The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Book Related Banter > Internet or Physical Bookstore?

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message 1: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) Do you prefer to shop for your books on the Internet or in a bookstore?

For me, it's a combination of the two. Sometimes I like shopping online because the selection is larger, I can get some great bargains, and I can shop in my pajamas! Other times I want to be in the actual store and touch the books. I just love being surrounded by thousands of books!


Sallie(GeorgiaGirl) (shuga) I prefer to shop in a bookstore. However, where I live we do not have a bookstore of any kind close by, so for me to drive over an hour is not always feasable so I have to rely on the internet if I want a book.


message 3: by Angela (new)

Angela | 1934 comments I usually order books off of Amazon because I find it cheaper. I rarely go to a bookstore (like Barnes and Noble or Borders), but I do buy a lot of my books at Target.


message 4: by Marci (new)

Marci (iread49) | 215 comments I like both. I frequent the online bookstores such as B&N. Literary guild sends me almost daily emails and free shipping(that tells you how many books I buy from them... But I also LOVE the actual bookstores. Books make me happy!!!


message 5: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Ellis | 176 comments bookstore


message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol (caroldias) A bookstore is cooler, you can touch the books, see the cover live, feel the paper, smell etc. But I don´t have a real bookstore here in my town, so I´d need to drive 80km to find one :(

This way I shop in the internet, it´s the fastest and cheapest way to do it. The English ones from betterworldbooks and the Portuguese ones from national online bookstores.


message 7: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 11 comments I don't think anything can replace the joy of walking into a bookstore and buying a great book! I love the smell, the atmosphere and being able to explore. Back to the real world with Husbund, kids and work - Sometimes time doesn't permit so I go for the internet!


message 8: by Felina (new)

Felina I prefer the internet when I know exactly which book I want and I'm not in a hurry. This way I can hunt for the best prices.

I only shop at bookstores when I either want the book that second OR I'm not really looking for anything in particular I just want to buy a book. I LOVE that there are Starbucks in Barnes now. I love to just grab 5 random books I've never heard of and a pumkin spice latee and spend an hour deciding which ones to buy (it usually ends up being all of them and a few off the sale table). I, alone, am sending the CEO of Barnes and Noble's children to college.


message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo I get all my books online. You can read reviews and find the cheapest place with out even leaving your seat


message 10: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
I used to buy online to get better deals, but I HATED waiting and waiting for the package to arrive. For me - It's all about instant gratification! I buy now, and want now!!

I tend to hit summer sales and library sales before walking into a bookstore too now, being frugal and realising there is so much out there I can get for so much cheaper :)

Im in Borders everytime I get a great coupon too, they sure know how to catch my attention!!


message 11: by Jo (new)

Jo I love getting a parcel in through my door. But it would be nice to get it right away


message 12: by Katie (new)

Katie Marquette (katiesonlinelibrary) bookstore.

(although i end up ordering books online sometimes too, just for convenience sake)

but you cant beat the ambience or that nice bookstore smell :]


message 13: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ash88) | 34 comments I LOVE bookstores. I hardly ever buy books online unless they're for school. It's usually cheaper to buy online though and I should... we have a few Barnes and Nobles and a Borders in my city, but no good used bookstores! :/


message 14: by Jessika (new)

Jessika (jessalittlenerdy) Physical bookstore, definitely. I can't even begin to describe how excited I was when my town got a Barnes and Noble a year or so ago. It's a magical place for me. Really, any bookstore is. The smell, the feeling of the books. The big comfy chairs to plop down in and read a sample. I love them.


message 15: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) | 1045 comments I like the physical bookstore, but I do as much of my business, if not more, with Amazon.com and b&n.com. I find that they are usually cheaper if you shop in the discount area. Therefore, I buy a lot of my books online.


message 16: by Shanna (new)

Shanna I definitely prefer the bookstore, i love looking at the books and seeing other people that love books like i do.


message 17: by JSou (new)

JSou I usually do both, but prefer the real thing. One of my very favorite things to do is go in a bookstore or hit up a big used book sale, and just browse all the books. I could stay for hours! I do occassionally order off the internet if I can get a good deal, but even though I have hundreds of other books to be read, I still get ancy waiting for the package to arrive!


message 18: by Dan (new)

Dan (bookshelvesinchaos) I prefer physical bookstores because I like to browse. Sometimes I go in with a specific book in mind but I still spend time looking around, letting one book lead me to another, and a few hours later I realize that several things I was supposed to do haven't been done yet. When I go online for books it's to order a book or books that I haven't been able to find in the physical stores.


message 19: by April (last edited Aug 05, 2009 09:40AM) (new)

