Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Where Did You Buy The Last Book You Bought?

Book buying habits are changing rapidly, bookstores are closing, Amazon's sales are robust. Personally, as much as I love bookstores, I find the temptation of having a book delivered to my door in a couple of days nearly always too strong to resist.

Where did you buy your last book? Online? At a bookstore? The supermarket?






188 comments:

Jana Lubina said...

The last book -- or books, rather -- I bought were online. Yes, at Amazon.

I go to used bookstores as much as possible, but most of my purchases are online. If I'm in a mall, I will go to an actual big chain bookstore like Indigo, but I rarely purchase there as I usually like to read reviews before buying anything.

Michelle Moran said...

Because we have no independent bookstores near us, I do all of my shopping on Amazon. I suppose I could do it through BookSense, but Amazon is simply much nicer to use. One click and suddenly it's here.

Julia Weston said...

I usually head to the bookstore with my toddler in tow. After about ten minutes of chasing him up and down the aisles (and several stern looks from employees), I give up, go home and log onto Amazon.

Anonymous said...

The last book I purchased was at a kiosk at the airport. I rarely purchase books online unless they are books that are out of print or out of stock at the local stores. For me, buying a book is a tactile experience. Whether it's at a large chain or a used book store (which I love to frequent), nothing beats picking up books and leafing through them before buying.

Lauren said...

Mine came from City Lights Bookshop in San Francisco. Husband and I were vacationing in SF for our 3rd wedding anniversary, and I couldn't pass up buying a book from such a renowned bookstore.

Before that, my last book purchase was from the bargains table at Borders, and before that, I made an order of 3 or 4 books from Amazon. Tonight I'm going to check out a newish independent bookstore here in Atlanta, and I'll probably buy something there.

So I'm basically all over the map.

Anonymous said...

I do get many books at Amazon, though I prefer Barnes & Noble online because their service is better, they tell you when the books will be shipped BEFORE you place the order (unlike Amazon), and in NYC, at least, they often ship books out within 24 hours. That said, my all-time favorite place to shop - and where I recently stocked up on the past half-dozen books that I've been reading - is an actual Barnes & Noble store. For me, nothing beats the feeling of walking over to the tables set up in front and actually touching the books themselves. I firmly believe that you can judge a book by its cover, because I do it all the time, and that is much harder to do online. The descriptions of books online are more reader-reviews than book-jacket descriptions. And when I go into a Barnes & Noble, I get to imagine that someday my own book will rest alongside my favorites.

Sam Hranac said...

I just bought Royce Buckingham's Demonkeeper at the SCBWI Western Washington conference. A wonderful bookstore, All for Kids, was running the sale. Sadly, that store is going out of business soon.

Last month I bought Novel Metamorphosis by Darcy Pattison from B&N online because I had a Gift Card and they didn't have in their store.

r.c. said...

Kepler's in Menlo Park. It's near my kids' school and my daughter needed a book for a book report. I love the convenience of Amazon, I love getting packages in the mail, but I would be crushed if I didn't have a local book store to browse through, so I resist.

hannah said...

The last books I bought were off of Amazon. No bookstore within ten miles of my house, so I usually order.

Michael said...

Of my last three book purchases, one was from Amazon, one was from a chain bookstore, one was from the local supermarket discount bin. Bookstores give me a chance to find something new or unknown. Online ordering lets me get specifically what I want when I want it, they both have their attractions.

Other Lisa said...

I do buy a lot of books at Amazon (I just ordered a book as a gift from them yesterday). The last three books: one from Amazon, one from Borders (it's an easy walk from my office) and one from my favorite local bookstore (an easy walk from my house).

Adaora A. said...

At the campus bookstore. Downstairs is for course kits and texts, upstairs is a virtual paradise. Everything you can imagine.

Ian McEwan
Nick Horby
John Grisham (<3)
Kinsella
Leo Tolstoy
Margaret Atwood
The last few times they pinched my money was when I bought:

ON CHESIL BEACH ( will go back for more)

SLAM (Nick Hornby...will go back for HIGH FIDELITY, ABOUT A BOY and the lot)

THE HANDMAID'S TALE (will go back to buy EDIBLE WOMAN because I've only read it, I don't actually own it.)

Kristi Valiant said...

I bought two board books last week at a local Christian bookstore. The week before that, I bought a picture book, Flight of the Dodo at a Borders store for my own collection.

We don't have independent bookstore in our city, so I usually buy from Borders using their emailed coupons or from one of our Christian bookstores.

terryd said...

I'm getting daily emails from goodreads.com, and it's much easier for me to buy recommended books online.

That said, I bought my last book at the Borders near the SF CalTrain station (Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road). We had some time to kill and our kids love bookstores.

queenoftheskies said...

I purchased several books over the weekend at a kiosk at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The kiosk belonged to an independent bookstore with which I was familiar.

Most of the time, my purchases split pretty evenly between a big chain bookstore and Amazon.

Parker Haynes said...

Like so many, I do buy from Amazon occasionally, followed by pangs of guilt. My most recent purchase was a The Brodsky Bookshop in Taos--small, intimate, friendly owners, combination of new and used books. Highly recommended if you visit Taos. I also frequent Big Star Books in Santa Fe. Also new and used there, and David, the owner, will frequently allow trade-in on used books. As much as I would prefer to always buy new books to feed the author's royalties, my retirement budget usually demands used.

Wendy Pinkston Cebula said...

I have lots of independent bookstores in my neighborhood, so I tend to buy them there. It's too tempting to pass by without going in. My last one was from The Corner Bookstore on Madison Ave. I bought I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. It's funny, and who can resist that title?

Bump in the Night said...

