Book Buying Addicts Anonymous discussion

Book Store Membership

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message 1: by Renee (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new)

Renee Hi all!

I was wondering what people think about membership with the big chain book stores. I have 3 (and 1 specifically for the music dept of an indie bookstore) and have received great coupons and deep discounts on occasion. With all my Borders reward money last year, I got 4 free DVDs! My Barnes and Noble card seems to be most helpful this year. Your thoughts?

message 2: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) i have a borders card, but havent been getting emails from them lately with coupons... Ill have to call them and see what is up.

I havent joined yet, tho i know i should. it costs 25 bucks a year and i just havent wanted to put that up.... one of these days i guess.....

message 3: by Rebecca (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new)

Rebecca | 2 comments I love my Borders card and all the little discounts (especially this time of year!) I'm not a fan of the ones you have to pay for, like BN.

message 4: by pop (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM) (new)

pop I'm not fond of any of these. They give you a little something, then use it to track every purchase you make. I don't know about you, but I don't think they need to know what I buy when. Not that it really matters, but it's the principle of it. Big brother stuff.

message 5: by Caroline (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM) (new)

Caroline Dave, bookstores really aren't going to care what you're buying except to try to encourage you to buy more. The only tracking I've ever seen with the memberships is to give you a total of how much money you've saved, nothing more, although I'm surprised they haven't started giving recommendations based on prior purchases. We're not working with the government to track your purchases, and you can always sign up without giving out any personal information (at least, we let you at B&N--I don't know about Borders).

message 6: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) i think the only thing i had to give borders was my email address, because the rewards card works based on email coupons..... I dont like to give out my personal info, so i wouldnt have joined if that was the case.

message 7: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I have both the Borders and B&N. And yes, you do have to pay for the B&N card, but you get a discount on every single purchase (even in the cafe) so in my case it pays for itself very quickly. I shop more at B&N because the Borders card doesn't discount every purchase.

message 8: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM) (new)

Rob (rob_kvidt) | 3 comments I have cards from Borders and B&N. Since we don't have a B&N on Kauai (only Honolulu) I may not renew. I like the Borders program. It would be nice, however, if both programs loaded the weekly coupons on their frequent shopper cards. It's a hassle to always remember to bring them.

message 9: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:02PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 2 comments I had both last year, but I didn't renew my B&N card. I like Borders because if I didn't bring coupons with me, they could access some, if not all, of them through their database and apply it, so you didn't miss out on an opportunity. I really appreciated this since I am an impulse shopper! The only thing that I was upset about was that they took away their personal shopping day program! Probably because I made out too well on it! It is all my fault. Sorry, guys!

This year I am bound and determined to primarily shop at a local used bookstore that does trades. With as many books as I have, I shouldn't have to pay for a book again for a while! I am keeping the Borders since it is free, but in light of my new plan, I can't justify paying for a membership. I agree with you Sarah, when I did have it before my current plan, I think it at LEAST balanced out, but you have to be a fairly regular book shopper.

message 10: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:02PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) i dont really have any used book stores in my area... if they are here, they are very well hidden, as ive lived here over 15 yrs and would have sniffed them out by now :)

We do have two borders tho, and thats where i do 99% of my shopping (which, even tho i use the card, and try to shop with 20% coupons, still kills my bank acct)... i will use for used out of print books b.c i find the best deals through them. and their rating system has been on the nose so far!

message 11: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:02PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) The B&N card is, what, $20? And you get, minimum, 10% off all purchases. So if you spend at least $200 a year, it pays for itself. I spend probably $60 or $80 a month. So, yeah, it pays for itself very quickly.

I hate having to remember to bring coupons in with me. Most of the time I forget them or I don't plan to stop at the bookstore but I do while I'm out and about.

message 12: by Rebecca (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:02PM) (new)

Rebecca | 2 comments I like that idea too, Rob. I have a bad habit of forgetting to print the coupons and it's not a quick trip from my house to Borders.

