7 Reasons to Buy From Bookstores

Bookstores — these beautifully torturous sources of inner turmoil for us poor bookworms. Do we go inside and buy books? Browse while leaving our wallets in the car? Avoid them altogether because we know our weaknesses? I don’t know! I DON’T KNOW!

Actually I do know. All good bookworms are fans of bookstores, or at least should be. But, despite our rabid love for them . . . we tend to think that books in bookstores are overpriced. The truth is, books online are discounted, so that makes the bookstores look like grubby money-thieves. While in reality, books in bookstores are normal prices. Even though we all love a good deal, I want to take a moment and share some of the benefits of buying from a bookstore:

1. You’re supporting a bookstore.

Aka: you are keeping the world turning. YOU ARE ESSENTIALLY SAVING HUMANITY EVERY TIME YOU BUY A BOOK FROM A BOOKSTORE. (Tweet this) Why wouldn’t you want to be saving the world and buying a book at the same time? Come on, people.

We hear of Borders shutting down or Hastings declaring bankruptcy and we panic because, “Oh no! The booooooks!!!! What will I do?” Well…we’ll probably do what we’ve already been doing. Go browse Amazon or The Book Depository. 😛

2. You get to smell the book first.

And it’s not going to smell like it was traveling in cardboard for 5 days. Don’t get me wrong. Book mail is the best. But it’s not quite as fun as going on an adventure in a real bookstore, finding a new book, and making sure it smells magical and papery before bringing it home like a newborn baby. 😛 The scent of a book is important. It’s our first clue on whether or not it’ll be worth our time.

3. You get to browse the books and pick the best copy before purchasing.

This is a big one for me. When I decide, “Okay, I want to buy Renee Adieh’s newest book” I take every copy off the shelf and then select the best one. That means the one with the least scuffs, the most perfect looking dustcover, and the one without fingerprints on it. And I don’t feel guilty AT ALL. Being choosy is my right. Leave the grubby copies for the latecomers. They should have come sooner. I’ve had too many books arrive from Amazon with dented corners or crumpled page chunks. At a bookstore…I am in control.


4. You get to read that baby THE SAME DAY if you want to!

The same hour! Even with Amazon Prime, that 2-day shipping thing can feel like 800 pages of trudging to Mt Doom while you wait for the book to arrive. And then what if your reading mood changes before it gets to you? So much can go wrong! AHHH! But with a bookstore, you can fall in love and decide to spend the rest of your lives together all in the same day. *swoony sigh*

5. You discover books you didn’t think of.

Get this, I once bought a book from Barnes and Noble, read it, and hated every little thing about it. EVERYTHING. One-star! Death! Burn it! So I waltzed back into the store, plopped it on the counter and told the lady, “I hated this book. Am I allowed to return it?” (Yes, sometimes my rabid bookworm comes out.) Not only did she help me return it for a full refund, but then she asked me about my reading tastes, movie tastes, etc. and then recommended a different book for me. AND I ADORED IT. This can’t happen online.

Can you imagine trying to call an Amazon representative and them asking you, “What are your reading tastes? Oh here, try this book.” Ha! As if. Now, if you asked a bookstagrammer. . .

6. Buying books from the store helps keeps them in the store.

Some people might argue, “But the author gets more money if you buy it online!” Um…not really. Buying a book from the store helps keeps those books in the store. It shows the store that keeping that book on the shelf meets the needs of readers. So when a friend of mine gets published and her book is in the store. That’s where I go to buy it. And, in turn, this helps the author get more than just a single book sale. This helps others see their books, too. Besides, then you can take a selfie with the book in the store and tag your favorite author in it on Instagram or Twitter and totally make their day.

7. You meet other bookworms

Introverted fangirls UNITE! 😛 I was once browsing the YA section in Barnes & Noble and there was another lady in the aisle. I picked up a book and started reading the back. “Oh, that’s a good one,” she piped up. “And it’s clean, too!”

“You’ve read this?” I asked.

“Yup! I’m a librarian at the high school, so I spend a lot of time in these aisles.” She reaches for a book. “This is one of my favorite series.”

It turned out we had pretty much THE EXACT SAME READING TASTES. So I spent the next ten minutes grabbing every book that I’d been considering reading, and asking her thoughts on them. She helped me whittle down my pile to a few good ones to pick from that day and I left with a bookworm friendship. Hard to run into someone while browsing a webpage.



Your turn!

Why do you like to buy books from a bookstore?  (Tweet this!)

What’s the last book you bought from a bookstore?



