Saturday, June 6, 2015

5 reasons I buy books online

When I first started blogging last April I was what you might call a moderate reader. I averaged a book a week or less and bought nearly all of them on my Nook (or Kindle - I ended up with both eventually). I made most of my physical book purchases at used bookstores and would sometimes, rarely, go into Barnes and Noble and come out with something. There was one year when I actually had a B&N membership, but I so rarely used it that I ended up letting it lapse instead of paying another $25 for the next year.

Since becoming a more avid reader I've rediscovered the love of physical copies - mostly hardbacks - and we all know those usually have a cover price around $18 (without tax), as long as you stick to YA. These days I love roaming around in bookstores, both Barnes and Noble and my local Indie store. But the truth is, I rarely buy anything there.

This is a pretty daunting post to make when I know how adamantly some of my fellow book bloggers support local bookstores... Nonetheless, here are 5 reasons I prefer to buy books online instead of in a bookstore:

I don't have to make a special trip to town. 

This is probably the laziest reason ever. But if I'm being real here... it's on the list. My favorite thing about shopping online - for anything - is that I don't have to make a trip to town. An idea pops into my head, I jump online and, BOOM, it'll be here in two days with free shipping! Sometimes I just don't feel like going anywhere, you know? Especially when I read a glowing review at 1am. If I wait until tomorrow, I might even forget about it!

Half the time, they don't have what I'm looking for!

I can't even tell you how many times I've popped into a bookstore and they just don't have what I'm looking for. For example, when The Cage came out I was super excited to read it and stopped into B&N only to find it wasn't on the shelf. One of Megan Shepherd's other books was, but not the brand new one that literally just came out. Guess who did have it? Amazon. And just last night I rushed to B&N to get a book I was dying to read RIGHT NOW (and I had a coupon)! They had two copies... both with ripped dust jackets. No, thanks. I know you might say that I could have ordered it through the store. But let's be honest... there are simpler ways.

I always end up online anyway!

Even when I'm browsing bookstores, I inevitably end up on Amazon and Goodreads looking for reviews. That's truly the biggest downfall of physical bookstores - no access to reviews. No, I don't always listen to reviews, but chances are I'm going to buy the book with a 4.2 star rating over one with a 3.4 star rating. More than once I've bought a book blindly and then discovered that pretty much everyone hated it. Sure, I could look up reviews on B&, but I'm still online and not enjoying the bookstore experience. If I'm going to end up searching the interwebs anyway, why not do it all online?

Sometimes I just don't want to fight the public...

At risk of sounding antisocial, sometimes I just don't feel like dealing with people, whether they be overzealous booksellers or super weird customers. We've all been there, trying to step around that kid sprawled out in the middle of the sci-fi section without stepping all over him. There are chairs for a reason! But even worse is when you feel like the sales staff is stalking you and asking how you're doing ever two minutes. I appreciate a "Hi, welcome to..." as much as the next person, but sometimes I just want to read dust jackets in peace!

Prices are almost always better online, especially on YA. 

This is the biggest reason I shop online. I understand why people want to support physical bookstores! I do. But seriously, I'm not rich. And the $5+ difference on each title between B&N and an online retailer really adds up when you buy books at the rate that I do. Not to mention, pretty much any bookstore will have rows and rows of bestsellers marked 10-30% off when you walk in, but they are never, EVER young adult titles. When I can go into a bookstore, find a book, scan it, and see that it's $11 online vs. $18 in stores... It's kind of a no-brainer.

I really hope I don't lose any friend over this post! Haha! But literally every time I've gone into a bookstore in the past year I've come out wondering why it is people shop there when it's so much cheaper and more convenient elsewhere. Maybe someone can fill me in?

Do you prefer to shop online or in stores for your bookish purchases? 
Let me know in the comments!