, so this is a rough one. books actually cost a lot to make, believe it or not-- an average hardcover book costs about $12.00 to produce (not counting an author advance etc), so a bookstore selling it at the "retail price" of say $24.95 is making about 50% on top of what they paid. Of course larger stores can negotiate for bulk discounts and free shipping from publishers etc.

    hmmm, that's a hijack, sorry. i guess what i mean is that they are "mass produced" but not like a CD or DVD, for example, which cost cents apiece to produce (obviously not counting royalties to artists etc), so the profit margin, even selling a CD or DVD at $14.99 is much greater.

    anyway. i love to shop at independents, also b/c their displays aren't all paid for by publishers. B&N, Borders etc. all get PAID to put books in displays and on the front tables-- that is not anyone's considered opinion, but a matter of moola. i discover more cool fiction on the tables of independent stores that i never would have found packed on the shelves in the back of a B&N.

    however, i can also be swayed by the convenience or good deals at the big stores! i got my copy of The Stitch-it Kit at Costco, for example (feeling slightly guilty). Also, the narrow margins in publishing also mean that i can't always afford to buy an armful of books at full price. tee hee.

  5. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Spokane, WA (the vicinity thereof)
    Posts
    68
    If it's something I must have and can't be bothered to shop around, I order it from Amazon. But, 99% of the time, I simply pick up whatever I can at the thrift stores that I frequent. We have about 1500 books, almost all of which have been bought secondhand, I'm proud to say! In fact, just this weekend, I found a first edition of Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test for 50 cents! Hooray!
    If I lived in a real city, I would check out indie bookstores more often, but there aren't any around here :(

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    39
    My favorite bookstore is the Goodwill bookstore.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,563
    I've really cut down on buying any books. I have too many, and a nice little pile of ones I haven't even read yet. Most fiction books I want to read I ask for for Christmas. I am constantly at my local library, especially for books on tape. Non-fiction books that I must buy (and I'm trying to cut down on those too), I usually get at the school store or on Half.com (I also sell a lot on Half.com).

    In general I like to buy from used bookstores because they are cheaper and you can usually get rather pretty editions (hardcover, with illustrations, etc. etc.). I will certainly use a Borders gift card when I get them as gifts, but I usually buy crafting books with them :)

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    BC, Canada
    Posts
    151
    It's usually used bookstores and Value Village for me. I've found books there that have been sitting in my Chapters wishlist forever at prices of $25, and I got them for $1.99 or less.

    I love the feeling of finding a beloved book - it's like a little victory. Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm shoplifting when I find these books for so cheap. I probably would never have picked up a lot of wonderful books or tried some more unknown authors if it weren't for the great prices.

    I'm pretty well known in my Value Village now, because I always run up to the counter with my arms full of books, and a huge grin on my face.

    As much as I'd like to say that I frequent independents, I don't unless I'm in another city. The people working at our local indy are pretty rude, and they know very little about the books they're selling. I've heard that the owner is quite nice, but until he stops hiring incompetent asses, I'll be ordering my new books from Chapters.

    homuncula - 1500 books....drool... how do you organize them all? I'm up to 600 and it's starting to get messy. Actually that sounds like a fun topic if no one's started it yet. I'll go start one now.

  9. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    202
    Now that my favorite local independent bookstore (which really didnt charge much more than the local Borders) has closed, I like Dover Thrift Editions, half.com, and even Borders. Still, most of the books I read come from the library because I can't afford to buy a quarter of the books I read.

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Spokane, WA (the vicinity thereof)
    Posts
    68
    Well, I know there's about 1500 because I have them in a database :) I am weirdly compulsive about them, haha. As for actual organization, they're usually on thrifted shelves, but I'm about to move... so about half are in boxes at the moment. It makes me sad to see them put away :( I started entering books in the database the summer I married DH and we merged our book collections, over 4 years ago now. I realize it's a bit strange, but it's been immensely satisfying to keep record of all my thrifted finds!!

  11. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    134
    I usually shop at this great used bookstore near my lab, but I'll buy from B&N if there is sometheing I really really want that I can't find at the used place. Even buying used I still spend way too much on books, but I don't always have the patience to sit out a wait list at the library if there is something I want to read.


 
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