About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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  1. GREAT reasons!!!! I love shopping in bookstores, but I need the discounted prices of Half-Price Books, usually, because let’s face it, I’m poor. 😛 I do love shopping in the Bargain Books section at Lifeway, though! Buy three get one free? How about buy six get two free? XD

    Also… I understood that LotR reference. 😉

    • All bookworms are poor. It’s in the bookworm manual. 😉 Rule #4.72 — Bookworms must be poor from the excessive purchasing of books. 😛

      Also, I love Lifeway!!

  2. I love boookstores. I do feel that they are super expensive. I actually thoroughly enjoyed Borders more than Barns n Noble, which Barns n Noble is basically the ONLY major bookstore out here where I live anymore. Borders was so much better.
    But I actually prefer used book stores. For their cheaper prices, BUT ALSO because they generally have more places to sit and relax. 10 years ago, when we were dating, my husband and I would go to B n N and browse late at night (they were open til 11) They used to have couches, and chairs, even an entire sitting area. Once we hung out or an hour with other people talking politics and books lol. The problem is, people would sit and read and NOT buy anything apparently. 5 years ago B n N took out EVERY chair and couch (except those attached to Starbucks) I still will go and sit on the floor in the back and read like some crazy teenager lol. I suppose it’s okay, I look 10 years younger than I am ha :)\
    Do you know whether used bookstores give authors royalties?? I’ve heard they don’t??

    • Nope. Only the sale of new book’s give an author royalties. Used books have already given the author royalties when they where originally sold. I love used book prices too, but if its an author I love, I got to buy their books new so I can support them.

      P.S. I LOVED this post Nadine!!! And I LOVE BOOKSTORES!!!!! XD

    • I mourn those B&N couches and chairs every time I visit!! Now I just do the same thing, but in stiff cafe chairs (and I still buy books!)

  3. Good reasons!
    I literally saw you posted and was like WHY IS SHE POSTING ON A MONDAY? *headdesk* And i thought yesterday was Wednesday…

  4. Rebekah Gyger

    I don’t go into the bookstore very often because I get most of mine either mailed to me for review or from the library. There is only one bookstore within half-hour of me and the rest are all 40mins-1 hr. All but two of these are Christian bookstores that unfortunately don’t sell my favored speculative fiction.

    The last book I bought in store was actually A Time to Speak, because I remembered you asking us to get it from Lifeway if we could. Sadly, that turned out to not be the best shopping trip. While every other time I have gone in there for something, the employees have offered to have it shipped in if it wasn’t there, that time I had to ask them to and then they tried to talking me into driving an hour to the next nearest Lifeway instead of having it brought there. I was glad to support you, but pretty miffed about the experience.

    It makes me feel like a bad bookworm that I don’t like bookstores that much 🙁

    • That’s how it was with me living in Idaho. We had to make it a day trip to go to the bookstore.

      Oh I’m sorry to hear your Lifeway experience wasn’t a good one! 🙁 I really appreciate you trying to get it from Lifeway, though!

      You’re not a bad bookworm. 😉

  5. Alice Farrelly

    We don’t have any new-book-bookstores in town and to make it worse Amazon takes closer to two weeks than two days to ship here…. when we find a bookstore we seem to end up inside though.

  6. I am a second hand bookstore girl, But saying that we don’t actually have any bookstores in town other than part of BigW and it does not usually have the books I want. and if it does I generally don’t realize in time… So when I get new books the come from online shops, but I love anything second hand and a lot of these points still work and the books are also a lot cheaper so I am more likely to pick up random ones and try them out. And of course if there are more books by the writer I may then have to go buy some more.

  7. Anna Bourassa

    I love NEW books, unless an old one belonged to a loved one or friend. But, sadly, our local Christian Bookstore closed last year, so I order online. *sob* It’s just not the same, and now Main Street feels empty. There’s no where I like to hang out or spend money at. 😢

  8. Unfortunately, I live like a Neanderthal….meaning I live at least two and a half hours from any stinking bookstore! Well good book stores that actually have my taste…

  9. This makes me feel bad. I used to love visiting our local Christian book-store when I was little. I’ve shelves full of book bought back then.

    And now I hardly have any money for books and have been into the store 4 time in two years. Twice to see a friend who works there, once to buy a bible, and yesterday to buy a movie. And they do sell some books that I would like.

    The library however is my best friend. Sometimes I’m afraid that they’ll notice I suggest way too many books and start ignoring me.

    • Libraries are wonderful things! I use them to read books to see if I like them. Then if I love the book and know I’ll recommend it or want to re-read it someday, I go buy it. 🙂 Don’t feel guilty for using the library. Requesting an author’s book for your library helps the author much much more than just buying a single copy from a bookstore. Trust me.

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