I do shop the local used bookstores (I did, after all, grow up in one), but I'm not patient enough to wait for my favorite authors' newest things to show up there. Amazon pre-order is one of my best friends :D

message 13: by Foxthyme (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:02PM) (new)

Foxthyme | 48 comments I shop almost exclusively online because I live hours away from main city centres. I do have a Chapters/Indigo card but am waffling about renewing. Not just because I tried three times and it rejected the discount coupon. Rather it's because I'm finding much better service and choice with Not .ca mind you, .com.

message 14: by pop (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

pop Caroline,

I simply don't want too much info available. What the bookstores use it for, I don't really care, but what if they decide to sell your info, or the men in black suits come looking to see what you've been buying? Like I said, it's the principle of it, not the actual use. They don't need that info, like you say, they'll just use it to try to sell me more stuff. I don't need that, I get enough advertisements and crap like that without adding more. I think most people just disregard all that stuff anyway. I know I do, it's just like spam, I didn't ask for it, I won't even look at it. I know darn well what I want to buy, they don't have to tell me. If I do need info, I'd rather get it from my friendly librarian, she doesn't have any stake in what I buy, so she steers me right.

message 15: by Doom70 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Doom70 | 5 comments Except, Foxthyme, that they have discontinued the free shipping up here to Canada. Nonetheless, I ordered a reference book for my wife from there, and paid the shipping, and it was still cheaper than Chapters/

That being said, I have a Chapters/Indigo card, and used it yesterday.

message 16: by Sally (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Sally I live in the mountains and only have one small, very incomplete bookstore. I have memberships to Borders (XOXO) and Barnes and Noble (Don't care for but, hey, they sell books) I like the Borders Coupons and print and save them each week. Then I decide what books I want and if I am willing to make a day of it and drive 1 3/4 hours to the nearest Borders. I ALWAYS plan my trips into civilization around bookstores.

message 17: by Meredith (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Meredith Watson | 37 comments I joined BN last year and just renewed. I spend a small fortune on books and often buy books as gifts so it pays for itself pretty fast. I love getting the coupons but sometimes do forget them when I'm at the store!

message 18: by Nicole (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Nicole (nlojeda) | 18 comments I'm a Borders Rewards member and the Books A Million club. I find both beneficial. Didn't pay for the B&N though because I thought $25 was steep. Not sure how much the BAM membership is, but I know it's less than B&N and I do it for their cute lil tote bags (w/membership) and great customer service I always receive in comparison to B&N.

message 19: by Rachael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Rachael | 23 comments I have Borders and Barnes and Noble. I spend so much money in books, they are good to have.

message 20: by Christie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Christie | 1 comments As a former bookstore employee (and self-professed bookaholic), I sort of pushed the membership card (okay- I worked for B&N) with every sale. It's actually not hard to do, but it was a hassle.

Someone asked how much it was- it runs for $25, not $20 (used to be around $15 way back when). I will admit you do get some good perks, but the yearly renewal fee doesn't always entice your average customer to renew. I currently have only a Borders card, and I use it all the time- probably because it was free (though I miss the Personal Shopping Days too- I racked up about a week of those babies this year alone). The advantages of a card vs. not having one I think are strictly up to your buying style.

message 21: by Foxthyme (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Foxthyme | 48 comments Sally, I like that you plan your city trips around bookstores! I also love to head to the used bookstore. I've found so many gems there.

Doom, as you say. No free shipping, but the prices work out very similarly anyway.

I like to online shop at Amazon for reviews. I find it valuable to see what other readers think of a book. Then I'll either order from Amazon or Chaps. Interestingly, neither is 100% in what I'm looking for. So I'd never exclusively stick with one.

And both have a used book service too. So eventually I most often find whatever book it is I'm hunting down.

message 22: by Sally (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

Sally Yes, and I go into Atlanta on Tuesday! Whee! It is books for Christmas for everyone! I have a friend in Seattle who EVERY YEAR, for at least 18 years has sent us a Christmas box from Elliot Bay Bookstore. It is the package we most look forward to. Fortunately all my children love to read (as do my siblings and my parents). It is great. We are always talking about books. My husband is even part of this now. When I met him, he was not much of a reader. But, he can hang with the rest of us now. :-)

message 23: by Heather (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

Heather (trixieplum) Sally, you live in the town where my parents live, so I can totally relate!! I remember being home from college in the summer and itching to get to a bookstore! I'm up in Jersey now but hoping to move to the mountains of NY in the near future -- At that point, I'll be back to planning my long jaunts to the city around bookstores as well!

message 24: by Renee (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:07PM) (new)

Renee I also check out local bookstores on my trips. I went to Oregon for 8 days in June and spent at least half of my time in Powells! When I go to Boston, we spend time at The Coop in Cambridge and Trident Bookstore on Newbury Street. When I visited a friend who lived in Oakland, CA near the Rockridge section of Berkeley, I found a wonderful indie book store around the corner from her house! You never know what you will find at a local bookstore!

