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Beyond Anne McCaffrey We know Anne's not the only author you read and enjoy. Come here to discuss and discover authors beyond Anne!

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Old Jan 25 2009, 12:37 AM   #1
mikew
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Default the death of the bookstore

i'm sure i'm not alone in this, but i find it really upsetting that the internet is destorying the physical bookstore. even though i've spent my fair share of time browsing abebooks and bookfinder, i've never bought or sold a book online. i'd much rather search the shelves and see the books in person. the rough part about it is i recently returned to ohio after living in seattle for a while...and for those of you who live in the pacific northwest you know what i mean. i miss book shopping in that town, you could go to five different half-price books...twice sold tales, both of them...horizon...magus...the list goes on and on. here i'll sometimes drive over an hour to go to one bookstore. there used to be more, but thanks to the internet, and the fact that people don't read in ohio, they are all closing. i'd rather not fill in my discworld collection from online retailers, but i don't think i have much choice...depressing
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Old Jan 25 2009, 01:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

I use both - bookstore and internet. I've liked the fact that I can physically handle the book but by the same token if I have to find that elusive "out of print", bookshop can't get hold of..., something that's not printed in Australia, etc.etc.etc. title then I'll go on the internet.

P.S. I often find Discworld titles by Terry Pratchett, but as I don't read his books, I don't collect them except in anthologies with Anne McCaffrey in them, then I'll read some of his stories. If you want his books, just state what titles you're after and surely someone around here will help you out with it. Factor p/h into it and you probably get better deals then some of the internet sources that you look at. I don't have any at moment but if I know what I'm looking for, I could help you out.

Makes special note to self that P'ter is still looking for Lucy's.
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Old Jan 25 2009, 04:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

I've heard this before but I really do not agree. Actually, I have been active on the internet since 1995 and I also have ebooks on my PDA but I have NOT seen bookshops offer less choice or vanish because of the internet and it many possibilities. On the contrary, because of internet I have been able to buy books where I never thought I would: in many other countries; and from persons I never thought I would meet.

This is the same, IMHO nonsense story, as people who say that social life bcomes poorer because of the internet (which always makes me a little angry). My social life became SO MUCH richer it is unbelievable! And as a result of it I did things, read things, met people, undertook journeys, attended events etc. etc. I would otherwise not have, meeting yet again moren people and interacting with them. Here again I'd say: on the contrary! Yes, you can only use your time once and if I am behind the computer I am not elsewhere but it is a farce and a non-truth to say my social life has suffered because of that.

Stories like these I honestly think are spread by people who are frightened, frightened of the sheer possibiities of the internet, and of course there are excesses and people who get addicted to internet and deprive themselves socially. But, hey, that's life and only happens to a relative few just like it would happen to someone in regular life without internet. There will always be people who can not handle situations, in all circumstances.

As for books and bookstores... time will tell but I am very confident. I have yet to meet someone who found it easier or more pleasurable to read his bookreader instead of a real book
Now it might be possible that in your particular region the very small or dedicated second hand bookstores are less in number but let me tell you that doesn;t happen here in the Netherlands. If any bookstores are vanishing it is because of the general crisis that is making life hard for all shopkeepers, not the internet.

As for online and offline retailers, my collection and purse comes first (they must with how much and what I collect), so I make no distinction between them. That having been said I must again say that internet is heaven for people collecting English language books who are not living in an English speaking country. Do you realise that I pay between 10 and 25 euro (about 13 and 32 dollar!) for every imported new US or UK mass market paperback!! You English speakers are SO LUCKY!

*gets off soapbox*
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Old Jan 25 2009, 04:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

I don't think that is true in Australia. We don't have many megastores as perhaps you're used to (there are some Borders stores here) but the local Australian chains - Dymocks, Angus & Robertson and Collins - all seem to be doing pretty well. All my local bookstores, although probably small by your standards, are always busy. You can always order a book through them and other specialty stores if you know what you're after. The internet hasn't affect much at all here, IMHO.
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Old Jan 25 2009, 06:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

From the bookshops that I used in the UK, I found that they actually do better because of online sales as they can reach a wider audience. This may even mean that the business remains viable. You can usually get better bargains if you visit the shop though.
It also means that rare books reach a wider collectors market which means that they might actually get sold rather than gathering dust!
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Old Jan 25 2009, 09:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

We are her in Tennessee and the only complaint I have re: bookstores is that both of the Waldens/Borders in our area were closed. That was sad and frustrating but we have a Books A Million here in town and a Barnes and Nobles in the next town over. We also have a Booskstore that sells everything at bargain prices...Used Books can be exchanged at McKays as well.
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Old Jan 25 2009, 10:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

Here where I am in California...the bigger Chain book stores seem to be doing well...even in this terrible economy. The smaller book stores near us I will admit have had a rougher time of it in the last five or so years...and a couple of our favorite have closed. One of those did actually close shop to do his business on the internet as he said that he was making twice his normal income on the internet than in his rented shop...but most of his books were collector types, and down right rare in some cases.
I have found though that large book sales from libraries, schools and local charities are having a boon, and are doing great business in raising funds. Seems everyone is selling books these days in our area...it's great business and great fun.

