So, recently I’ve changed my buying patterns when it comes to books. I decided it didn’t make any sense to keep giving Amazon money when there are bookstores in Richmond that are closing. Now when there’s a book I want, I add the title, author, ISBN and ISBN-13 to a note I keep in Evernote. Then I go to Barnes & Noble to buy the books.
Frequently they don’t have the books I want in stock. It doesn’t make sense for them to stock lots of books on higher education or specifically on teaching and learning. But if I go to the information desk, they are happy to look up the books, order them, and apply my member discount to the purchase. As a member, they ship the books to my house at a faster-than-standard shipping speed, for no extra cost. In the end the books are a bit pricier than Amazon, but the store gets credit for the sale (as opposed to purchases on the B&N web site), which will hopefully help to keep the store around.
I’m not bound to Barnes & Noble in particular: they’re just the closest bookstore. I want to find additional booksellers who might not be part of a big chain (suggestions from fellow Richmonders are welcome).
My goal is to help the stores in town. Amazon is great for making additional recommendations, but I still like browsing. And just as so many people enjoy libraries as spaces, my family and I love to hang out in bookstores, reading books while we have a little coffee. So I think it’s worth it to spend a bit more so the store can stay and the people working in the store can stay.