Poll: Where Do You Buy Your Books?


printing-press-inventionThe book had its revolution when Johannes Gutenberg created the printing press.

A few years ago, Amazon re-revolutionized the book industry by releasing the first Kindle eReader.

There’s almost six hundred years between the two, time that saw the rise of bookstores around the world and the increased ability to learn information and read for entertainment. The book world continues to change with every week that passes. Even now, we are in the midst of publishers finding new ways to reach readers, writers self-publishing to get their work out there, and a plethora of small presses rising as a new, viable option for the book.

Make no mistake: Change is a constant.

With all of this change, people’s buying habits have changed too over the centuries. Once upon a time, only the wealthy could afford a book be copied and thereby gained for the family library. Then the printing press happened, giving the middle class of the Middle Ages a chance to purchase books of all types. The revolution of the press had such a long, lasting effect that bookstores came into being, furthering the ability of people to find books.

Most recently, the internet(s) gave rise to readers being able to order books from anywhere, to be delivered anywhere.

And now the eReader using the internet. No waiting. A single button pressed and the book is yours to read.

With all of that change, where do you buy your books now? Are you primarily an eReader, immediate gratification assured? Do you order online, waiting for a surprise package to meet you at your door? Or are you like me—still loving the smell of walking into a brick & mortar bookstore and spending hours doing so?

Would love to hear where you primarily buy your books—and why!

  • You need one more choice in the poll, All of the above. The only place I don’t buy books is at Other. What is Other by the way? Some new publisher? 😉

  • I make a concerted effort these days to buy my books from my local indie store. It’s a bit of a drive and they don’t often have every book I go in there looking for, but after some bad experiences at chain stores I swore them off. My next step is to start ordering books off independent online retailers so I can get the older titles and such. This is about the only area in my life where I go indie, sadly.

  • Like Stephanie, I buy as much as possible from local indie stores. Over the years I’ve become friends with the owners of my local bookstore, and I’ve been known to request books via e-mail and facebook. They know my short list of “purchase immediately” authors, and will hold that stuff for me too. They take such good care of me, why would I shop anywhere else?

    and Stephanie, if your local-ish place sells new and used (instead of only used), they can order you anything you want, often before the big guys can get it. Out of print too!

    Barnes and Noble is just for magazines and lattes.

  • Tony

    I buy mostly Star Wars, Star Trek and Peter David books so my primary source of books is Amazon.com. There is a B&N in our town but Amazon’s prices are better. I would like to see a combo packs similar to Blu-ray/digital copies. A one time use code for iBooks or the kindle store with the purchase of a hard back book.

  • will

    I buy my books at the book store. Something about going in a the quietness of it I just get lost for hours in there sometimes and its not drinking Starbucks either its looking through novels or magazines and coming out with books galore im probably like a woman when she goes clothes shopping

  • Noname1

    Amazon. I love Amazon.

  • Bill Cornette

    Depends on the book. If I just want to read it — eReader. If I want to add to a collection (with signed First Editions, say), by mail from on-line stores like The Signed Page and Subterranean. And occasionally, it see the right book (e.g., large format picture book), at a brick and mortar bookstore. So the poll is not going to provide good results with its limiting choices.

  • Emma

    There’s a shop in town which I go to all the time that has mostly secondhand books but they get local, SF and fantasy new. Which is great fun.

  • The selection at B&N and Books-a-Million is so generic and Bestseller-centric that genre fiction in my area is spotty, at best… No good Indie Bookstores near me, sad to say… Most of my collectable SF, Fantasy, and Horror is pre-ordered from Mark & Cindy Ziesing in California, they know me and that I want only first editions in mint condition… They get all my Small Press and UK books, plus a lot of Domestic books, as well… I also order lotsa books direct form Subterranean Press… I’m fed up of getting damaged stuff from Amazon and B&N.com because they don’t pack their books securely to prevent damage in transit…

  • Rob

    Why I don’t buy eBooks? One word (or rather acronym): DRM.

    Rather than using technology to make eBooks more flexible and thereby help customers, publishers have chosen to use technology to copy-protect eBooks and thereby help themselves.

    Consider: A paper book can be dropped, sat on, spilled on, left in the sun, and even torn–and you can still read it. In 30 years, likely long after the current generation of eBook readers has been recycled into something that won’t recognize a Kindle file or an iPad file, I can still read *any* paper book that I have acquired at any time in my life.

    I will buy eBooks when, at the very least, I can make personal use copies that are free from technology restrictions, so that if I do drop, sit on, etc. my reader, I still have the book. And so that I will still be able to read it when I outlive one specific device.

  • Brent

    I buy most of mine on Audible. With a 24-credit annual subscription, I pay less than $10 for the most premium version of the book. I have a long drive to work and don’t like watching the TV at the gym so it works well for me.

    The rest of the books I read are on Kindle. I only buy paper books at author signings. I go to lots of those though so I still run out of bookshelf room despite never reading paper books.

  • Ryan

    I don’t actually buy them anymore. I just download them in torrent file and use a conversion program to get them on my ereader. I used to have a giant collection of paperbacks, bought primarily from major bookstores, but since getting an ereader, and the fact that I live overseas and travel from country to country a fair bit, just easier to download.

  • Eric

    While I voted “on-line bookstore”, I buy books from several sources. I use Amazon for new books and love the “wish list” feature to help me track my collection. I also love Abebooks and Wonderbook for on-line used books. I have been happy with all my used book purchases from these site. I also buy SFBC exclusives from their on-line club. I do have an indy bookstore near me which sells new and used and I visit about once per month to check out their used books to see if there is anything I need for my collection. I’ve even picked up a book I wanted at a flea market! The only thing I don’t use is eReader. I collect Star Wars novels and I love having the actualy “book” in my hands and in my collection.

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