Reading Rage Wednesday: What showrooming really means to the indie bookshop.

17 October 2012 by 48 Comments
Showroom,constructiv pon

That dude looks so happy to be part of a showroom display.

Last week, I wrote a reading rage on the topic of indie bookshops that sneer at e-readers. Some of the response that I got back was, “Yeah, they probably shouldn’t be rude to customers–but CUSTOMERS are rude! Because they showroom!” Showrooming, if you haven’t heard of it, is the act of going into a store and checking out merchandise that you want to buy, then going home and ordering it online, effectively transforming a retail establishment into a personal showroom. Up until about two days ago, I, too, was anti-showrooming. It just seemed rude as hell. After all, what kind of a jerkwad goes into a store, looks at items being offered for sale, and then shops around to get a better deal?

Oh, wait. That would be all customers, forever.

It hit me when I was chatting with @Wiswell in the comments of last week’s reading rage (which you can check out here, if you care to see the background context) that showrooming is a fancy-schmancy name for what we like to call “competition.” Barring some extreme examples, like when @deadwhiteguys recounted a customer who was actively telling other people not to buy products from that store because they’re cheaper on Amazon (who DOES that?), if a customer “showrooms” without making a purchase, it’s really not a result of rudeness. What it is, and I’m sad to say it, is the bookstore failing to make the sale.

I know, competition got a lot tougher in the digital age. Indies already had problems competing against big box bookstores, which offer discounts on new hardbacks and usually a cafe and lounging environment; with Amazon also offering lower prices, carrying just about any book you can imagine to buy, and giving customers shipping deals, closing that sale must have gotten even more difficult. Factor in smartphones and tablets, which give us all of that information without having to go back home to our computers? I’m not at all surprised that indie bookshops are feeling the pain. The thing is, we can’t blame the customers for wanting a better deal. And we can’t blame Amazon for B&N for legitimately getting into a business. (HOW DARE THEY sell books online at lower prices because they can buy in bulk and store in a warehouse where per-book overhead is lower?? Yeah, there just . . . there isn’t anything illegal or immoral about big companies selling books at lower prices.) We can’t even blame the fact that Amazon doesn’t charge sales tax; on a $25 hardcover, sales tax in my area rings up to about $1.37, and that amount of money probably isn’t going to sway me from buying a book in a store so I can wait several days to receive it in the mail. Unless I’m buying hundreds of books, sales tax just isn’t going to factor in as huge savings because they’re not huge purchases to begin with–plus, if I’m spending less than $25 on Amazon, I’m going to pay more in shipping than I save in sales tax (which I’m supposed to be paying anyway when April rolls around).

Strip away all of the usual bullshit about who is responsible for some indie bookstores tanking in the digital era, and we come down to this: if you can’t compete, you can’t stay in business. Sometimes it’s hard to compete. Sometimes you’re doing your thing, and then someone comes along and is a lot better at doing your thing than you ever imagined anybody would be–although, it’s worth noting that, according to ZDNet, only 25% of customers who compare prices online while in the store (6% of total customers) actually go on to buy that product elsewhere. This, they say, is a great thing–because the store has a chance to corral the other 75% and turn their browsing into buying.

The firm that conducted the study cited by ZDNet also had this to say about showrooming:

“But Vibes researchers say that instead of battling against showrooming, retailers should embrace it. First off, “If you offer price matching, your associates should be trained to observe ‘showrooming’ behavior and approach customers proactively with offers and information to help close the sale,” the study states.

Retailers should also understand that the presence of a smartphone in a shopper’s hands can be an aide to closing the sale. In the survey, 48% of showrooming shoppers said that they felt better about their purchase after doing some in-store research and shopping around on their phones. What smartphone-enabled shopping eliminates is the well-founded concern consumers have that soon after they make a purchase they’ll find out the item had poor reviews or was available for a much cheaper price elsewhere. With a little pre-purchase showrooming, however, these worries fade.” — “Could ‘Showrooming’ Actually Be Good for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers?”, Time

“Embrace showrooming?! Are you crazy, bookslut lady? I want ALL that shit OUT of MY STORE!”

Am I so crazy?