I sometimes buy from Amazon, and I like perusing online--whether at Amazon or on small publishers' sites. I've found a better way than ordering off Amazon. A local bookstore will order books they don't stock for no charge. I call the bookstore to see if they carry something. If not, they order it and call me when they get it, usually in a couple days. It's much faster than using Amazon and there are no delivery charges.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the last two books I purchased were through Amazon. I do haunt a used bookstore and buy regularly there. But I also buy (though only occasionally these days) from B&N or Borders. I'm afraid I do more 'browsing of the types of books I write' at these chains in order to get a feel for what is selling in my genre.

Leatherdykeuk said...

My last was from Waterstones but 75% of my books are bought online.

Anonymous said...

I think the last one was at the library, with their used books. Buck for it, I think.

Last new book was almost certainly at Border's. They make some money off us; I think we must drop close to a thousand bucks a year there.

Kathryn said...

Since the only bookstores in my town are a Christian bookstore (and I am not a Christian) and an antique/rare books place, I almost always buy books online from either Amazon (tends to have more info on the books I'm interested in) or Barnes and Noble (their shipping tends to be quicker, and they generally use less packaging). My last book purchase, though, was made at WalMart--every once in a while, they do have some books I like!

AC Gaughen said...

I love browsing bookstores. My mom worked in one for years while I was a kid that was a converted bank, and my favorite books were kept in the old vault with a little stool in there for reading. I sat there for hours, and now I will always turn to bookstores for some relaxing personal time.

I bought my last book from Barnes and Nobles because its the closest bookstore to me, and I really hate paying shipping and handling. While it's not the same as my childhood haunt (an independent that had to close), I still love all bookstores, great and small.

AC
blog.finalword.org

C.J. said...

barnes and noble -

i walked over after having dinner nearby just to look at a book i wanted ("moldoror") i ended up getting in a long convo about it with the guy from the info desk so i had to buy it. i guess that's one sales technique that doesn't quite transfer to the online realm.

lauren: yesss, city lights. i've only been to san fran once, and therefore i've only been to city lights once. i knew almost nothing about it before i went - at the time i was just starting to obsess over bob dylan so imagine my glee to see their postcards of him standing right there - right where i was standing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous here again. Make that B&N. Yup, the Border's around the corner closed a year or so ago. But it was poor property management, I believe, more than their current issues. Shopping center has more vacancies than stores.

Jessica said...

Am waiting on an order from Better World Books, my favourite source for used books online, as the prices are good, overseas shipping is cheap, and the proceeds go towards worldwide literacy programs.

I buy almost all of my books online. I rarely buy new books and, when I do, it's from Amazon. I buy used books from various sources online and, occasionally, from charity shops or library sales.

Jill C. said...

Amazon, Costco and Borders.
Amazon for when I know the title I am looking for and I want to shop at midnight, Costco for impulse buys, and Borders for 'gotta have the book for a school project by tomorrow' buys, as well as post-browsing with my kids buys.
All our local independents have closed, and we had some good ones.

Nona said...

The very last book I bought was purchased at the airport in Chicago before a long flight to Phoenix. "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. Very dense. It took me three or four hours to get through 68 pages. The only thing I remember about it is the part about "corn sex."

Did you know that those pesky corn silks that we're always pulling out of our teeth are responsible for fertilizing the ear of corn? That's how the pollen from the tassel gets to the kernels and makes them grow!

I wish every plane ride was half as fascinating!

Heidi the Hick said...

It was either at the drugstore or at Chapters. But I did have to order it from Chapters, so I guess I might as well have ordered it online. However, by paying for it at the store, I didn't have to put another charge on my credit card!

Anonymous said...

Barnes and Noble Booksellers

Maya Reynolds said...

While I used to spend thousands at Amazon a year, I'm boycotting them because of their insistence that small publishers use their proprietary POD company.

The last two books I purchased (Magic Bites and Magic Burns) were purchased separately at B&N.

Nadine said...

I purchased two books a few days ago at Barnes & Noble. I tend to buy DVDs from Amazon, not books.

SFWriter said...

Barnes, the actual physical store. While we do order books online, we only do it if they're not available in the store. Browsing, handling the books, smelling the books is still part of the experience for the whole family.

We can make it an outing.

Sue said...

I buy 90% of my purchases via Amazon, but my last purchase was at Barnes & Noble, live and in person, because I needed a Java book THAT DAY.

I'm guessing that most people who are blog-readers would also be online purchasers.

Margaret Yang said...

I split my dollars fairly evenly between the local independent, a huge B&N in my town, and Amazon. I like all three for different reasons.

The indy skews literary. I'm a genre reader, so I mostly go there for kids' books. But I love the idea of the indy and don't want them to go out of business so I try to shop there at least some of the time. Every time one of my kids gets invited to a birthday party, the little friend gets books from Nicola's Books for a gift.

The B&N for genre books.

Amazon for convenience. When I already know what I want.

pamela hammonds said...

Amazon. The purchase before that? Amazon. My next purchase? Most likely, Amazon. I only wish I could buy all my groceries from them.

Tammie said...

Mostly Meijers (supermaket)when I'm getting groceries.

Sometimes Amazon.

Often from Book-of-the-Month-Club BOMC.

David Searls said...

With hardcovers in the $25-$30 range, I'm always looking for a deal. That involves frequent perusal of the discount tables at Borders and Barnes and Noble.

Jeff Abbott said...

Mail-ordered the new Harlan Coben (inscribed to me and my wife) from Murder by the Book in Houston, an absolutely fantastic independent bookstore.

This weekend, bought three books with my kids at our new Barnes and Noble. My kids have no interest in online browsing for books. They want to look at the books, compare to others, see the whole range in the series (they like series a lot right now). My wife bought a book she wanted to start reading that day, didn't want to wait for online ordering. That store was busy on Saturday.

Sandra Gail Lambert said...

My last book purchase was at a local independent bookstore. As an ex-feminist bookstore owner, I'm pretty sure that lightning would strike if I ever bought at a chain or Amazon.

Anonymous said...