April (booksandwine) | 954 comments I do both. With physical bookstores I'm more likely to buy books not on my TBR, just from browsing the YA section and the sales bin. I work next door to a Borders Express, so it takes all my willpower not to go in before and after work. The great thing about it being a Borders express is that there isn't as good of a selection as in the mall Borders, so I don't get too carried away with spending. When buying online, I tend to overspend, I don't mind the wait since it feels like Christmas when I get new books in the mail, plus I love that a small part of my purchase goes towards literacy at BWB.


message 20: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I do most of my book buying on the internet because the selection at the nearby bookstore is not very good. It's also a thirty minute drive. And books online are almost always cheaper. Oh, and getting packages in the mail is one of my favorite things! So, yeah, internet. I love to go in bookstores though and almost always come out with something.


message 21: by Carol (new)

Carol (caroldias) April wrote: "I do both. With physical bookstores I'm more likely to buy books not on my TBR, just from browsing the YA section and the sales bin. I work next door to a Borders Express, so it takes all my willpo..."

I don´t mind the waiting either! I love to track the order, check the mail, it´s better than Christmas feeling lol


message 22: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 310 comments I have a pattern:

1. Used bookstore (cheaper and I walk past it twice a day on my way to get coffee and read in the morning.)

2. Chain bookstore (Borders, I will go here first if i want a specific book and i'm in a hurry, easier to find what i want)

3. Library (if its something I think i'll be OK parting with)

4. Internet (Mostly used right now for upgrading paperbacks to hardcover.)

My mailbox at my apartment is small and doesn't lock so any packages I get, I send to my mom's house about 5 minutes away. She doesn't always tell me right away when I get something and I have to find time to go over there.


message 23: by Edith (new)

Edith | 256 comments I do both but I agree with Lori. I hate waiting for the books to arrive. Plus I always seem to stumble upon books I've never heard of at the physical bookstore. Much more fun!


message 24: by Kate (new)

Kate | 119 comments I love the convenience of online bookstores. I can compare prices, find a larger variety and have them delivered straight to my front door.
.. trouble is, they're a little TOO convenient and I always spend way too much.(I'm expecting several arrivals at the moment)
As we only have one average chain bookstore with in reasonable distance, I tend to do most of my book shopping online.


message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) 1. library (for the last 10 or so years and the first decade or so of my life, my financial situation is such that I need to borrow more than buy)

2. online (for price and convenience - I don't mind waiting/I always have plenty of books at home to read - I have about 200-250 books I own that I haven't read yet)

3. independent neighborhood bookstores (because I want to support them and they're fun to spend time in)

4. chain bookstores, including some local chains that are not the mammoth chains

5. borrow from friends

6. general stores where I happen to find an interesting book

7. library sales


message 26: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) I prefer the bookstore. I love browsing through the shelves and feeling the physical book in my hand =)

I do shop online on occasion especially when the price of a particular book is a lot lower than in the stores. I also shop online when there's a certain book I can't find in the store...oh, and I like receiving a parcel in the mail too =D


message 27: by Kate (new)

Kate MacKinnon | 21 comments I LOVE online shopping in general but especially for books! I shop a lot at www.bookcloseouts.com, it's super cheap so i can try nwe authors etc and not care if they were not great. I flip back to Amazon & Goodreads etc to get the reviews, I can do it at work & home....I love it!!


message 28: by John (new)

John Burns Internet is best for looking for specific books. Otherwise i mostly just like to browse secondhand/bargain bookshops and pick up any books i've heard of that look good.


message 29: by Candy (new)

Candy | 48 comments Definitely the bookstore. The energy it resonates relaxes me so much. And there's nothing like a new book smell


message 30: by Epee (new)

Epee (epers) There is nothing like a couple of hours browsing in a bookstore to renew and relax me. Its my treat to me.


Petra on semi-hiatus in sombrero-land (petra-x) Bookshops definitely. My own everyday (I have to work) but I love to visit other ones when I go to places that have them.


message 32: by Liz (new)

Liz I do both. I prefer being in a bookstore. However, the closest bookstore to me in Minnesota is a half an hour away and when I'm at school it's an hour. This becomes ain issue as I don't own a car. However, sometimes there is a bit more selection online and I'm a big fan of amazon's free supersaver shipping, so it works out in the end :)


message 33: by Jensownzoo (new)

Jensownzoo | 338 comments For new books, I don't have much of a preference, although I tend to be more willing to try something new if I can hold the book in my hand first. For used, I prefer physical stores unless I am searching for something specific that I'm having trouble finding. I enjoy the treasure-hunt aspect of combing through thrift stores and used book stores, looking for something that catches my interest. Plus, my favorite used book store is in an old two-story house with lots of small rooms (each with a different subject) and two friendly cats who wander the premises soliciting petting.