“Among the most ineffective — and potentially damaging — responses would be to block customers from doing online comparison shopping while in physical stores. ‘The ability to bring outside information into your store will only increase,” says Adner. “You can’t really lock the consumer in, and companies that try to do that will fail.’ Alison Jatlow Levy, a retail consultant at New York City-based management consulting firm Kurt Salmon, agrees. ‘The last thing you can ever do is upset a customer,’ Jatlow Levy notes. ‘Anything that alienates the customer will do so much damage.’” — Knowledge@Wharton, UPenn

Frowning upon showrooming–or chasing away customers who are showrooming–is a disastrous response. I have every right to select my retailer; I don’t owe anybody anything just by virtue of walking into a store to see what they have for sale and at what price. Here’s another thing that’s not crazy: like I said last week, if I’m in your store, I’m already at least halfway to making a purchase. Online retailers don’t always have an advantage, because there’s a powerful lure in instant gratification. If I’m holding the thing I want already in my hand, and the price difference isn’t terribly significant (hardbacks, it will be; paperbacks, not so much, unless I opt to buy used), I’m already going to be leaning toward buying it right then, right there. Mix in some value-added services and a well-trained sales staff? I’m walking out of that store with the book, more likely than not.

And if I don’t buy the book from your store? It’s not my fault, yo. If bricks-and-mortar retail wants to re-establish competition where it might be lagging, the first step is to stop blaming the customer. We hate that and we won’t forgive it very easily.

What about you, book fans? Am I crazy? Do you whip out your phone in a store to check prices? Have you ever been given a dirty look–or worse!–for doing so? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

Susie

Susie is the Bitch-in-Chief at IB and is also a contributor at Book Riot. She's an ice cream connoisseur, an art fanatic, a cat-mommy of three, and a wife. She runs the @thebooksluts Twitter account and may be slightly addicted.

48 thoughts on “Reading Rage Wednesday: What showrooming really means to the indie bookshop.

  1. I generally look up pricing before I even walk into a store. If I’m in there with my phone in my hand, it isn’t because I’m shopping around for a better price, it’s because I’m reading reviews for that item.

  2. Maybe I have a significant advantage in NOT having a cell phone – smart or otherwise – or tablet or anything like that. If I’m going to a bookstore, y’know what I take? A listing (often in a small notebook) of the books I want to buy. I then start in the sales area and, if I have the money to buy books, I start throwin’ ‘em into my basket. Which means I rarely make “unplanned” visits to bookstores, ’cause if I don’t have the money to buy something, I just don’t even want to go in and possibly submit to temptation. *shrug*

  3. “your associates should be trained to observe ‘showrooming’ behavior and approach customers proactively with offers and information to help close the sale”

    Ha, that sounds like selling a used car. :)

    “Jerry, you see that lady over there with the new Danielle Steel? It’s your turn to shine! Get in there and close the sale!”

    I think a lot of people go into a store (*any* kind of store) to browse and search, and they don’t want to be “sold” on something by a salesperson.

    That said, I worked in a bookstore during high school and college, and our entire staff was always happy to actually, you know, talk BOOKS with any customers who wanted that kind of interaction. If you loved a particular author, I could find you a staffer who also loved that author and could recommend other similar books you might love, too. (I guess Amazon does that for you know, eh?)

    Of course, what do I know. That bookstore I worked at? It was closed by its corporate masters a few years back and all of my old friends were fired…

    • Yeah :D Actually, not overselling the customers or being pitchy is part of being a well-trained salesperson. Being able to read people is the key.

      ETA: Amazon algorithms are crap, though, at suggesting books a lot of the time. They never get it right for me.. I don’t think that’s a place where you can replace human knowledge.

      • There are days I really miss interacting with the customers and helping someone find a great book they’re really going to love… Plus, there was the fun of the return visit when they came back the next week to tell you how it went. It was like setting up a blind date for two old friends.

        • This is going to sound dorky, but I miss that from working at Starbucks. I was in charge of the retail sales (and I did a hell of a good job, we won regional sales competitions consistently–so, I’m not really talking out of my ass TOO much when I talk about sales ;) and it gave me warm fuzzies when people told me how much they enjoyed the products they took home.

          Oddly, I didn’t have that same experience working for a bookstore when I did. Probably because I was stuck at the cash register all evening.

          • We had a lot of great customers and I really liked *most* of the people I worked with. Being able to borrow any book you wanted was a huge perk for a poor student.