At my local indie bookstore. I do much of my writing offsite at my "office" in the cafe at a local Borders. But when I need a book, I call my local indipendent bookseller and buy it there. Funny thing is, when I have to order a book from the indie store, they get it in faster than Borders. Also, it always seems they call me while I'm busy writing away at hte Cafe at Borders to let me know my book has arrived at their store!

Ulysses said...

Chapters, here in Canada.
I got a list of newly published books by digging through their web site, but I bought at the local outlet.

Scott said...

Amazon. It was a fairly specialized title that I need for research on my latest project, the kind of thing I'm not likely to find at Borders or Amazon.

I love independent bookstores. Thing is, there's not a single independent left in the entire county I live in that's not a religious bookstore. The last one closed a couple years ago. I have nothing against religious bookstores, but they don't carry what I read.

There's a great store about an hour away, in The Big City (or as big as we get in these parts). They have a pretty good new selection, and an unbelievable used and rare book department (two of their three floors). That's where I'd buy all my books if I could, but it's, well, an hour away, and it's downtown, which makes parking a pain.

So, I shop Amazon. A lot. I can find obscure titles at a reasonable price without leaving home.

We're close to B&N, so that's where I usually go for more common titles.

R.J. Keller said...

My local independent bookstore. I try to buy from there as much as possible, but if I'm short on gas money (it's a 45 minute drive one way) then I order from Amazon.

Anonymous said...

I just bought two books a couple of hours ago from Amazon. It's pretty much instant gratification and when you come home the next day it’s waiting for you like a present. And in one shot, I can also order my favorite Philosophy Birthday Cake body wash and shoes. It’s like going to the mall without the hassle, which is why the mall can hardly compete. I’m a diehard shopaholic and going to the mall or Bloomies on the weekend was like Sunday devotion to other people, but internet shopping replaced it for me. For most people I know, too. I still hit the malls and department stores just to smell the air, and if they happen to sell books, too, then I might come home with one—a bag full. But make a special trip to a bookstore to buy a book I want to read or just to browse? I’m sad to say that it probably hasn’t happened in more than a decade.

Mary said...

I bought “The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs” by Jack Gantos from a bookstore. The cover grabbed my eye. And I’m so glad it did.

betsy said...

The last books I bought were at a local store downtown, which is especially good about having SF/F titles in stock on their release dates. Otherwise, I'm generally a Borders shopper. I like them better than B&N.

I only buy books online if they're not available in my local stores - then it saves time to order online and have it shipped direct instead of waiting for a call from the store to say it's come in. Otherwise, for me, there's nothing that can replace the feel and smell of a new book in your hands on your way out the bookstore door.

Anonymous said...

The last book I purchased was on Amazon, and the only reason I bought it was because it was already checked out at the library with multiple holds on it. It was agent Donald Maas' "Breakout Novel" book, and I read it cover to cover. It was okay, but not as good as expected. If anyone wants it, I'd be happy to give it away.

Otherwise, sorry to say, I pretty much use the library for my reading needs. My budget just isn't what it used to be!

SL said...

I always buy at Chapters (I'm Canadian).

If Chapters isn't carrying what I'm looking for, I buy from amazon.ca.

Furious D said...

Bookstore.

I try to give as much business as I can to the local independent bookstore.

nancorbett said...

I bought my last book from Powell's. I am now boycotting Amazon, so I order my books online from Powell's. They offer all kinds of shipping methods and take payment via credit card or PayPal.

I used to buy everything from a local bookstore, but they closed. I don't generally support the biggies, like B&N, so, when I am out shopping, I go to either 3rd Place Books or Elliot Bay both in Seattle.

Nancy Beck said...

Either Amazon or the supermarket, can't remember which.

Although I haven't bought much as of late, due to financial constraints.

I'll be picking up Lisa Shearin's latest, Armed & Magical, at the Borders near where I work very soon, though. :-) I've been stoked to read this one for quite some time (only came out this week).

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I must be truthful and admit that the last book I bought (Lee Smith's THE LAST GIRLS) I found at my church yard sale. I know, I know...who's going to get royalties from that? While I'm at it I'll also confess that I was mighty glad not to find an autographed copy of FRENCH BY HEART on the book table!

Usually I buy all my books from The Open Book, a really cool independent bookstore in my hometown.

arcaedia said...

I bought my last book direct from the author who was having a special offer for pre-ordered copies. I sent a check by mail. The book was STEAMPUNK, an anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. The offer was at http://steampunkworkshop.com/special-offer-ann-jeff-vandermeers-steampunk

Jennifer said...

Borders. I would much rather buy in person than on Amazon (takes me a week to get the book, package delivery in my area is iffy), so I end up going there or the used/indie stores first. I do buy e-books when they are available for even more instant gratification.

mefer said...

An independent book store - I always look there first.

Heather Wells said...

I prefer ebooks, so whenever I can I get my books from BooksOnBoard.com, but if they're not available in (nonKindle) ebook format, I get them from Amazon.

Josephine Damian said...

I was on a long line at my local Books-A-Million waiting to special order a magazine (my usual purchase in book store is magazines, not books), and the line went all the way book to the classics shelf, so I picked up a couple of classic books to buy knowing the copies at my library might well be kinda yellow, tattered or icky.

But on those rare occassions when I do buy books as opposed to getting them from the library, I usually buy books online. Right now I'm boycotting amazon and just might make the switch to BN.

Katie said...

Well... if you skip the six from the library that I recently brought home, the last book I bought was from a thrift store! I don't do that too often, though.

The one before that was online from Books-a-Million, because they release them before their release date. I've bought from Amazon, but I have to admit that the whole strong-arm thing with small publishers has made me not want to give Amazon any of my money right now.

As a side note, Nathan... did you see the winning romantic suspense entry over on BookEnds? Apparently they don't share the horror of similies that you've inspired in us. They were like a giant flood washing over me... in the first paragraph!!!! (Not to take away from the writer's skill, which was wonderful.)

beth said...