Mike, look on the internet for your areas book sales, it should tell you who and where they will be selling books....and you might be able to help out one or more of your local libraries or charities as well as find yourself a great deal of wonderful books and new friends too.
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Old Jan 25 2009, 12:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

i guess the reason i prefer the local bookstore, over online stores, would be the feeling you get when browsing through the books and you see a book you've been looking for. for me its a bit of a rush...whether its a valuable book or not. for example, one of the few orson scott card books i don't have is "The Ships of Earth", sure i could go online and prob get the book for $10, but if i wait, that feeling i'll get when i finally spot it on the shelves isn't the same as waiting for it in the mail. and the number of shelves, in this area at least, is dwindling. i searched out all the shops...same with the library sales.
call me old fashioned.
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Old Jan 25 2009, 01:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

OK, Mike, you're old-fashioned

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikew View Post
call me old fashioned.
That said, I share both views. Living in Norway new English books cost an arm and a leg, and second-hand bookshops are non-existent, so I'm eternally grateful for good old e-bay and Amazon

However, there's a bookshop here in Oslo called "Outlander" which stocks new fantasy books by the yard, far more than I've ever seen in a UK bookstore. I rejoice to lay my paws on paperback US editions of books by great authors who for some crazy reason don't have a UK publisher (eg Mercedes Lackey, Katherine Kurtz, Elizabeth Moon, Elizabeth Kerner etc etc). Heaven is browsing there for an hour or two, then maybe treating myself to one book - and reminding myself that books breed when you're not looking
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Old Jan 25 2009, 03:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

I enjoy looking in shops far more than just ordering a book but I'm glad the internet is there too.
I've noticed it here too Anneli. Admittedly that bookshop in Rotterdam was bigger than all the bookshops in Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth put together but even the smaller sellers have a good selection in English and the second hand sellers and chock a block full of science fiction and fantasy and a lot of books that aren't exactly rare, but which I just can't find back in the UK.
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Old Jan 25 2009, 04:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joz View Post
I don't think that is true in Australia. We don't have many megastores as perhaps you're used to (there are some Borders stores here) but the local Australian chains - Dymocks, Angus & Robertson and Collins - all seem to be doing pretty well. All my local bookstores, although probably small by your standards, are always busy. You can always order a book through them and other specialty stores if you know what you're after. The internet hasn't affect much at all here, IMHO.
What Joz said.

Jube and I have to go to the nearest big town as there is no bookstore in the town, we live in nor in the town across the river (used to be one but not anymore). Jube tries to get a lot of books from yard sales, garage sales, library sales, op shops etc because she reads lots and lots. As I said before, my interests lie more in Stephanie Meyer and Darren Shan etc.. and we tend to use Dymocks as they know us quite well there. There's also an Angus & Robertson and a Collins bookstores there in the same town. Go in the opposite direction, there's a great 2nd hand bookstore. Otherwise we go to Melbourne and visit the bookshops there when we visit the rellies. I don't get books off the Internet as I like bookshops but Jube uses both bookshop and internet and that works for us.
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Old Jan 25 2009, 08:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

The internet is not hurting brick and mortar book stores. The fact that people aren't buying books in general is.

I could write a long opus on how publishing and bookstores work (and I might later,) but it really just boils down to what I wrote above.
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Old Jan 25 2009, 11:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

Mike, there is nothing in this world like holding a long sought after book in your hands...the smell of it, even when old and musty...the feel of the pages, its all just a wonderful feeling to a person that loves books...B U T...you can also get that wonderful feeling from a beloved book bought on the internet and that has found it's way to your hands and heart. There are many a find book seller on the internet...you should give them a try...especially since you love books so much.
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Old Apr 4 2009, 06:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

We have a Borders out here where every employee knows me on a first name basis. They call when books come in, they suggest books for me, reserve (hide) books they know I'm going to get, such as the next installment in a series. Its marvelous. Yes, I spend too much on books.

We also have a locally owned bookstore that sells gently-loved copies of older books. Shored up my Magic: The Gathering collection in a few intense visits. Only had to resort to the internet for my book-buying twice for rare out of print works. I prefer in-person shopping.
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Old Apr 4 2009, 01:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

Since writing this I have taken the plunge and bought a couple books online. I have to admit, it's not the flaming pit of hell I thought it would be. I've actually picked up a few really nice books for a reasonable price. I might be in trouble now, I find myself browsing e-bay for good deals. I even opened a paypal account (holy cow whats wrong with me). I still prefer being surrounded by books in a store, but some of them I'm tired of waiting for.
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Old Apr 4 2009, 02:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

Small bookstores, including used book stores have been slaughtered in my area, in addition to hobby shops. What you see in their places are video stores, and video game stores.

The big-box book stores have had progressively less variety over the years and their shelf stock stagnates for months at a time.

The economy is a factor (due to the ridiculous inflation of property values over the last ten years and thus rents for shop-owners, and now the crash), as is the total disarray of the publishing industry, but the general decline in readers (especially young readers) is causing much of the die-off. Many of the small shops also lack the ability to compete with Amazon.com and other large on-line houses, especially when ordering in.