            But like any form of retail, there were also problem customers, and there were scammers, and there were some bad employees, and there were loads of headaches when you needed them the least. I remind myself of that whenever I get too nostalgic. ;)

            I also knew a thing or two about sales, to the point that our district manager was on the verge of shipping me around from store to store to discuss a variety of sales topics and techniques. (Most of my talk would have been: smile and be nice to the customers, be helpful, read a lot so you can discuss new releases and classics, do your best to make sure the customer leaves the store happy, etc. Basic stuff, right? But, unfortunately, it needed to be explained to some…)

            But then I got too busy with school and life, which was probably for the best. There was a time I seriously thought I could become a lifer like my manager and assistant manager, who were just awesome…

          • I did a lot of the retail training at our store. It was pretty similar.. also included, “Please familiarize yourself with the features of the products that we sell” and “Ask questions so you know what customers are looking for!”

            I also considered moving up in the chain at Starbucks to become a manager, but then I had a little nervous breakdown at work. Oops.

          • Yikes! A nervous breakdown isn’t any fun. Did yours at least happen in the privacy of your own home or the back room? I witnessed a long time staffer suffer a nervous breakdown on the sales floor at Christmas one year and I felt so bad for her because I totally understood the stress of that moment. It wasn’t pretty, either. A BOOK GOT THROWN ACROSS THE STORE. Yikes…

          • Unfortunately, it happened at work.. but not because of customers. I’ve always loved customers on the whole, and I survived holiday season working retail at a mall by reminding myself that, when people are being shitty, it’s because they’re stressed out and not because they’re bad people. It was because we had two shift supervisors who were at war with each other and put me right in the middle; at one point, I just broke. I got sent home from work every day for a week because I was throwing up when I got there, and I had to go to the ER when my heart starting wonking out. (Just a little tachycardia, as it turned out, but it was SCARY in the moment–I was taking an order over the drive through and I felt like my heart dropped down and started losing blood pressure. I said “Oh my god” out of the speaker and then ran into the back room. I imagine someone else started taking orders for me, heh.)

          • Ah, that sucks. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of someone else’s war, ESPECIALLY when it’s at your work place, which means there’s no way to avoid it.

            One other (happier?) thought about retail while I’m lingering in the past: there was always at least one customer every week who made life, well, interesting. Some were crazy, some were kooky, and some were just loving life and that was fun to see.

            But some were, um, inconsiderate… Like the time someone changed their baby’s diaper and left the used diaper just sitting on a shelf in the children’s section. :)

    • “Jerry, you see that lady over there with the new Danielle Steel? It’s your turn to shine! Get in there and close the sale!”

      You get an internet. Congratulations, sir :)

      • I’ve been thinking about your post. My huge objection is people walking into a brick-and-mortar store to milk as much information as they can out of the employees while fully intending to make their purchase elsewhere. People may not do this as much at bookshops as at other kinds of stores.

        • I see it from the opposite side: if I go in to talk to a store’s salespeople about something I want to buy, I’m also giving the salesperson an opportunity to talk me into buying it there. It might not always work, but if they have competitive benefits to buying it at that location, I could definitely be swayed to change my mind about where I’m going to buy it.

          • See… that’s how I feel about it. That’s why both appliance and car salesmen try so hard to close the sale before you walk out the door – they KNOW that you’re shopping around and the KNOW that their job is make the sale.

            The has been several times that I’ve ended up in Sears (because they have all the appliance models) mostly intending to check them all out and then order from Best Buy or Frys and the salesman has earned my sale – they’ve matched the price and thrown in some extras to make it worth my while to do my business there.

            The salesman knows that I’m shopping around (because I told him) and he knows that it’s his job to convince me that he has the best deal – and he looks at it as an opportunity to make the sale. After all, I am in HIS store at the moment. The best salespeople are looking to forge a lifelong relationship – they aren’t just looking to sell me a fridge or car today, they’re looking to sell me all my appliances or cars in the future- plus, if they do a good job, I’ll recommend them to my friends and family.

            It might not be that dramatic with bookshops – but I’ve told everyone that I know about my favorite bookseller (Katy Budget Books in Katy, Texas) and shopped there for 20 years, so they must be doing something right. And it doesn’t involve making me feel like a jerk when I don’t buy something that day or because I have an eDevice.

  4. I think it’s part of a long trend in which all bookstores can’t be everything. The Big-Box stores whooshed in and started curshing the indie stores with thei exhaustive selection; then Amazon swooped in with “the Long Tail” (and free shipping) and started putting the screws to the Big-Box stores.
    HOWEVER… indie booksellers that developed a niche and became (more) specialized seemed to have some success. McNally Robinson did it in Canada, pushing hard for local and Canadian authors — Chapters/Indigo still can’t match them at it. I can think of a number of specialty bookstores I’d look first for something than a big-box place, and a lot of that has to do with interacting with the staff and how likely they are to be able to find either the exact book I want, or something similarly awesome I didn’t even know about.
    And I don’t think it’s right to blame online retailers for scooping up all the sales indie bookshops could be making. The marketplace is changing — maybe the indies need some kind of better online engagement?