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

When I lived in a city that had an independent bookstore, I shopped there. Now I have memberships at Borders, B&N, and Amazon (Prime). The best by far is Amazon. Most books are discounted and with the shipping taken care of I don't have to wait until I have $25 at a time like I used to. Since most of the books I buy retail are books I've heard of, this works for me. I save my impulse buying for used books, library sales, and Costco.

message 26: by Mont'ster (new)

Mont'ster | 58 comments I have had a B&N "membership discount card" for 2 or 3 yrs now. At first I thought "only 10%? - big deal!" but then, B/C I HAD THE DISCOUNT CARD i found that i was spending enough "to make the membership pay for itself".


I was NOT saving any money when you take into account that MOST of the books that i bought from B&N i would NOT have purchased if i hadn't gone in there chasing one item on a coupon (and buying several items that i was not looking for).

It may be a good deal for some people (And its DEFINITELY a good deal for B&N) but in 2008 i'm going back to my beloved used book stores - No more big chains for me.

message 27: by Jodie (new)

Jodie (jodiemill) I haven't yet joined the B&N book club cause I'm usually broke by the time I check out. :) I do have a membership to Waldenbooks & Border's which are free. I also have been going to a lot of used library book sales and a gently used bookstore as well.

message 28: by Brent (new)

Brent | 12 comments I have recently found a new company where membership is free. In fact, you don't even have to sign up in order to receive the discounts at all. If you do sign up, you are eligible for a free classic every month in audio electronic, and condensed reader version. If you are really interested and read a lot or have other reasons for wanting more you can even get your own online bookstore for a minimal overhead that allows you to sell books, movies, cds and soon video games to your friends, etc. I like it because I get most of my books for 40% off. By the way for best sellers, they are selling them routinely for 42% off regardless of your level of participatioin in the company. They are adding 1000s of titles every week currently as they ramp up to match B&N etc. The website is

message 29: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) I've always been to cheap to pay for a membership, but the big bookstore up here (Chapters) has an iRewards card/membership that is $25. When I was in there a couple weeks ago, buying a LOT of books, the guy suggested I pick it up to save 10% off. I figured, why not. So I bought it, and so far I've saved quite a bit!

The nicest part, though, is when I bought it, the girl told me that I could give my iRewards number to family members and they could use it too, to save money using my account. Sweet! :)

message 30: by Shelly (new)

Shelly (mercy20) Yeah, I have the iRewards card. I try to renew it every year (this year I got a certificate in the mail to lower the renewal cost, which is nice). I can't pass up the 10% off all books in the store and the 40% off the bestsellers (I might have that backwards)... it is a nice little savings and I love that I can just hand it over to my mom so she can save too.

message 31: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) I've done it all...and now I'm done. B&N card, Borders card, (enter major chain store here)card, etc.

I now spend most of my time (and $$$) ordering from Amazon. They tend to offer the cheapest prices on books (save for discount/used bookstores) and offer free shipping on most items/orders over $25. I would rather spend $25 and get already discounted books that are shipped to my house (for free) and are the versions I want than to pay $25 for the discounts on the books (especially when the discounts on the books usually still make the book more expensive than the same book on Amazon).

I primarily enjoy shopping in discount and used book stores because you never know what you will find (first editions, signed editions, British editions, etc.). However, I will browse in (and occasionally buy from) the major chain bookstores when I need to see what's new soak in the 'new book smell'. :)

message 32: by Kate (new)

Kate (kateduttera) My dad has a B&N membership, and lately I've been thinking about getting one myself. I have a borders card, so I go into Borders a lot, but I'm going to be buying lots of books regardless, so if I pay for a BN card, then I will go in there, cause the discounts ARE pretty awesome. Which I guess is why they have programs like that, cause it encourages people to shop in their store instead of another. Plus, with either one, the email coupons are awesome, I do a good amount of my shopping online as it is.

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