We ordered a game for our daughter from a local shop (partly because we just like to walk into shops, browse, and generally support local merchants). Three weeks later there was no game, two erroneous reports it had arrived, and a lot of excuses about why they couldn't get it promptly. We canceled the order.

My wife then ordered it via Amazon.com and we had it three days later.
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Old Apr 5 2009, 06:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

People go to video stores?

Seriously, I go to used bookstores to browse, but if I want a DVD I can either get it cheaper at Wal-Mart or even the grocery store, or I order it on-line.
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Old Apr 6 2009, 10:50 PM   #18
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

I very rarely buy on line books. I get a lot of books at yard sales. There is a couple of good used book stores near me and I get some from there.

My sister buys Kibbie a lot of books from Barns & Noble.
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Old Apr 7 2009, 12:49 AM   #19
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

Well, in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs, there's still plenty of bookstores. In Evanston IL, there's a Borders and Barnes and Noble two blocks away from each other, plus a rare books store, plus another smaller rare books store, and then a little ways down the road there's a third used bookstore.

So, five bookstores within walking distance of each other. And the library is right there too.

But, granted, Evanston is a college town (Northwestern University) with a highly arty population, so it's not exactly a representation of the rest of the country.
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Old Apr 8 2009, 01:40 AM   #20
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2cent Re: the death of the bookstore

I've noticed a distinct lack of book in bookstores that I have an interest in. Most of the retail book outlets stock the top 1% of selling stories that I can see. There are some exceptions, there are ALWAYS exceptions, but when I end up going from store to store to store trying to find a book I liked, thought would be a neat present for friend, and can find NO copies I get irritated. Also started to notice that the book stores have been consolidating. seems Borders, and Walden are now part of Amazon, B Dalton I haven't seen, and not sure what Barnes and Noble may be. either part of a conglomerate, or on its own. It really seems like the stores are geared towards the Instant gratification of current releases, and if you want anything not on their list, you get to wait for shipping. again annoying.
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Old Apr 8 2009, 03:58 AM   #21
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

Stores having less books in stock nowadays is understandable. Books can always be ordered.

The important thing is that there aren't less book published!
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Old Apr 15 2009, 12:33 PM   #22
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2cent Re: the death of the bookstore

I use both depends on my mood and time. if I have to stay late at work I go to the bookstore before I catch my bus home. or if I go to the mall I stop in the bookstore. I'm trying to cut done on hardcovers(lack of space at the moment). online for out of print books like the people of pern and the atlas.
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Old Apr 15 2009, 11:38 PM   #23
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Just picked up 8 books for under ten dollars at the local used book store. Can't beat that with a stick!
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Old Apr 24 2009, 03:58 PM   #24
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

My favorite local bookstore seems to be doing fine, despite the fact that Barnes & Noble moved into town just a couple years ago. The staff all know me and my parents by name, and the owner likes to joke with us about being there all the time. Half the fun of buying books is browsing the shelves and finding things you didn't know you were looking for; can't do that when you're not physically at a bookshop. Plus with store credit (which I have lots of since I periodically go through and sell back my old books) I can just about get any used book for under a dollar. Otherwise I'd never be able to satisfy my appetite for books without breaking the bank.

I occasionally browse for books online, but I never buy them there - if a book I want isn't in town, I have the store put in a special order (for which there is no shipping/handling fee) and its there within a week.
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Old Aug 26 2009, 03:37 PM   #25
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

I use both sometimes I can wait to get my hands on a books. I used the net to check when books are coming out. I always end up spending more money that I want at the bookstore. I never call to see if the book I want is in stock and I come out with other books if that one is not in stock. Come to think of it I have to go this weekend and see if they have a book on freshwater tanks. I just got a tank 4 weeks ago and I need a book to help take of the fish I got.
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Old Aug 26 2009, 04:57 PM   #26
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

In Maryland there are still plenty of bookstores, though not nearly enough used bookstores. I'm addicted to used bookstores, but my favorite (which was already a 45 minute drive) closed down a couple of years ago. The nearest one that I know of is in Virginia. I have no idea what would cause used bookstores to close down, especially when they make for cheaper reading in times of economic hardship, but I know that they are extremely rare around me.
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Old Aug 30 2009, 08:14 AM   #27
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

There's plenty of new and used bookstores in Ohio. I grew up in the Cleveland area, and I've also lived in the Toledo area, and have lived halfway between the two - and I could name several new and used bookstores within several miles of any of the places I lived.

People in Ohio do so read.
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Old Dec 3 2009, 04:41 PM   #28
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Default Re: the death of the bookstore

I know how you feel about Book Shops,,I buy my books from the Newsagent
but one time I found this shop in Sydney which catered for SF and Fansty
books and best to see LOTS of People there ,,and the shop had a great feel
about it and hanging from the ceiling was a huge Skelton of a Dragon.
There was so many books I said ''Where do I start'',,a few just grinned and
one said ''You start with A!!!''
Every chance I had always called into that shop don't know if it's still there
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