Book shops

  Noldi 20 May 11
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Today on Radio 2 was a discussion on bookshops and people buying books I have not seen a lot of news today but I believe it was to do with waterstones being sold off. The talking point was about Amazon supermarkets selling only best sellers a knock down prices and electronic books etc and how this was affecting book shops. I personally only look on the internet for a specific book that I know a bookshop will not stock EG Solid works software book or similar, then I go into my local bookshop and order it. Other than that I don’t purchase books over the internet I prefer to go into a book shop and browse and maybe coming out with something completely to what I had in mind. How do you see Bookshops as a overpriced outlet or a place of spending time browsing and finding the unexpected.

Noldi

  I am Spartacus 20 May 11

I can only speak for Waterstones and WH Smiths in Southend but compared to Amazon they're overpriced and although the do sell books below the marked price they're generally the ones that aren't selling too well. On Amazon you can usually get new releases in hardback for roughly half price on the day they're released. Waterstones and Smiths often take months before they discount them or have BOGOHF. If it was the odd book every now and then I wouldn't normally be too bothered but when I can save a couple of hundred quid a year by buying from Amazon for me it's a no brainer.

I do browse in the bookshops but mainly only buy from second hand ones. Another thing I like about Amazon is that if you're looking for an out of print book you can post a request and quite often you'll eventually get a copy at a reasonable price.

  JYPX 20 May 11

Strangely enough, I see Amazon as almost the perfect place to browse books, and discover authors that could be right up my street.

  spuds 20 May 11

Personally I tend to find that 'The Works' bookstores cater for most of my needs. Why pay full price for a book, that you might be able to obtain a few months later at a massively discounted price?.

As previously suggested, Amazon can take quite a bit of beating in respect of book purchases. I have also noticed that places like Poundland are started to sell books of interest.

  Forum Editor 20 May 11

I find myself - as they say - on the horns of a dilemma here.

On the one hand I want to speak up in support of traditional bookshops,and on the other hand I'm forced to agree with those who say that Amazon is virtually unbeatable when it comes to offering a breadth of choice.

No high street bookstore even comes close in terms of the sheer numbers of titles available on demand, and with the advent of the e-book reader the gap has widened still further. I very much doubt that I will buy many 'dead tree' books in future - almost all of my current reading is done via my Kindle and iPad. I can get books for far less, and I can get them in under a minute on both devices, no matter where I am.

It's both exciting and sad - I spent a lot of time browsing in bookshops a year or so ago, but I haven't been inside one since.

  OTT_B 20 May 11

I, for one, will miss book shops if they die out. And that's despite rarely suing them. But when I do need a book on a specialist, usually technical (e.g. programming) subject, a book shop is the first place of call. Buying the latest Harry Potter book is one thing - Amazon or your local supermarket will always have a it on sale, but when it comes to something you want to learn from there's no substitute for being able to flick through a book and seeing if it's presented in a way that makes sense to you.

On a slight tangent (sorry Noldi)....Amazon are apparently bringing out there own version of a tablet. I wonder if that will meet FE's dream!

  OTT_B 20 May 11

Using, even. Book shops aren't high up on my list of companies I'd like to sue!!

  Forum Editor 20 May 11

Amazon are apparently bringing out there own version of a tablet. I wonder if that will meet FE's dream!

I wouldn't be surprised to see my local newsagent bringing out a tablet - everyone seems to be doing it. Amazon's device would have to be quite something to stand a chance of beating the iPad, and there's a long queue of other contenders for the throne.

  morddwyd 21 May 11

I used to use bookshops quite a lot.

I stopped using Smith's when they started charging for ordering a book, and I'm talking about normal, in print, novels, not obscure research tomes.

I stopped using Waterstone's when the blaring "background" music made it impossible to concentrate and have a good browse, though this may change now that HMV is selling that part of its business.

  amonra 21 May 11

Most of the books I buy these days are from charity shops. If you dont want the latest releases then wait a while, someone will bring them in. That way I benefit the charities and my wallet. If I want a new release, then Amazon it is, no brainer !

  Armchair 21 May 11

I get most of my books from libraries. They have an online database of over over a million titles, and I just request any I want for collection at my local library. The service is free.

I do still buy some books, but my limit is £1 for any book. I buy from charity shops (eg Y.M.C.A., 30p for a paperback, 50p for a hardback), market stalls, and The Works. I do enjoy a browse still.

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