Why I've Stopped Buying Books from Amazon

I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while now, so here goes.

I used to rely on Amazon. A few years back, whenever I needed a book I would rush over to the computer and with a single click it would be ordered from Amazon, and be waiting for me the next day. And it made me happy. The idea that whatever book I wanted, I could get it within a day, at a really low cost.

It actually made things really easy for me. I relied on other bloggers to say what books were good, checked the charts, and that’s how I made my mind up.

I suppose I began to not like Amazon so much when they messed up a few of my preorders. I go to college every day through the week, my closest bookshop is a half-hour drive away, so whenever a new book was coming out that I was desperate for, I would preorder on there. It was my only way of getting books on release day. But last year, when one particular book was coming out, I had an email saying the arrival date was changing… to a month after the release date. When I spoke to someone, they didn’t have enough stock to cope with all of the orders, and wouldn’t have it for a while. It wasn’t an overly popular book either.

So I cancelled that order, and ended up getting it from Waterstones. Yes, it was after the release date, but this was the beginning of the end of my obsession with getting books on they day they’re released.

As much as I absolutely love the thrill of getting my hands on a book on the day it’s released, do I really need it? No. I can live without always having to be one of the first people to read the books I like.

This experience with Amazon changed my way of buying books. Because after that, there just seemed to be a stream of orders I’d made that would end up turning up late or the books would be damaged. So I stopped.

I turned back to Waterstones, the only bookshop that is near me that has a decently large range of books. They’re more expensive than Amazon, and that was why I’d never really shopped there before, but I stopped minding the price.

I’m coming to the sad realisation that bookshops may not be around for much longer. People read online, spend more time on social media, and if they do buy books, they order from places like Amazon. And I wouldn’t want to see a place without a bookshop.

Without going to Waterstones, I wouldn’t have discovered a lot of the books I now love, because they aren’t in the charts, and there aren’t floods of other bloggers talking about them. They have never become popular, but that’s why I love them. Sometimes, the least popular books are the best.

I like looking at a book before I buy it - seeing how long it is, reading the first page. It’s all stuff that matters to me.

I get that Amazon is a cheap alternative, especially for people on lower budgets. But I’d much rather see a future with bookshops on the highstreet, rather than them all closing down because of websites like Amazon.

Comments

  1. I've finally got round to reading and replying to this post! I found it really interesting, I read mainly on my Kindle now for various reasons, and I definitely miss the thrill and excitement of going into a book shop because of this. I've read some great books on Kindle that I probably wouldn't have otherwise read due to them being on sale for 99p or something, but I probably couldn't tell you what most of them were called or who they were by. I certainly couldn't tell you what the cover looked like. Kindle is great in many ways, but you open up your book on exactly the page you left it on - which IS good - but it means you never see the cover or the back blurb or anything like that. I miss that!
    I still love a browse round a book shop - its one of my favourite things to do in fact - and some books I would always choose to buy as a real book instead of Kindle.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for checking this out Sam! I completely understand the love of the 99p books on Kindle, I am guilty of doing that to save money when it's tight. One of my issues with that is the same as you - that you can never remember who the author is or the cover, because it's always the same for me. Walking around bookshops is the best!

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