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Where do you buy your books ?

So, we all love books, right? 

But where do you get your fix?   There are so many places to choose to buy or borrow from, remember the Library – if yours hasn’t been closed down due to lack of use –   Bookshops, online, Charity shops, e-readers, audio.

Independent stores – are far nicer places to shop – you get that personal service, the staff come to get to know your tastes and are great at making recommendations that you may not have considered, but knowing what you’ve read before, may know before you do, that you’ll enjoy it.

My local Independent shop – Mostly Books, Abingdon. 

Do you even have a local independent shop, that you can go to?  Or do you have no choice but to order online?

High street – WHSmiths is in the news again, closing stores due to lack of sales.

Online – Do you wait a few extra days – do you search to find the best price?  Do you see who offers free postage and packaging?  Did you want that other book too, might as well add that in the order whilst you’re at it, or Pre-order it, so it arrives when its published – or like me order the same book twice, from the same place – because you’ve forgotten you ordered it. 

Taken from the Waterstones App

I’ve placed orders online before thinking – yes, great – I can get it on the day its published! – but no, it has to go out to the stockists, who then has to forward it on to the buyer – this can still take 3-5 days, I’ve been desperately waiting for the postman before and now I know, for a fact that I can get to my local bookshop and buy it, in person, before the postman can deliver it to me.

But, is that easier? – The problem we face as consumers is – getting to the shops with our busy lifestyles – can we get access to it quicker ourselves – or do have to rely on the big smiling logo company to provide it?

Personally – I would rather wait and buy it, in person from my local store. This also causes a problem – becuase it may be that as an independant high street retailer – they will charge the RRP – Recommended Retail Price – something that the likes of  Amazon and Waterstones dont have to do, because they have the power to buy in huge bulk quantaties, that the smaller independant stores, simply can not offer to do. 

Or are you an e-reader on a kindle – a lot of books are downloadable now but it’s not my preferred method of reading, I would rather be able to turn the pages of a real book, truth be known.  I don’t own a Kindle, I have to borrow my sons, but I have a kindle address.

Audiobooks – I haven’t tried – unless I was in the car, minus my children – I’m not sure I would be able to listen – would I take in what was being said?  

Then, of course, there’s the Library – Library use has gone down considerably since the introduction of Kindles and e-readers.  Do you have a library card?  Did you know you can reserve any book you’re wanting to read?  My local library is next to my children’s school – so we do use it.  Because of its location?  probably, yes.  I guess if it wasn’t where it is, I would be less inclined to use it, as often anyway.   But it is there – and we do use it. I pay the late fees my children rack up, by losing the books at home, because they also have books from school and home books too.  (We have a lot of books!) 

Charity shops – I can get 3 books for £1 in my local charity shop – and someone in my area has similar reading tastes to me, so I can go and get lucky and pick up a real haul sometimes. For as little as £2-£3 though sometimes, I end up buying a fairly random book too, just to make up 5 to 6 but – I have also struck gold on buying some really good books this way, that I would probably never buy under normally priced circumstances – RRP!

Whilst doing your food shop in Sainsburys…….

Whilst doing your online food shop to be delivered to your front door…..

I could sit at my daughter’s gymnastics class and order the book I’d like, to arrive – the next day if I was that desperate for it.  Or head down to my local Tesco, a 10 minute walk from my house and buy it. Or, time willing – take a 20 minute drive to my independent store of choice and buy from them.  

I believe its time that decides for us. 

Its our lifestyles that dictate where we buy from…..  we’re busy at work, with children etc  – we don’t have time to shop in person anymore – But if you do, take that drive to your local independent store, pick them up, read the blurb and keep them in business.

And if not…… consider buying from – at least that way you can make a small donation to your local store – out of a choice of 3 near to you – post code wise – and do some good.

There are many (too many) stores to list, but my favourites are: 

Mostly Books – 36 Stert Street, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 3JP
Tel: +44 1235 525 880    TXT: 0776 990 5637 

Blackwells, 50 Broad Street, Oxford & Oxfords Westgate Shopping Centre.

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