I was reading something somewhere. Wow, what a great start. You’re probably all sitting on pins and needles to know what it is. But I read so much that I sometimes forget where it came from.
Anyway, it was about how independent bookstore owners are not impressed with people who come in, browse, and then go home to buy the book they found. That’s right. They go home to buy it — online. Worse are the people who come in and ask for advice or recommendations.
I completely understand it from both sides. If I was running a small bookshop, the cash registers don’t ring every time someone walks in. There was an independent shop that went out of business earlier this year. When the news hit, people would stop by and say, but I love your bookstore. Why are you closing? Well, the owner said something to the effect that if you want your neighbourhood bookstore to stay open, or any neighbourhood business for that matter, then you have to actually buy some books there.
I agree. It’s great to drop by, have a warm and fuzzy feeling as you browse the books, but if you never buy anything, then it’s tough for the owner to stay in business. You might not be the only one who is a serial browser. I work in an industry that has taken a lot of hits because of the digital revolution, so I can understand the position of bookstore owners.
But I’m also a consumer trying to save a buck. So I’ll admit it. I’m a browser. Sometimes it’s nothing more than stopping in to kill some time, look at some books. I don’t go home and then buy online what I found at the bookstore. I don’t buy that often. Here’s hoping 2014 is a better year for independent bookstores.