Monday, 9 May 2011

Back To The Bookstore?

Since I got my Amazon Kindle e-reader in March I have been feeling a little guilty about buying most of my new books online.  

I’ve always been a book person, I worked in publishing for a long time and I feel for the way that electronic book publishing and e-reading is impacting the industry. 

I never thought that I would prefer to read on an actual e-reader, I resisted for months as I thought that I would not be a real “book person” without my hardcover first editions.  But this is not the case anymore.  In two months I’ve downloaded 10 novels online and purchased three books in the bookstore (two of them were reference books). 

This weekend I was browsing in a real bookstore and it got me thinking about the benefits of buying and reading books on my Kindle AND buying and reading books at the bookstore: 
The Bookstore
  • There are still a few really great independent bookstores.  Ben McNally Books in Toronto is one example.
  • You can ask for help from an experienced bookseller who will help you find a book you will love.
  • Nothing beats walking around the bookstore and seeing some of the cool/interesting and eye catching covers.
  • While walking around you might stumble across a rare find which is not on any bestseller list, but is the best book you’ve ever read.
  • Rochelle mentioned to me that she was interested in reading Shania Twain’s new autobiography, but for now you can only buy it in the bookstore in Canada. Not everything is available right away for downloading on the Kindle. 
  • I still prefer to buy reference books that I can keep on my desk from the bookstore.
Downloading books on my Kindle e-reader
  • When I read about a book that looks good I can sample a chapter right away and see if I like it before buying it.
  •  It is less expensive in general to buy books online.  
  • I can take my Kindle with me anywhere and if I’m stuck waiting at an appointment I will always have something to read.
  • The cover with the light is one of the best inventions ever. I can read while my husband sleeps and the cover makes the Kindle feel like a book.
If you love to read then chances are you will enjoy reading physical books and books on an e-reader. Sadly I will probably continue to buy more books online than in the bookstore and I keep hearing the same thing from others who’ve been using e-readers. The good news is that people are saying that they are reading more books than ever with their e-readers. Hopefully new opportunities will be created for publishers, writers and booksellers who have always struggled in a competitive market. 

Thankfully, one thing is clear – booklovers will always be around.

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