    • I agree! I would love to see indie bookshops adapt and play hard to their strengths. The time when you could line a shelf with books and sell ‘em by virtue of just being the neighborhood bookshop is long gone, but there are other advantages that can be used to regain lost business. Bookshops need to get lean and, er, well, not mean, don’t be mean to customers.

  5. Here’s the deal. I’m broke. Even working full time, picking up an extra class, and editing, I am still well below what everyone wants to throw around as “middle class salary.” It sucks, but I deal with it.

    I don’t have an indie, but when I visit them, it does make me suck in my breath a bit when I see the prices. I will visit Murder by the Book in Houston on occasion to see an author speak, but that’s rare, and it’s an event. I’ll buy the book, but I also get to listen to the author speak. That’s awesome.

    But if it comes down to spending full price on a book or getting a discount at B&N or at Amazon, I’ll do it. Because my reading habit has long been immense, and in order to fuel that, I go to the library and buy when books are on sale.

    It isn’t that I don’t want to support an indie, but if I have the choice of buying a book or not buying a book (all based on price), what do you think it will be. Even ebook prices are higher in many of the indies that do sell them. I just can’t do it.

    Thanks for having the honest discussion here. In a perfect world where people made decent money for working hard, heck yeah I’d frequent indies and buy full-price books. But it’s not, and I don’t.

    • Price is such a huge consideration, especially for readers who consume many books. I understand that a lot of indies can’t compete with Amazon pricing (although when I was at The Strand, their trade paperbacks were VERY reasonably priced; I know they’re a huge indie, but I wonder what they’re doing, cos they bested Amazon in some prices), but there need to be value-adds somewhere to get me to spend extra in an indie shop. (ETA: This is less true with paperbacks since the price differences aren’t as steep.)

    • As usual, Jenn has said exactly what I would have said here. My book habit is expensive, even *with* the option to shop around. If I walk into a bookstore and see I book I want…and if I know I can buy it cheaper elsewhere…well, I’m going to go elsewhere and buy it for a cheaper price. I have to.

  6. Sometimes I worry that my favourite local bookshop is going to boot me, because I’m forever in there with my Pocket Brain (aka, smartphone) in hand, noting things down. Sometimes it’s adding a book to my Goodreads queue; sometimes it’s checking cover quality or font or price or SOMETHING on a book published by another house. That, in particular, is something I can’t do on Amazon. I’m not making a purchase, but I’m also not really showrooming, as I DO have a tendency to buy something on every trip to the Northshire, and evangelize for the place (no, srsly, http://www.northshire.com – they rock).

    Still, it doesn’t look good, me standing there for an hour poking at books and my little computerjiggy.

    But while I do NOT want bookstores to end up with all the overhead and labour costs and hassle of displaying books, answering customer questions, finding “that blue book with the penguin on it, but not THAT blue” and all that…I also think that alienating customers is a really bad idea. It’s hard for a bookstore to compete with an online megastore – again, see “massive overhead comparatively” – but there are ways to deal with this that don’t involve making the customer out to be the bad guy, or demanding that people feel bad for wanting the lowest price. It’s a quandary.

  7. Look – I love indie stores (of all types, not just bookstores). I love them so much, that I’m willing to pay more for things, deal with a reduced selection, wait for orders to come in etc. to help them stay in business. I loved the indie record store that used to be in my neighborhood so much that I would pay more AND wait for a CD to come in before I’d give Best Buy my money. I cried with the owner when she told me that she was going out-of-business.

    With that in mind … if I have my smart phone or tablet out in your store, I’m probably not checking prices. Reviews? Yes. Trying to figure out the name of the author so I can find a book? Yes. Checking my database and/or Kindle bookshelf to make sure that I don’t already own the book? Yes. Checking my Amazon wish list to see what’s on it so I can buy the item from YOU? Yes. Downloading a sample chapter so I can decide if I want the book or not? Yes.

