Discussion » Indie Bookstores VS. Retail Bookstores

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VS.

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Ah another discussion! I can hope I’m getting somewhat better at making up discussion topics that haven’t been covered! Okay, today’s discussion is on Indie Bookstores VS. Retail Stores.

We all know the Indie bookstores, that little bookstore in the town that you live in that sells way too expensive books (usually). And we also know the gigantic retail bookstores that are everywhere and also sell books that are way too expensive. You know the ones I speak of; Barnes and Noble, Waterstones, Indigo Books and others.

I recently took a poll on Twitter regarding this and here were the results.

Out of 80 votes, 49% of people practically never buy books from their local Indie Bookstore, 35% of people say they sometimes buy books from their Indie and the remaining 16% of people say they buy from their Indie often. 

I don’t know about you, but I was a little surprised. Just a little. I personally don’t shop at my local indies enough, like seriously, I hardly ever shop their because – well, it’s expensive. Some people don’t shop at their locals for the very same reason. And some people don’t shop at their local indies because they actually don’t have one which I found was really surprising.

Personally, I’m going to try and shop at my Indie more. I mean, these tiny local bookstores are being shadowed by these larger bookstores. It won’t be long before any kind of bookstore is around from the effects of ebooks and just ordering books off Amazon. We all remember Borders.

I’ve compiled a small list of why people don’t shop at their local indies:

  • Expensive
  • They don’t have a local indie
  • Not a large enough selection
  • We have Amazon
  • eBooks have become quicker, sometimes cheaper, and more efficient

Indies and Retail stores have one thing in common. They are both just as expensive. Have you seen the prices at Barnes and Noble? So then why do we buy at larger retail stores opposed to the far smaller indies? Barnes and Noble and other larger retail stores have the power to stay. I have a feeling that these large retail stores aren’t gonna be going out of business for awhile, but these indie bookstores, well – they could go in the blink of an eye.

Where do you prefer to shop at? Why do you like to shop there? And what are some other reasons why people prefer to shop at larger retail stores opposed to the smaller local indies? Tell me in the comments! 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Discussion » Indie Bookstores VS. Retail Bookstores

  1. Great discussion topic! I don’t shop at any indie stores, but I don’t know of any near me. There is one store that I’m in fairly often and they sell “quality used and collectible books”. Aside from that? I buy from the big chains (Barnes & Noble, 2nd & Charles (a division of Books-A-Million)). I have a particular fondness for Barnes & Noble, I think because that’s the bookstore I remember going to as a child.
    I buy tons of used books (cheap books-yay!) and that affects where I shop at. I like that indie stores are more personal; the workers, the layout, et cetera. But chain stores tend to have a much bigger selection of books. I think a balance is good; I can get my lovely, (expensive) new copies at Barnes & Noble, and my loved and worn books from Ed’s Editions. Sidenote: 2nd & Charles actually sell both used books and new books!

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    1. Thanks! If you don’t know of any near you, well *shrugs* that isn’t your fault. I LOVE BARNES AND NOBLE. But I still feel for my smaller indies around. I love used books and though used books are cheaper, my used bookstore isn’t THAT cheap even then. Barnes and Noble is so expensive, but I JUST LOVE IT. That’s awesome that 2nd and Charles sells both used and new, that’s really smart.

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  2. I honestly didn’t know what an Indie store even was until I saw this post. I found some in my state, but they’re all 45+ minutes away…so maybe one day I’ll check them out but they’re not in the best spots around me.

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    1. Hahaha, definitely check them out when you find the time, I’m sure you’re busy. But it’s understandable if it’s 45 minutes away that you don’t go.

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  3. Indie stores are my favorite because they’re so friendly. I know the people at mine, I’m there all the time, and I’m never nervous to ask them to order in books especially for me. They also host tons of author events, which is just fantastic, and a bookstore is just the perfect gathering place for people who like books to talk about them. A lot of indies will also have bookclubs already set up, which is a great way to meet people. I’ve never seen that at a Barnes and Noble!

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    1. Definitely agree with that! You’re lucky your Indie hosts author events, they never host author events that I would be interested in going to. I do think my indie has a book club but I’ve never gone, I’ll have to see!

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  4. I don’t have any indie bookstores 😦 But I would definitely check them out if I did. I don’t even really know the difference? I imagine the atmosphere would be different though, so I’d love to check one out. It does seem like it’d be more personal, like another comment mentioned. Then again, sometimes the anonymity of walking into a massive bookstore where no one notices you and you just get lost is the books is exactly what you want, so I’m sure they both have their advantages!

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    1. Aw that’s too bad! Agreed, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. You should definitely check one out at some point, they are usually very homey. 🙂

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  5. I buy books through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I usually go with Amazon because they’re cheaper than Barnes & Noble. I live in the suburbs and I don’t think we have any indie bookstores here. The library is kind of far and I don’t drive yet. So yeah…

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  6. This is a great topic, Claire! Let me be honest here,I highly dislike giving my money over to the big corporate businesses. In that way I’m a total hippy. That said, as much as I’d love to support the one local indie bookstore, I’m ashamed to say that you’ll find my butt at B&N long before you’d find it at the tiny bookstore downtown. Even with as expensive as B&N already is, the local bookstore actually is more expensive and I just cannot afford to spend more. Like you mentioned as well,the selection is WAY smaller and sure they will order for you but with a hefty order fee that again, I just can’t afford. So I guess for me, it all comes down to the green. Gah, I hate that. Fingers crossed that I may one day win the lottery so that I can go crazy & support the local indie. Seriously, they’ll have to restock their shelves. Like,a lot. 🙂

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