Amazon.

There's an independent bookstore in my area, and I try to shop there. But if they don't have the book I want, or only have the hardcover at full price, I go back to Amazon.

PS-Nathan, don't forget about the poll thing you did last week or the week before...that was cool!

Ryan Field said...

The last book I bought in The Village in a small bookstore on Bleecker St. But most of the books I buy are either Amazon or Book of the Month Club. I truly believe in BOMC, I support them, and I want to see them stay around for a long time. And, for any GBLT readers out there...Insight Out is another important book source. There are still a lot of people who don't do online shopping, and things like BOMC are really important sources for them.

Josephine Damian said...

Or maybe Powells. Really liked their store in Portland, OR.

cwsherwoodedits said...

On the same day last week, my daughter's Scholastic Book Fair and BarnesandNobles.com.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Borders. Cringe. And me, living only 7 miles from the Boulder Book Store and 20 miles from the legendary Tattered Cover.

Suzanne said...

Yesterday, I bought two fantasy genre books at a remainders bookstore in the mall. Usually I look for books at ebay first, since used books are cheaper, and then on amazon. I like to go into Barnes & Nobles and splurge, though.

Christy Raedeke said...

I seem to buy a lot of books in airports because being trapped on a long flight without just the right book is terrifying! With the luxury of hours on end to read, you don't want to be stuck with a book that sucks. I love flying through PDX so I can hit Powells - they have a great selection of both new and used and their buyer has quirky taste.

wonderer said...

Chapters/Indigo, IIRC. Before that, my local SF/F/H genre bookstore (Bakka Phoenix, for any Torontonians out there).

Sad to say, I don't buy books often. My apartment building has a free book exchange (AKA a take-one-leave-one bookcase in the laundry room) so I get most of my books there or as gifts.

Laura (Kramarsky) Curtis said...

Borders. The local independent near me doesn't stock much of the trashy material I so thoroughly enjoy, and lately I've been irked with Amazon. Besides, with Borders' financial woes, I worry that they'll disappear! The book before that I bought at what is probably my favorite bookstore, Posman Books (http://www.posmanbooks.com/) in Grand Central Station. I stop n there every time I get off the train. No discounts like at Amazon, etc, but I adore them. Besides which, they wrap, so if you want a book for a prezzie, it's "one stop shopping."

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

Amazon.com - Enduring Love. Wow, finally a book I can read and say, "I write like that!" Stylistic similarities. Would have liked more at the end about the adoption, and could have lived without the faux psych report at the end. And "dumb blond" reference. But otherwise a great book, great quotable lines, paragraphs, wow! Can't wait to read Atonement.

***

I WOULD spend more time (and money) in an actual bookstore, if it had any shred of personality, style, individuality, something - can't stand Borders or Barnes and Noble bookstores. King's Books in Ferndale is a bit too grungy, dark and crowded, not really any place to sit. Off on a tangent, I know, but can someone explain WHY used bookstores (at least the area I'm in) always look so unattractive? I don't mean "lacking in new furniture or fixtures," I mean - just not a shred of any discernible style, nothing. Why? I have the theory "Eye candy sells books." Paintings, orange paint on the wall, SOMETHING. It's your job to make me want to stay!

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

The answer to this question depends on whether I know what I want. For example, a book for my research, a book as a gift – basically any volume where I know the title and author already – is going to be purchased on-line. But, when I want to pick up a book to read for pleasure, or I want to check-out new releases in my genre, I head straight to the shelves of my local bookstore. I can’t imagine how anyone can really browse at Amazon. And I can’t imagine the adventure of ferreting out a new book for pleasure reading without handling dozens of volumes, reading jacket blurbs and first pages. That is why I suspect the “death” of brick-and-mortar bookstores is vastly overstated. But then again, with less people engaging in “recreational reading” I may just be a dinosaur.

wortschmiedin said...

I actually bought two books today in the only bookstore in my suburb. Yes if I am willing to wait for a book, or when I am looking for something specific and my bookstore doesn't carry it, I buy online. BUt browsing is nicer in a bookstore plus I get something to read TODAY, NOW. And my author friend books I order through bookstores ;) means I have to wait longer but it might be more useful for them.

Moose said...

I bought my last book at Border's because I am a sucker for those 30 percent off email coupons.

I have to admit something which shames me: I will go to my favorite independent bookstore, the one with the highly knowledgeable and well-read staff, find all the interesting books on the tables, make a surreptitious list - and get the books at the library or on Amazon.

I'm a girl on a budget, but I still feel like this is poor form. Next time I go, I'm going to buy something. Yes. Assuage the guilt.

benwah said...

Several used bookstores, the public library's monthly sale, and Borders.

I'm a huge used book hound, but I haven't really gotten into buying them online. Which probably speaks to how finding a used gem is half the pleasure. (1st ed. Len Deighton for $6!)

I think it's amusing to see that some people say they buy from Amazon or B&N as if they're confessing some venial sin.

Linnea said...

Online. Don't know if it counts though because I'm always on the lookout for obscure research material for my WIP and that usually means out-of-print stuff which I only seem able to find on Amazon.

Sarah Garrigues said...

I bought "Toddlerwise" by Gary Ezzo from a local Borders just two days ago.

However, I must admit that I do regularly purchase books online (usually b&n.com), especially if it is a rare or a present.

Tom Burchfield said...

Bought my last book--"Dirty Money" by Richard Stark--at Dark Carnival in Berkeley. Nothing beats walking around in shelves full of books.

AmyB said...

I get almost everything from Amazon. If I go to a physical bookstore, I have to bring my kids along. They will run off and find books/toys that they will then beg me to buy. Then the little one will cajole me to buy him candy at the register. All in all, it's a lot less aggravating just to order online.

Jenn said...

Mine was at Borders, before that Barnes&Noble. I tend to research books on Amazon, but I don't like to wait even a few days. I'm all about the instant gratification.