message 34: by Tara (new)

Tara (tbm126) | 274 comments I love the atmosphere of a physical bookstore, but I can't always make it there. My recent pattern has been to spend most of my money on the Internet and then find time to go to the bookstore and finish off whatever pesky dollars are left. :P


message 35: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jentubbs) | 48 comments yeah, i love the physical books stores the best. but seeing as i work at a barnes and noble, it's hard for me to come in and just look around. i'll either start talking to some of the other employees or just help out customers that look lost! although, i do love just starting conversations with random people in the aisles about the books they're looking for! but, i do wish i didn't work there, so that i could go in, and not get stopped all the time. and i'd feel guilty going to another bookstore, especially another chain. and we don't really have any good used book stores, so i'm kinda stuck. however, i do like to browse the aisles during my breaks and occasionally on my days off. :) but, yeah, if i'm looking for a particular book, i'll go to amazon. but, it just doesn't have the same romantic feeling that a bookstore has.


message 36: by GracieKat (new)

GracieKat | 864 comments I haven't been actually shopping too much lately, I've been swapping. I order online quite a bit because I can't find a lot of the really good horror novels at Borders plus I can usually get them cheaper online.


message 37: by Eden (new)

Eden (tsalagi_writer) | 210 comments I will sometimes go to the bookstore, but I usually order books online from Amazon or Better World Books.


message 38: by Emily (new)

Emily (emmynicole) | 2 comments I like going to bookstores. I love taking advantage of those Borders specials, like buy 4 and get the 5th free!

No wonder I'm low on cash :)


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Unfortunately I like both a lot. That is why I have been trying to do neither. Both lead to way more books than I should spend money on.


message 40: by Athira (new)

Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day) (readingonarainyday) I so love Better World Books. No shipping and books are sooo cheap!!


message 41: by Kristin (new)

Kristin | 53 comments I prefer to only purchase hard cover books and - specifically - classics. I LOVE Borders - am there constantly. But I'm frustrated that big bookstores in general do not seem to carry hardcovers anymore. Anyone have advice for me regarding where I can physically peruse and find hardcovers these days? I'm willing to purchase online, but like most book lovers, I enjoy the hunt and finding the unexpected treasure too. (I'm a library addict - I only PURCHASE books that I want to keep forever.)


message 42: by Angeliki (last edited Aug 13, 2009 01:22PM) (new)

Angeliki (jelojelo) | 65 comments I prefer to shop in a bookstore. I can -and have- pass hours in a bookstore searching through books.

Kristin I totally agree with you I love hard cover books but it's so hard to find them in big bookstores.That's why I usally buy books from small bookstores or second-hand stores and book sales.


message 43: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 358 comments Internet all the way! Mainly due to my work hours (I work nights, 7PM-7AM), my location (waaaaay out in the boonies a good 25 minutes from anything that resembles civilization as I define it), and the fact that the closest GOOD bookstore is at least 45 minutes away. I'll still browse the puny collections in the grocery stores, Target, what-have-you---but 98% of my book-buying is online.


message 44: by Samantha McNulty (new)

Samantha McNulty I mostly buy online, but I do occasionally buy from book shops.


message 45: by Liz (new)

Liz Mary wrote: "Internet all the way! Mainly due to my work hours (I work nights, 7PM-7AM), my location (waaaaay out in the boonies a good 25 minutes from anything that resembles civilization as I define it), and ..."
Target is apparently owned by amazon, which makes me wonder why they don't stock more books. Maybe people don't buy them there as often?




Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Target is owned by Amazon? That explains so much.


message 47: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (ayanmom) | 1 comments I love going to independent bookstores that also have a large selection of used books. We also have at least four libraries that I can go to and get up to 4 books for $1 sometimes filling the car trunk with books.


message 48: by Jason (new)

Jason (boltbook) Amazon partnered with Target to run its online presence, Target.com. It does not own Target. Target plans to run Target.com without Amazon starting in 2011.


message 49: by Liz (new)

Liz Oops, looks likes my source was incorrect. Sorry guys.


message 50: by Amy (new)

Amy (celesi) I got burned last time I bought books online. Discovered after my troubles started other people dislike Alibris.

I'm really fond of IndieBound, and I miss being able to hop in the car and zip down to Powell's Books. I really like the idea of supporting independent bookstores.

I still shop at Borders, but I felt a little cheated after I spent several hundred dollars there in 2008 and didn't receive any of their Rewards specials.

This year, I'm not in middle management, and have to plot my way to the next book purchase.


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