29/3/12- Thoughtful Thursdays. The cost of words

Books can be expensive or cheap. You can get first editions that cost thousands, or go to a charity shop to get a book for 50p. Certain classics seem to be a dime a dozen at second hand shops, whilst sometimes your best bet is to get to the bookstore to get the newest release. 

I read Hunger Games last week which I enjoyed, it was a fast read, and a quick escape. I ordered the next two books on Amazon and couldn't believe the difference in price. 

If I were to buy the second and third books in Waterstones (chain bookstore) they would be around 7.99 (12.70 Canadian) each. However, I purchased them on Amazon and they were 7 pounds for two! How can you argue with that?

There is discussion that companies like Amazon are killing local bookstores as they just can't compete with those prices. But what's a girl to do? We have a few small independent bookshops in town, but how long will they be around? And can Waterstones compete with Amazon prices?

Oxfam's book shop (charity shop) in town has lots of books to choose from, and lots of new ones as well. I just bought "Room" from there for 2 pounds. However, its hard to find new releases or popular books. 

What are your thoughts on this? Where do you get your books? The cheaper the better? Or if you can, do you support the independent stores?

Reminds me of Shakespeare & Co in Paris. Source.


  1. I've quickly turned into an Amazon girl. I guess this mostly happened when I was overseas and that's how I got English books to read. Before that I would spend time in Chapters - which I'm sure isn't any better for killing the independent bookstore.

    My love for Amazon is based in the ease of purchase, the selection (they have everything!), and the price. I think the price really gets me. I'm much more willing to wait for a $9 book to ship to me than go and buy it for $15 or even more.

    I find independent bookstores somewhat exhausting because the prices are much higher and the selection is very limited. Maybe if I had some cash to throw around I'd be more willing to support the small business.

  2. As an author, I can say that Amazon has helped me make a living -- not something that all authors can say. Their extensive reach with Kindle as well as cheaper paperback prices means anyone, anywhere can buy my books. An avid reader myself, I now read 99% of my books on Kindle and I have bought way more in the past year than ever before, thanks to the cheap price and convenience. Far from killing books and authors, I feel that Amazon has helped many.

    I feel for independent bookshops, but as the world changes, there will inevitable be casualties...

  3. Thanks for your fab comments ladies.
    I also am an Amazon girl, and get a buzz when I receive that package (Teira, I know you do too!). Talli, very cool to hear your perspective on it all...:)

  4. It's so hard, isn't it? I always feel guilty when I buy on Amazon but I'm so broke... I promise myself that when I have money I'll buy from beautiful bookshops.

  5. wendy loves books12 April 2012 at 20:14

    I finally get around to replying to this VERY important post! I love that you are talking about books and bookshops!
    On holiday I recently spent a lot of time in many independent and adorably quaint bookshops. There is NOTHING better for me esp. travelling, then at least an hour browsing in non-chain bookstores and talking with the owners. One shop was so adorable with her own reviews written above books she had read. Another had the employees wall with all their picks ( not just Heather's Picks! ) such a delight! I ended up spending money. I bought 4 new books ( 2 hardcovers!) and they were not Amazon prices and they were not cheap. But it felt SO GOOD. It gives me such pleasure to wander, touch ( feeling books is necessary!) and soak in the atmoshpere of an independent bookshop. At uni it was always the used bookshops because I could never afford the 'new' books. But now I love both. And I spend at both because I finally can. I figure it is like a little guilty pleasure to have my big stack on my bedside table. Now that said, like Amanda and Teira, I absolutely love finding an Amazon order alongside my front step when I come home from work..and I love ordering from Amazon and I love the prices! It means I can buy more. Every month I put an Amazon order in and holler to the boys ' last chance for the Amazon order' and it is routine in our house. While on holiday I was looking for a special book on archiecture for J and it was locally written. I could NOT get it at the 4 bookshops I went to on one island. Of course, the most pleasant shop owner begged me not to get it from Amazon but stay with my local bookshop and order it when I get home. Well, sadly there is NO local bookshop in my town and I went on Amazon that night and ordered it. It was 17$ CHEAPER than at the 4 bookshops I had gone to ( they were all sold out but the price at each was the same ). Can you believe that difference? So there are times when, like Chuck feels, you just have to forgo the beautfiul shops and go online..not only to get what you are seeking, but for the prices too.


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