Kristi said...

My last two books were from a Waldenbooks in the mall--I was briefly child-free, and there was a starbucks right next to it--heaven!

Generally, though I split my purchases between Borders and Amazon. It's easier to browse at a brick & mortar store to find something new. But if I know what I want, then Amazon usually has a better price.

I've been hitting the sale table at our local library a lot lately too--all used books, but at 25cents it's really hard to pass up! And, I've discovered a few new authors that way. I do check books out from the library, too, but I'm usually too frazzled by chasing toddlers around after storytime to actually browse the adult shelves (and then I end up paying rent on them anyway when I forget to return them on time)

Kathleen said...

The very last books I purchased were ordered through Powells.com. They were all used copies.

I rarely buy from Amazon, and usually do by from local Oakland or SF bookstores, used if possible otherwise new. I have been using Powells more recently b/c they have pretty good used selections, and free shipping after $50.

Dawn said...

I buy most of my books at thrift stores and then read new books through the library. I get a lot of review books, too, but these tend to be books I don't want to read (from my old job as an editor at a pregnancy magazine -- if I never read about morning sickness again, I will be a happy woman). Last new book (not new to me) that I bought was at a conference where I heard the author speak.

Cam said...

I bought two YA novels at an independent bookstore and bought a memoir at Borders (but only because the independent store didn't have the memoir).

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

The last book I bought was at the Romantic Times Booklover's Convention's book fair. I would have bought more at Monday's Little Night of Mystery at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop, but something came up and I wound up not going. I'm sad.

Anonymous said...

Barnes&Noble, this morning. I don't like B&N.com at all; if I'm buying online I'll buy from Amazon, which I frequently do.

Marissa Scott said...

Online at Amazon.com. With my work and writing schedule, I don't have much time to be running to the book store, and since we only have a Waldenbooks here, half the time they don't have what I want. So instead of going out to get the book, I order it online and spend the time saved for reading. :-)

Nicole Lorenz said...

I usually do well over half my book shopping on Amazon, but the last books I bought were from a Barnes & Noble. I go to Amazon when I'm concerned about price or when I'm looking for a specific title, and B&N or Borders when I just want to enjoy browsing around a book store.

Anonymous said...

This week I have bought books online (used at half.com, after searching fetchbook to for the best price), at a used-book bookstore, and at an independent new-book bookstore.

But the latter's rare: usually I buy new books only if they're written by friends or I'm at an airport ...

cc said...

If it's a favorite author, I'll buy it at any brick and mortor store that I happen to be around, and I'll gladly pay full price.

Otherwise, I go to Borders because it's closest and I go through a lot of books -- need that 30 percent off coupon to afford them.

If it's a boring sort of writing reference book I need (and I don't need to flip through the book to decide) I buy at Amazon -- used titles. It's easier than than driving 40 minute drive to the library.

superwench83 said...

Borders. It was yesterday. I used to be split about 50/50 between there and Amazon, but I'm boycotting Amazon. So now I'll go to B&N online.

Heather said...

eBook. Always eBook. Otherwise, where would I put them all? Plus, they're cheaper with instant gratification -- no need to get out of my PJ's to buy a book. ;)

Kelly said...

I bought it in a Barnes and Noble. The funny thing is, I was in the store and my mom called and asked what I was doing. I told her I was shopping for a book and she goes "what, you don't know where your library is?"

My answer to that was "yes, I do know where it is Mom, but how can I plan to make a living in an industry if I don't support it myself as a consumer of said industry? If everyone just went to the library and never bought books, authors wouldn't be able to make a living."

To which she replied, "Well, libraries buy books."

Umm... yeah, mom. Here's hoping that she will at least buy my book if/when it ever gets published :)

JohnO said...

Time to put your clicks where your mouth is, people. If you like independent bookstores, SUPPORT THEM. You can do that buying online, too. Powells.com is an excellent site.

For fun sometime, read about all of Amazon's controversies on their wikipedia page.

Or mull over the fact that Amazon got a big, fat ZERO on its environmental efforts from an organization called Climate Counts.

Kristin Laughtin said...

Borders. The one before that, B&N. I order from Amazon occasionally, but I prefer to browse physical stacks first.

~Crimson said...

The bookstore.
There's nothing quite like holding the book, looking at it, leafing through it...
And once I decide I want it, I want it that moment.

maureen said...

Beers Books in Sacramento. It's a big sprawling store that sells new and used books, and chapbooks by local poets. I'm addicted to that store. It's awesome.

William Womack said...

I'm fortunate enough to live ten minutes away from Powell's City of Books in Portland. To call them a bookstore would be a gross understatement--a trip to Powell's is a freakin' experience! It's a rare independent bookstore that can compete with the likes of B&N or Amazon, but with their huge store and web presence, Powell's is up to the task. I haunt their aisle on books for writers, and always come away with something interesting.

Whit said...

Used bookstore - Half Price Books.

Tanja said...

My last book purchases were in person at Half-Price Bookstore and Barnes and Noble. My online purchases are usually at Amazon (have a whole list of wants that I'm gradually picking up). :)

Fake Nathan Bransford said...

The Tattered Cover in Denver, CO.

Violet said...

I bought a book earlier this week at my local Books-a-Million. And, actually, I've made a few purchases there over the past month even though I've been shopping on Amazon for books more often over the last year.

Nothing beats picking up a book and reading the back cover or first page to see if I'd really like to buy it.

Betty Atkins Dominguez said...

I have bought from Amazon when I couldn't find the book locally. I prefer the bookstore. I love the ambience.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

My last 3 books have been purchased directly from the author at various writers events I've attended. I like the personal service, receiving a signed copy and helping out fellow writers. It also gives me the opportunity to read some good books that may not make it to my local big chain store.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
http://janekennedysutton.blogspot.com/

Jess said...

I work at Barnes and Noble. Where do you think I bought it? (You'd be right, of course.)

robinbridges said...

