Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Confessions of a Bargain Book Buyer

Tip of the Day: looking for good writing exercises? This Web site has tons.

Almost every weekend during High School, my friends and I would invade our local Borders for entertainment purposes.

We'd cosy up on a couch, scan through house floor plan books (those ones that show page-after-page of nothing but the blueprints to house plans--is it any wonder I'm now obsessed with HGTV?) and then dream of what type of houses we'd have when we grew up.

But we never bought a single book, and only occasionally splurged on a coffee or hot chocolate. Rebelious teenagers that we were.

In short, I was the type of customer bookstores hate. And I still am (sorry bookstores--I love you though, doesn't that count for anything?)

All these years later, I still love visiting bookstores. Being surrounded by nothing but pretty books to look at = awesome, not to mention the warm atmosphere that makes you want to stay longer than any other store. I love going into my local Barnes & Noble (like, Kate) to just browse book titles, see what's new, and add to my "must read" list.

But then...I leave.

Maybe it's the budget shopper in me, but knowing you can get a book cheaper online makes it nearly impossible for me to fork over my money in the store. Saving one or two dollars is like hitting the jackpot on a penny slot machine to me. It's a thrill just to win, no matter what it is. Not to mention working at a library, and knowing I can go in, have it ordered for the library, and then confiscate it as soon as the book comes in to get the first read. Penny-saving Emily likes to get the best deal.

So in short, I love book-and-mortar bookstores. I just love them to browse for books, get hot chocolates, and then get ideas for books to order on Amazon or for our library, depending on if I want it for my own collection or not.

If that makes me a horrible book buyer/reader, then so be it. Somethings you can change, but getting the "bargain" out of your brain seems to be a superhuman feat, and apparently I'm not ready for my purple and gold spandex suit yet.

--Emily, Miss Querylicious


Kate Fall said...

Oh, please, I go to the bookstore with pen and paper in my purse and write down titles to look up at the library. Nobody can afford to buy all the books they read.

Are books online really cheaper after shipping though?

Emily Marshall said...


I always wait to save up my orders to get free shipping. Otherwise, I doubt they would be cheaper. Glad I'm not the only one that takes notes to look up later!

DeenaML said...

Um, I write down the names of books at B&N so I can order them for my lib. :) I also have to stop myself from buying stuff that looks awesome on the shelf by saying, "Uh, Deena, you just ordered that for your library!" They are so tempting but yeah, who can afford them all when we all read so much?

Pretty much 90% of my non-library book buying are for gifts for others. That's how I support and justify.... :)

Summer said...

Yeah, I love to browse bookstores, don't love to buy. So I feel a bit guilty when I know there are authors out there who would really like you to buy the book. And you do love the story. Borders makes it a little easier cause they give you coupons like bi-weekly sometimes up to 40% off any one item. I really like that. Then I'm like... what about the independent bookstores. It can all be so confusing.

C. K. Kelly Martin said...

I totally haunt my local library and try to pick up most of the books I want to read there. Even if I could afford to buy all the books I read (maybe if I stopped buying groceries!) my small apartment wouldn't hold them all unless I got rid of stuff like chairs and the couch.

Some of the rarer books I have to order online because they're not at the library and not at the bookstore. So yeah, I'm not buying a hell of a lot of books actually in the bookstore either.

Jen said...

I'm horrible, because I basically only buy books if a friend has written them. The rest I look for via library.

And I, too, am a "user" at B&N.

Jen said...

And a question - would anyone's habits change if the world really does switch over to Kindle-like devices?