I feel like I have to talk about this topic, especially since I’ve seen the topic of supporting independent bookstores, also known as indie bookstores, a lot in the blogosphere.
Like most of you (I can’t exactly say “all of you” since I don’t know everyone’s opinion and some people probably won’t agree with my next statement), I want to support independent bookstores.
However, as much as I do like and want to support indie bookstores, I have this one huge problem that prevents me from doing so: I live in New York City and there’s not a single independent bookstore near where I live. Not one. The closest independent bookstores to where I live is an hour away, by train. It’ll probably be an hour and thirty minutes away if I drive, which I don’t. Here’s my problem: one trip to the indie bookstore and back costs me $5 because you have to pay for two rides on the subway (one ride to go and one ride to come back). $5. That’s half the price of a paperback and one-fourth the price of a hardback.
Sure, I can always order online from the indie bookstore, but have you seen the shipping cost? Once I tried placing an order with an independent bookstore and it cost me anywhere from $5 to $19 just to ship one book. You’ll also have to wait a long time for the book and worry about it getting lost since most independent bookstores uses Paypal and you can’t get the tracking number, if there is even one used. On the other hand, when I buy books from Amazon, shipping costs me nothing since I have the free student Amazon Prime trial. Unlike indie bookstores, Amazon also helps me save at least 10% off a book with their decreased prices.
I do go and support indie bookstores when they hold book events with authors I want to meet. I usually buy a lot of books written by the author that’s signing and some other books that’s not written by the author too. That’s the only time when I can really support independent bookstores.
How about you? Are you in a similar situation as me? What do you do to support indie bookstores?