The Ridiculous Used Bookstore, where I buy used and new books. Occasionally I'll go to our B&N, which is close to home, but I usually pre-order stuff I'm anxious to read from Amazon.

Melissa said...

I work at a Coles Books (part of Indigo Books in Canada).... so I hope to see many comments of "At the book store". If you need a suggestion or want to have a person give you ideas of what's out there..... a book store is no better.

If you know exactly the book you're looking for, Online is cheaper. Always Cheaper. There isn't the store overhead that gets added on.

So I can see pro/con for each. For me, being that I'm in a book store 40 hours a week.. I buy there (and that's where MOST of my paycheck goes .... books)

Kimber An said...

Amazon.com

Anne said...

I bought my last book in Sterling Books - it's an English book shop in Brussels. It's a bit out of my way but it's nice to browse and it's cheaper for them to order things for me and me to pick them up than to order on Amazon. And I get that smug feeling that comes from buying from an independent book shop.

Marti said...

Wow, over a hundred comments and NOBODY bought a book from a POD company?

Mark me as one who did. I bought a book from Lulu.

Colorado Writer said...

Novel Metamorphosis by Darcy Pattison from Amazon.com

J.P. Martin said...

My last purchase was at a used bookstore. Before that it was at Target, Barnes & Noble (brick and mortar), used bookstore, Amazon.com, etc.

It all depends on whether or not I am already near a particular store, price and urgency.

Sharon said...

I bought mine at Borders on Sunday and, actually, Nathan, you were responsible. I was reading some old posts on Absolute Write and started reading your q&as. In one of them you mentioned authors Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt. I was curious about them, so I went to Borders to look at some of their books. I bought one of their books, Elements of Style, PW, a couple of other trade magazines, a book for each of my daughters and a new comic book for my son. Not including the cafe drinks, the 3 hour visit cost me about $70, but I think it will be worth it. I think I'll get subscriptions to the trade 'zines, though. And not forget to print the e-mail coupons next time.

julcree said...

Surprisingly, though I love to check out the books online, I rarely buy online. The last books I bought were at books-a-million, which is my preferred spot because it's not nearly as crowded as Barnes and Noble and there's always somewhere to sit and exchange sarcastic commentary with my companion. I'm more likely to use Amazon for DVDs on sale.

The Lins said...

Amazon, but I do go to real bookstores quite often.

Erin Miller said...

I buy four or five books at a time at Borders. The last books I bought were Laurell K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures and Terry Pratchett's Going Postal and Thud.

susand said...

Whenever someone tells me about a book that sounds interesting, I jot it down and when I have a few on the list, I search for them from Amazon used books. The price is right and I don't have to leave the house!

Tiffany Kenzie said...

I buy for the best price.

I refuse to buy them at a grocery store. I think sales from grocery stores don't count overall for authors making the 'lists'.

I have a bookstore across the road from work, which makes for a great lunch hours looking for a new mass market.

Then there is amazon and chapter online. Tradebacks and HC are WAY cheaper online. And us Canadians are totally ripped off when it comes to book prices.

Then there is walmart. Right now, they sell books for the American price. That's more than their discount of (25%) off cover price.

Uh... it was my birthday last month. And I bought books everywhere. Online and in store, depending on cost.

There aren't a lot of UBSs in my area, so I don't buy books from them. And I'm really anal about creasing on my spines--big no no and no dogears, so I like to buy them new.

Lisa Molson said...

I must admit that I buy most of my books through Amazon.com. Only because I get a free $50 gift certificate from my VISA rewards program. I may rethink this though because of the latest POD controversy.

Most recently I purchased Joshilyn Jackson's "The Girl Who Stopped Swimming" at my local B&N.
BTW, I just LOVE City Lights Bookshop (SF) & Keplers. I need to go to those places much more often.

Anonymous said...

At the Rutgers University Bookstore while waiting for my son to take his college placement tests.

The Liar's Diary


Coll

Linda said...

I admit - I usually buy my books online at B and N or (gulp) amazon. But we have a new indy bookstore in town and I patronize that more and more. I am happy to report I just bought my last book at a conference - Muse and the Marketplace in Beantown - and got it signed by the author. THAT was a thrill... Peace, Linda

Anonymous said...

I find the big bookstores overwhelming, so I buy few books there. I do shop at my favorite indy every summer when on vacation. The rest of the year it's Amazon, baby!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I bought two books this week: one at Borders & the other at Joseph Beth. And I bought a magazine at B&N on my lunch break today.

I use Amazon a lot, but bookstores are like therapy for me, and I have three great ones within five miles from my house, so I'm frequently stopping at one during lunch or after work...

Jeanne said...

I buy books everywhere. (One of) my favorite late night activities is shopping Amazon for books, especially the bargain ones. I'm addicted to it, in fact. I love going to Borders with my son. He grabs every book published on trains, while I get the cookbooks. Grocery stores also have some kitschy selections, especially kiddy fare. Too much fun to resist them, so I rarely do. If you love books, I suspect you will not limit yourself to one source.

Anonymous said...

My local library was having a book sale today, actually, so I ended up buying 8 books :)

Miri said...

Brick and mortar Books-A-Million. Dear dog, I love that place. I have to get there at least twice a month.

I don't mind Amazon, but I only really use it for stuff that BAM doesn't stock or does but never has on the shelves. I like the textile feel of books too much to go solely online. I have to pick them up, ponder them, and keep them or put them down as the case demands.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to support your local libraries!

Liz, a librarian :)

Katherine E. Hazen said...

I purchased two books this week. One Monday night at Barnes and Noble and one yesterday morning at my local independent.
I try to support my local independent but a lot of my purchases are at B&N now because I have the membership and I spend so much money on books the discount saves me a considerable amount.
I typically only order online if I have an Amazon gift card I need to use. I can easily read a book in a day and I tend to buy on the release day, or at least in the first week (help an author make bestseller lists and all) so I like that if I go pick it up I don't have to wait for it to be delivered. I'm an addict, when I want my fix I want it right away, not 3 days from now. :D

shannon yarbrough said...