    So… there are all sorts of reasons that I might be engaging in what LOOKS like showrooming to you. However, I’m in your store because I would like to purchase something from you. If I don’t buy something that day, it’s because you either don’t have what I want OR you made me feel uncomfortable enough to leave. If it’s the former, I’ll be back…. but, if it’s the latter, I mostly likely will not. Ever. So, you might want to keep that in mind before you get on your high horse about “showrooming” with me.

    • heh, i was going to write almost exactly the same thing, so i’ll just agree with you. “Smartphone” does not equal “trying to screw over the store”, i am almost always trying to find the title i’ve saved somewhere or checking to see if i already own it. If i am in a bookstore i’m in need of a book RIGHT THEN or i am browsing with intent to buy.

      • I think exactly what I don’t like is this idea that, by shopping around or comparing prices, if we buy something elsewhere we’re “screwing” the store. It’s not screwing the store if they’re not offering me the best value, even if I take up a little oxygen browsing their content to see what they are offering.

        • Yup, in days before the internet I thought nothing of going around multiple stores to find the best price. When you’re a poverty stricken student, sometimes money is more valuable than time. The only thing that’s changed is the technology to check the prices elsewhere.

  8. I think I’m only now beginning to appreciate having loyalty to a particular brand or supporting a business because it is independently-owned. Because of this, I don’t really have particular experience with shopping in small bookstores. The ones I have been in have mostly been majorly overpriced and the staff didn’t seem to be friendly or willing to help. I don’t expect them to be over the top, but just basic human courtesy would be appreciated.

    I have to admit that I’ve taken down names of books and “showroomed” before, but it was simply because the cost of the books right then and there were way out of my budget range, especially during college when trying to save up money for a car and have money to support myself away from home, and now with my decent salary but lots of bills to pay. There has to be a way that will help indie bookstores create their own distinctiveness and quality that will keep people coming back, even if the books are a bit pricier.

    • I’m brainstorming some ideas for a future post that discusses ways to be profitable without lowering prices. There are ways, I’m certain of it! :D

  9. I would personally feel uncomfortable checking other stores’ prices while in the store…but going home to check online for other prices, or going into other stores? I don’t see that as showrooming at all. As you say, it’s what customers do, and what they have every right to do. If I’d really wanted the book right then and there, and the price seemed reasonable, I’d have bought it right then and there.

    Now, let’s say I’ve already decided I’m going to buy online, but I wander into the brick-n-mortar just to check out the book in person… not sure how I’d feel about that. I mean, the booksellers aren’t going to know what my intentions are unless I say something (like Mr. Jerkwad Disrupter of Other Shoppers); for all they know, I could be considering buying the book. Still…

    Ethical discussions are fun :-D

    • I’m not sure if I find it particularly unethical, but as someone who used to work retail, even if I DID think you were checking out a product without intent to buy, I wouldn’t say boo about it. I’d greet you and be nice and friendly, so you’d either feel welcome (and maybe buy something) or feel guilty enough to stop (if you had anything to feel guilty about… aka, this is how we dealt with people we thought might be shoplifting :D).

      • That’s a good point — I also just saw your discussion with Heather and Cynthia W. above, about how a good salesperson can change your mind about where you want to buy a book. And as David Fuller mentioned, it’s the ability to make themselves a niche that can help the indie stores compete with the big boxes. There are places I love to go, whether it’s bookstores or coffee shops, mainly because of the atmosphere — the architecture, the staff, etc. For instance, I could get a great peppermint mocha at Starbucks, but if I want to hang out for a while, read a book, etc., I’d rather go to a place like Alterra.

  10. In the late 70′s, home computer retailers had a similar problem. The Apple II was sold both through mail order and in stores, so shoppers would come in, get a hands-on demo, then go home and buy the computer by mail order because it was cheaper. Retailers can’t stop customers from looking for a better deal, but they can convince the customer that they *are* the better deal by providing something the Internet can’t.

  11. Years ago I made a rule for myself: No more buying books, unless they were for my kids or they were classics that I knew I would read again and again. I was burying my family in stacks (not to mention burying us in debt) and I had to make the tough call to STOP.

    I bow down to my local library in gratitude.

  12. Because I love indie bookstores so fiercely, it’s really hard for me to say this but it’s true: I cannot fault your logic. Everything you say is totally true, and sentimental value or no, indies still have to think like businesses. It is up to indies to provide something of value that a big box or internet retailer simply can’t. My favorite local bookshop is amazingly good at that – just a glance at their windows and you’ll see a bevy of smart, sassy material that explains what they have over non-local business. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable. They don’t oversell – and I agree that I would be really annoyed by a bookstore employee trying to talk me into buying a book – but the level of personalized service is amazing. They remember what I like, they’ve given me dozens of spot-on recommendations, and I’ve discovered books I would never have known existed otherwise. They have stellar programming and the experience is so intensely awesome that I will always go to them first, even if it means returning for a book later when it’s cheaper – I really REALLY want to read Jenny Lawson’s book, for example, but I’m waiting for the paperback, and then I will buy it there.

