Day 7: Bookstores Vs Websites

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.  ~Charles W. Eliot

I have always loved visiting bookstores and book fairs. I still remember Sunday morning trips in Papa’s car (mainly to keep our Premier Padmini  car alive) to the only bookstore to keep books other than study books in our town – NuLite. And I simply loved the book fairs of Russian books that used to come to town every year. But after I reached Class 5, these Russian book fairs stopped coming. :( Now in Bangalore, when I go to a mall, I tend to enter bookstores like Crossword, Landmark, Reliance Timeout and browse through all the sections. I like the smell and feel of new books so much! I see so many book lovers sitting cozily on the poufs and sofas reading books at leisure. Do they actually end up buying the book or any book? Or do they just come, sit, read and go? Then it is great for bookstores to indulge such book lovers. And necessarily so given the terrible lack of libraries in the city.

But the question is do I buy any book from bookstore ? I do get motivated to pick up this book and that book but I stop. I stop and using internet I look up the price on online retailers like Flipkart. For example I really wanted to buy “Hercule Poirot The Complete Short Stories” by Agatha Christie which was priced at Rs 599. At that time Flipkart was having a great sale on books and anyway there is always some discount on most of the books. So that book was available for Rs 300 on Flipkart. Now why on earth would I buy any book from any real bookstore?

I am very sure since these websites came in the market, bookstores are bearing heavy losses. Of course the ability to hold a new book, flip through it and just to browse in a physical bookstore is essential for all book lovers. Also one comes to know of different types of books, new releases etc by visiting a bookstore more than a website. Sometimes you enter to pick one particular book but ending up buying three more that you don’t need. :) But in the end money is a big factor! And it’s not some Rs 20- 50 difference..it is a huge difference. I guess eventually online retailers will drive bookstores to bankruptcy and closure. Will the people benefit or lose in the process is the question.

“There is nothing like the smell of a bookstore. If you ask me, it’s actually a combination of smells: part library, part new book, and part expectation for what you might find.” ― Kathryn Fitzmaurice

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Phew!! Just made it today!

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7 thoughts on “Day 7: Bookstores Vs Websites

  1. The point you say is definitely valid… As a matter of fact the book stores are bleeding and things are going to get tougher with the acceptance of ebooks. But then that is how things evolve, there are some of these stores will evolve into something better while the others which cannot innovate and adapt to the times will bleed to death. As a matter of fact all the crosswords, landmarks of the world have online stores too. So it’s not that they are not competing with the flipkarts and amazons but who has the last laugh is yet to be seen.

  2. A couple of years back, I bought a book at a prominent book shop near my house. But a few days afterwards, I found that the same book was available for a much lower rate, online. Ever since, I have been shopping for books online only (Mostly from Flipkart, but recently Amazon eBooks).

    To me, websites are the best place to shop for book because, in addition to good pricing, they also offer a good deal of collection to choose from (whereas we have limited collections in any book store) and we can read reviews from other readers (which are mostly fair, or a couple of negative reviews will tell us what’s not good with that book). In short, we can make informed decisions at a lower price!

    But I will want to buy the Kindle as soon as possible and switch to eBooks. But I have stopped myself from buying the eReader because I want to finish all the unread books first (Otherwise, I may never read all those books!!).

    Destination Infinity

  3. Hah yes, the ambience in a book store, the smell of the books…. its a fairy land! :D But I go to book stores only to browse, then I look that book up on Amazon & after a click the book gets delivered to my tablet, modern conveniences, eh! ;) The decision to move to ebooks was a hard one but a good one. I’ve read more indie authors since than ever before.

  4. what u wrote is exactly the same about a post in my blog. http://elfcentric.wordpress.com/2008/04/14/have-you-bought-an-ipok-yet/
    But its more about vinyls/tapes vrs mp3s.
    About how mp3s cant fight the personal n physical feel of a cassete sleeve or a LP cover…

    Bookstores are dying all over the world. Even in my country, tower books are long gone and Borders have gone bankrupt. If big book chains like em did not survive, how will the smaller uber-chic bookstores fare ?

  5. I go to crossword only to read nowadays. it has become too prisy :/ but every six months we have a book fair where I get great books are just 50 – 150 rs :) :) I make it a point to carry limited cash and NO credit card when I visit such places…or I go CRAZY

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