Book Stores Vs. Amazon

There is no doubt that Amazon is a powerhouse, bringing an end to many businesses.

Is there any other industry that has been as affected as book stores?

Today, I was in Waterstones and I bought 3 books.

  1. Them by Jon Ronson
  2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  3. The man who couldn’t stop by David Adam.

I love being able to walk around a book store, even if my social anxiety is kicking in and I feel self-conscious when viewing the self-help aisle (‘Will people think I’m a loser?’).

Each book cost me the following (as per the above order):

  1. £9.99
  2. £8.99
  3. £8.99 (Total of £27.97)

Considering the work that goes into a book, you could quickly spend £28 on something less useful. However, I did check Amazon after and realised the prices were as follows:

  1. £4.99
  2. £6.29
  3. £7.48 (Total of £18.76)

Based on these 3 books alone, I could have saved £9.21 by shopping online. That’s pretty shocking, huh? If I had have bought them on the Kindle, I would have saved even more but I adore a real book, usually for the cover and the feeling of paper between my hands. Mmmmmm, paper. I do have over 500 books on my Kindle, mind you, so it certainly saves some physical space (though that one-click thingy eats my wallet like a fat kid with cake).

Over the years, a lot of book stores in Norwich (where I live) have closed down. But why would anyone choose to pay extra? Is it taking the piss to go to a book store and jot down all the books you are interested by and then purchase them from Amazon? Is it ethical to support huge corporations that don’t pay their taxes?

Waterstones must fucking hate Amazon.

I suppose it’s good to know how much you will save online. If it’s more than a couple of quid per book, maybe it’s best to buy in bulk from Amazon. That way you get much more for your buck.

It’s also helpful to see reviews while browsing. Before picking up ‘The man who couldn’t stop’, I had picked up a book on Serial Killers … it sounded quite interesting. However, when in Costa afterwards, I saw most people reviewed the book 1-star, saying the author spent far too much time boasting about his talents and other works, so I took it back.

For someone trying to save money and be more minimalist, I don’t go and spunk all my money on heaps of clothes and whatever else, so I guess spending a bit more money on books to support local stores isn’t a problem. For fellow book worms, imagine a World with no book stores … That would suck.

Thanks for reading.

~ Stefan



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