Since becoming involved in the book community over on Instagram (@unbrokenspines) last year I have noticed a change in my book buying habits - and I don’t just mean buying more books…which I do…too often for my overloaded bookshelves… Instead I am referring to where I chose to buy my books from. Whereas I wouldn’t have thought twice about purchasing my latest read from online retailers such as Book Depository and Amazon this time last year, I now find myself making a conscious effort to buy from independent bookshops or Waterstones. And it’s not just me; contributors Caitlin and Steph both recently declared that they were also trying to avoid Amazon when purchasing books. My decision to avoid these online mass retailers is partly based on recent experience of books turning up in a less than perfect condition - which for anyone who knows me and my bookshelves understands the level of perfection I expect! However; my decision to frequent independent bookshops comes mostly from the specific and tailored reading suggestions these booksellers can offer: I’ve discovered many authors and books which would have passed me by this way.
This is not to criticise anyone who uses online retailers such as Amazon to buy books. They are undoubtedly cheaper (a must if you are studying literature and are faced with a lengthy list of course texts) and are often the only place to find copies of out-of-print fiction (a problem I frequently faced when studying my PhD). However, we challenge you to go out and explore your local bookshop this weekend - you never know what suggestions you might come back with!
We’d love to hear where you go to buy books so get in contact with us.