Online...but actually from QPB...not Amazon. I also get a lot of free books by being a member of bookmooch.com.

Patti Auburn said...

I use Amazon a lot, but my last book I bought at Third Place Books, an independent bookstore here in Seattle. When I'm not buying from Amazon I try to support my local independent bookstores - after all, they support me with all of their reading events!

Julie Weathers said...

Hastings. I went in to browse book covers to wrap my head around queries. I wound up buying a fantasy and two books on Templar knights.

Before that I bought ten books at the library used book shop. One was an old school literature book, two poetry books, one cookbook and the rest just looked interesting.

I only use Amazon for books I can't find in a store.

Lynne said...

I call the local bookstore, owned by a lady named Patty. She needs the profits; Amazon doesn't. She can pre-order on books I know I want. If I can't make it to her store to pick them up, she'll drive past and drop them off.I leave a check in the mailbox, she replaces it with books. She is as fast as Amazon, if I remember to call her. And. I. Do.
Letting a local business die is silly.

AstonWest said...

Borders

crapshooter said...

I bought the unabridged audio verion of Hollywood Crows at Barnes & Noble.

I bought an autographed hardback copy of the same book online from a San Diego book dealer.

Maripat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maripat said...

Online from Barnes and Noble. I do love book stores I just can't to them as easily anymore.

Kirsten said...

The last book I bought was at a secondhand bookstore / antique shop; Alice in Wonderland. The store proprietor was right, it's a lot stranger when you read it as an adult. The book before that I got on Amazon. Before that, my local bookstore. I prefer bookstore finds, but buy a lot of my nonfiction online.

Erika Robuck said...

I just got a bunch from Overstock.com. Great on the budget for the aspiring, unpaid writer.

But nothing beats searching the shelves, coffee in hand, Chopin in the background...

melissalobianco said...

I have the pleasure of a Barnes & Noble right around the corner from my home. It's got the added benefit of a Cafe featuring Starbuck's Coffee and treats, so I go there whenever I can come up with an excuse to go (I've tried The air in there soothes my allergies. I think I might try the Cinco de Mayo angle next!) I have a membership discount card, and the discounts are good at the cafe (though, a lb. of Espresso Roast with a 15% off coupon and my membership discount still costs me $7.99...)
There're no indies nearby and I haven't been in the market for a rare/out-of-print for a while; if I can't go to the store, I'll buy it from BN.com. I haven't bought books from Amazon in a good long time.

Anonymous said...

The books I buy are almost always niche and sub-niche books that bookstores don't stock. So I do almost all my shopping online -- and only about half the time at Amazon. (Even Amazon doesn't sell most of these books.)

A couple of months ago I went to a brick and mortar Barnes & Noble and bought some novels because my husband likes buying his books there and wanted some company.

Hanakoalways said...

book store. :D. i live way too close to a B&N and its really really bad for my how-to addiction.

mlh said...

The last book I bought was at a book fair held in my local mall every year. You can find some real golden oldies lurking as well as some newer stuff, although you have to check them to make sure they have all their pages.

A Paperback Writer said...

Most of the time for me, it is Amazon because they have just about anything and it's so convenient.
However, I LOVE my local independent bookstores as well: the King's English and Frost's.
I just got an educator's discount card for Barnes and Noble, and there's more or less on the way home from work, so I may have to stop in there, but it's usually so crowded and busy that I don't like it.
When I'm in Scotland, my favorite bookstore by far is the Blackwell's Books on Nicholson. I don't like Blackwell's online much, though, so if I need books from the UK that aren't available here, I go through Amazon.co.uk.
As to Erica's comment, I used to buy from Overstock as well, but since the owner of the company spent 2 million dollars to overthrow free public education in Utah (he was unsuccessful), I have sworn never to buy a thing from that company again (lest I be a hypocrite as a public school teacher).

Kate H said...

My last purchase was from a local independent bookstore. If I want a particular book, I usually buy from Amazon, but if I want to browse I go to a real store (often a used bookstore). But by far the greater portion of the books I read come from the local library. I neither have money to buy nor space to store all the books I read.

Min said...

I bought my last books through Amazon. I generally buy NEW books at the bookstore, and USED books through Amazon sellers.

Tez Miller said...

Bought on eBay Australia from a personal seller (not a store).

Have a lovely day! :-)

lindajpr said...

My kids and I have a ritual. We go to Borders and we gather up all the books we're considering buying, then we sit down on a leather couch and go through our piles to decide which one(s) we're buying. I'm the decider, so to speak, since they're young. We also spend time at a Booksense independent store in the Phoenix area (Changing Hands) and little nook and cranny book stores whenever we see one. We love actual book stores. I get tired of the linking and linking through lists and lists of books, comparison shopping, until I don't even remember what I was looking for, that I do on the Internet.

Lisa said...

Amazon one-click baby. There needs to be a 12 step program.

RedDuck said...

Amazon. Bought so many I got free shipping. Nice.

Kim Kasch said...

Borders and before that B&N

mkcbunny said...

Local bookstore (Cody's). But I found the title I wanted to buy using Amazon online. The two books before that were purchased at Borders online, because I had a gift certificate.

I do browse locally for myself, but for most gifts, I end up using Amazon because I buy from other people's wish lists. The whole wish-list system sort of forces groups to use it because if you don't, then someone else in your group might duplicate the gift.

Serenissima said...

Amazon. Used.

nikki said...

I buy books from everywhere - village independent bookshop, Amazon, supermarket, Waterstones, the independent bookshop in the nearest town, independent second-hand bookshops, charity shops, other sales, ex-library stock.

