So, we have our chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. We also have our small town independent bookshops, and similar to that we have our thrift (used) bookshops. But in this all-digital age we’re currently living in, we also have online bookstores. So which is the best bookstore out of the numerous choices that we have laid out before us?Grab the nearest book to you and check the back for the price. You’re seeing how expensive it is, right? Especially for those readers who don’t like rereading a book once they’ve already gone through it once, would you really want to a buy a book for that price just to read it once? Well, that’s how much chain bookstores charge you: the full price on the back of your book. Of course there will be sales throughout the year and there is a clearance section open for anyone who wants to purchase unpopular books for a low, low price but don’t you think paying more than $15 for a book that you will probably read only once is worth it? Besides the price aspect of chain bookstores, there is an upside: they also sell CDs, vinyls, record players, movies, stationery, merchandise, and some even include a mini cafe. But then again there’s a downside to that as well, because all of those items are also pretty expensive. Students, like me, are practically broke so I really don’t think chain bookstores are the best choice for us; however, for those who are perfectly comfortably spending some money, even for a book you’ll only read once, I think that chain bookstores are the best choice for you!
For students like me, I think the best bookstores for us are independent bookshops or thrift bookshops. Independent bookshops are those small and cozy-feeling stores that are in your hometowns. Based on the owner, the books may either be priced lower than chain bookstores or it could be the same. Independent bookshops are great because you can support your local small businesses while also being satisfied with your new books, but it may be a little pricey for students. But, we also have thrift bookshops! People are so quick to judge used or thrift bookshops just because the books were used before, but I personally think they are the best option out of all the bookstores mentioned. First of all, the prices are significantly lower than what you would find in Barnes & Noble or maybe even your local bookshop. Of course that’s because the books were used before, but they are usually in great condition – what kind of used bookshop would sell a book missing a whole chapter and completely tattered covers? I’ve personally bought a lot of my books from book sales from libraries, books that were used by lots of people, and they were in perfect condition. Don’t you think it would feel great to find a book that has previously been loved, and being able to love that book yourself? I just realized how cheesy that sounds, but that’s how I feel!
Next up, we got our online bookstores. I have very mixed feelings about them. I like the easy-access and fast-shipping aspext that online stores have; all you have to do is insert the book title or the author’s name and you’ll be able to buy it within a few seconds, and shipping doesn’t take too long either which makes this option so appealing to most people. I will say that I do purchase books from online sites, but only if there’s an emergency. For school assignments and a recent on-going pandemic, I had to buy my books via Amazon and it was a pleasant experience overall. Plus, the prices tend to be lower on sites (especially Amazon) which is another plus! The thing I don’t particularly like about the rise of online bookstores is that they have the potential to wipe out real bookstores. Although finding the book you want online in a split second is convenient, looking for the book yourself in a bookstore is much more fun. While you’re looking for a certain book or author, you might find other books that catch your attention therefore leading you to so many good books you’ve been missing out on. Listen, I like how accessable and quick online bookstores are, but I don’t want them to wipe out the in-person bookstores for good. I much prefer going into the stores to buy my books, and discovering new titles and authors along the way, and I’m sure many other people feel the same. I suggest buying books through online shops only if you’re in an emergency, like assignments or a pandemic, and going to bookstores (not online!) whenever you have the time to browse for more!
That concludes my post for today! Sorry it took so long to put another post up, I will try to post more consistently from now on!