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Bookstore Disappointment

bookstoreLast weekend, my relationship with bookstores changed, and not for the better.

For weeks, I’d been anticipating a visit to the city—meaning a visit to the bookstore—and compiling a list of the books I’d buy. The evening I arrived, I walked out of the bookstore with four books, satisfied that all went as planned.

Until I got back to the hotel and thought about the price I’d paid. It was strangely high—for this particular bookstore chain is known for its discounts, and I hadn’t received any discount at all.

I checked the store’s online site: yes, all four books had serious discounts. In-store, I had paid over $90. Online, the total was only $60.

The next day, I returned to the store and was told the discounts are only available online. If you make the effort to visit in person, you get penalized. I promptly returned all the books and have since re-ordered them online.

Which makes me:

  1. sad that the joy of walking out of a mortar-and-bricks bookstore with books in hand has been diminished.
  2. feel cheap that I’ve been sucked into the world of discounted books, knowing full well the industry needs all the financial support it can get.
  3. wonder if I should break my ties with that particular bookstore chain and—if I’m going to be spending full dollars anyhow—support the smaller guys instead.

And I do love the smaller guys: the cozier atmosphere with lower ceilings, tighter aisles and higher shelves; the loved jumble of books and trinkets; the non-uniformed personnel. But I also love my discount; without the discount, I’d be buying far fewer books and relying much more on the library.

So I think the following will be my modus operandi from now on: when I need a book and am at home in my small town, I’ll feel free to order it like usual. When I’m visiting a city and want to browse—and perhaps come away with a full-priced impulse buy—I’ll visit the little guy instead.

What do you think about the discrepancy between in-store and online prices?

Read previous posts.

About the Author

Posted by Galadriel

Hi, I’m Galadriel: blogger, author, reader and resident of a quaint small town in the breathtaking West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

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