I said in an earlier post, for me bookshops are places of worship. And if a bookshop is my Cathedral, then Amazon is my book equivalent of an on-line brothel.
You want your gratification now? Cheaply? Just search for what what turns you on, peruse the contents, the reviews at your leisure, then use one-click ordering. Within a day or so, the new shiny-battered book(s) will be behind your front door.
But when I do this anonymous on-line buying of books, I feel as if I'm betraying my
I try very hard to support our local bookshop and although I get my instant hit from the fleshpots of Amazon, I am often to be found repenting in my local bookshop, handing over lists of desirable books along with the Amazon price in the hope that the lovely Karen can get her prices somewhere around the Amazon tag. If she can, then I buy from her. If she can't, then I take my dirty urge to Amazon and shop till I drop.
Last week I really wanted a particular book. And I wanted it NOW. It was £9.50 on Amazon. I fought temptation and took myself off into town to see what kind of price Karen could do for me. She pulled it upon the computer screen - £18.50. Almost double the Amazon price!! And, because it was a US publication, it would take a week or so for it to arrive. A WEEK????? DOUBLE THE PRICE????
She looked at me sadly and so I did what any
But how can Amazon do this? How long can I afford to pay a tenner more for a book locally than I can get it somewhere else? How can Amazon keep its prices so low? How much longer can small independent bookshops keep their heads above water when the price differences can be so vast?
Some Tarot fans might notice that book/deck sets are often referred to simply as BOOKS on Amazon - and this is because books are zero rated, but cards are standard rated. So I'm wondering whether the book/deck sets are described as BOOKS to avoid paying duty? Just an idle thought?
UK Distributors of books have an RRP and zillions of overheads that need to be factored in, but what of goods that Amazon US supplies to Amazon UK? If the US price is cheap, can Amazon UK translate that into a cheap price on the British site too? Heck, can Amazon bypass British Customs and Excise charges by some creative bit of accountancy paperwork? I have no idea, but it's the sort of idle thought I have when trying to by a US book from a UK source other than Amazon.......
Maybe the rules need to change to bring around a more level playing field in the book world? What do you think? Do you feel guilty about buying an Amazon bargain on-line? Do you think local bookshops need to have something else in their armoury other than being bookshops?
And my final musing question for the day: Hardback novels: why? Why not go straight to the less expensive format of paperback and shift some copies? With the advance of the e-book, will there soon be no call for hardback novels at all?