    They have consistently provided an experience that means I will do whatever I can to support them whenever possible. For example, when I was on a short story kick a couple months ago, I went in & asked for some recommendations. I was pretty broke at the time, and the book that they recommended that I wanted most was one I’d have to com back for. On my way out, the guy who’d made the recommendations stopped me & gave me a copy of Stephan Millhouse’s In The Penny Arcade. It was pretty battered, and he explained he’d just taken it because he couldn’t quite let it go, even though it wasn’t really in resale condition. “Just take it,” he said, “you’ll love it.” He was right, I did. I’ll be loyal to them forever.

    The one thing I was interested to see you didn’t mention was the larger economic benefit of shopping locally. As a consumer, the lowest prices and the best deal are not actually always the smartest long-term economic choice – your community needs local dollars to flourish, and a failing local economy is usually not good for you as a consumer or a person. There’s an interesting article here about that. But honestly, thanks for this, because I tend to get indignant and snarky about indie-versus-corporate-behemoth, and you very sensibly pointed out why I need to stop doing that.

    • Oh, absolutely shopping locally provides a greater benefit to the local economy. I didn’t post about that because I guess I wasn’t discussing the benefits of big-box shopping vs. indies ^_^ Your local bookstore sounds like it’s absolutely doing right in providing added value without slashing prices, and that’s exactly the kind of thing that indies can do for readers. Emotional attachment does play a big role in how we spend our money, so it’s not something to be discounted at all. I just would like to see some of the customer-blaming hand-wringing die off, heh. It’s not helping indies at all. Even indies who do NOT think that way might get lumped in because, when we read this stuff online, some people might think that their local indie secretly thinks that way, too.

  13. Fantastic — I think you hit it right by just reminding everybody that bookstores are in the business of being stores and having customers.

    I think there are ways that indie bookstores can easily outsway the lower prices provided by Amazon and those include those personal recommendations a person can provide that an algorithm will never master.

    It also includes just the pure sweet fun of browsing. No matter how I’ve tried, I can’t seem to find the right pitch to browse my way through Amazon. Too many dark ends, too many forgotten author names. In a bookstore I can just go alphabetical and find something along the way.

    On top of this are, of course, author readings and in-store events that indies can provide. Buying a book to have an author sign right there is a lovely thrill.

    Lastly, I shop at an indie that offers buy-back options for lightly used books so normally I can find books in that under $10 range that still fits my paycheck. I think it’s definitely doable to sell at the same level, it’s just a bit more hit or miss for the consumer.

    • Used books seem like they would be SUCH a good option. Buy-backs or trade-ins for credit would definitely be sending tons of readers in the doors of indies vs. going to Amazon, and then they WOULD have a stock of books that could beat Amazon’s new prices, and unlike buying used on Amazon, you can see the condition beforehand.

  14. I hate to admit it, but I think brick-and-mortar bookstores are going out, no matter how bad we don’t want them to.

    I can see how being able to have a smartphone or other internet-enabled device handy while browsing could be beneficial for customers to check reviews or add things to their lists and queues. We are an instant gratification society, and I will admit that I’m more likely to buy something that I want in the store than wait for it to arrive in the mail.

    On the other hand, I buy into the instant gratification so much that I usually shop Amazon and get books for my Kindle as soon as the whim strikes my fancy. These days, I only walk into the bookstore when I’m waiting on my wife to finish looking at boring things like handbags or shoes.

    • Boy, I sure hope not, at least not until I’m dead and gone. I love my Kindle, but I also love wiling away a few hours browsing through a good bookstore and looking for hidden gems. Even though I do most of my reading electronically now, I still love physical books – the feel, the smell, just having something tangible in my hands.

      Now… if only they could make it so I could adjust the pesky font size in a regular book.

          • Get off your ass and get an e-ink reader.Trust me, I love it more than ice cream. And I got mad rsecept for the indie bookstore, and I love how Weightless Books replicates this indie bookstore feel in electronic format. I just hate that I can’t say indie books without half the internet thinking I mean self published.

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