If I want to buy a lot of books at once, I use Amazon, because it works out a lot cheaper that way - also if I want books that haven't been released in the UK. If I want just one, I'll order it from the village bookshop, which usually has next-day delivery. If I go on a book browse in town, I'll probably find one in every shop.

For secondhand books I use Advanced Book Exchange usually.

My last big book purchase was from Amazon, but I know I've bought single books from every other place since then!

Marsha Ward said...

I'm with Maya and Katie and a few others who are boycotting Amazon's strong-arm tactics. Since the only books available in my tiny town are at the three grocery stores, my last purchase was a David Baldacci from WalMart. For online buys, I go to Powells or B&N. There are many other sources online besides Amazon.

kissmequick said...

Well I get through too many books to be able to buy them all new. second hand purshases are from charity shops or online.

BUT, if I decide there is a book I must have new or die, I go to my local bookshop and get it in person. There is no online equivilent of having it in my hot little hands, having a chat with the sales assistant about the book, and starting to read it as I walk out of the door.

Anonymous said...

Online direct from the publisher, ie. Snowbooks.

HRH said...

I must be smack dab in the middle of the Barnes and Noble demographic because I always find myself there with a cup of expensive coffee in my hand browsing books while my kids play in the kid's area. I buy books there. a. lot. They did their market research well.

Stella said...

I usually go to my local family owned bookstore but sometimes I have to resort to amazon or alibris for oop books.

150 said...

Amazon for new books, but I've been hitting the library used book sales this summer, and making a killing.

Linda said...

You know, I'm sitting here looking at my shelves of books and realize - I got almost all of these at yard sales. Hit them early or late - and wow! Bargains galore. EG, I got everything David Sedaris, James Frey, and Augusten Burroughs ever wrote for two quarters TOTAL last year.

Two big ones this weekend... time to buy more shelves. Peace, Linda

cactusbeetroot said...

At a bookstore. The Kinokuniya branch in town almost feels like a second home to me.

Red said...

Last one, "Nature Girl" by Carl Hiaasen, for just over $1 at an indoor flea market. Usually, though, I tend to inherit books from folks with multiple copies.

When I buy for myself, it's usually at a big-box chain. I still don't trust using my credit card online. *looks about shiftily*

Marie Bailey said...

My husband and I used to live in San Francisco and our favorite pasttime was trolling through all the great independent bookstores there (sigh). Since moving to Tallahassee, we've used Amazon for the majority of our book buying, with Borders running second. The recent opening of a new independent bookstore, however, promises some good competition for my wallet. I believe strongly in supporting local businesses and this one has really captured my heart since they now also have a cat in residence. What's a bookstore without a cat snoozing in the display case?

Just_Me said...

Last Friday, bookstore at the mall, two sci-fi books for me, a Star Wars comic anthology for DH, a mass market fun book for kids, and an early-reader book for same. Total cost about $50. Books finished since then? All but one because I accidentally packed it and won't find it again until we're done moving.

There isn't a local bookstore here so it's usually the mall chain (borders maybe?), amazon, b&N online, or half(dot) com when I'm being cheap or trying to find something out of print.

writtenwyrdd said...

I prefer brick and mortar stores, but I live in a very rural area with the nearest store 2-plus hours away. So Amazon is my friend. The drawback of amazon is that I don't get to read the first couple of pages or see a lot of books I'd not otherwise know about. The good thing about amazon is that I get to read reviews and can see related items. The bad news is it's so terribly easy to overspend. the good news is...free shipping!

Pros of convenience outweigh the cons.

cslarsen said...

Barnes and Noble in store last week, but most of the time it's online through Amazon. I wait until I have several books to buy, then get free shipping.

Seton said...

Wow, I can't believe no one said Half.com. I get all my hardbacks from there-the prices are just plain stupid good. Great for strapped income folk like me.

If I can't wait and I'm having twitches, I run to B&N up the street.

Sharon said...

Checked out your myspace last night and noticed something I just needed to come back and comment on. The Anne Dayton and Emily Vanderbilt book I bought at Borders on Sunday? It's "The Book of Jane," one of the ones you list as wishing you represented. I just found that interesting, as is the book.

Lisa said...

I shop at Barnes & Noble and Borders. They are both equidistant from my house. Last books I bought were at B&N on Tuesday. :) I like wandering around and reading back cover copy. I almost always come home with a book or two I wasn't intending to buy.

I try not to buy from Amazon because of their policy of listing used books on the same page as new. If I'm looking for old backlist or just an older book I will use Amazon.

Howard Shirley said...

Barnes and Noble store. I had a gift membership, a gift card, and a coupon. Those three combinations can be very persuasive.

The only thing that beats a free book is to be able to get *two* free books thanks to coupons.

DCS said...

I bought "How to Write a Damn Good Novel" online from Amazon. I'm still working on the novel. Time will tell if it's any good.

Vinnie Sorce said...

Library book sale for a quarter.

Anonymous said...

The library

Bonnie said...

I bought books four times this month. From:

*Amazon

*the local Borders (this IS our independent bookstore; welcome to smalltown America)

*the grocery store

*an independent online bookstore specializing in muxic books.

So, kind of a split vote from me :)

Christine said...

Borders, unless they don't have what I want in stock, in which case B&N, then Amazon.

freddie said...

Heh. I just picked up a bunch of books at the Brown Elephant, a thrift store similar to the Salvation Army. Scored some good stuff, including a mint copy of Charles de Lint's Mulengro for fifty cents.

I'm all over the map myself. I buy some used books at area used book stores, some books at Borders. Most of my purchases are on Amazon. I find it's fun to keep track of my purchases from my wishlist—which is huuuge.

I look for books anywhere I go. Although one thing I don't feel guilty about is supporting a certain local independent bookstore. The staff is always rude and I feel uncomfortable there, as if the staff thinks I'm going to steal something or perhaps smear boogers on the new bestsellers. Borders, while it has some staff that could be mistaken for zombies, does have some wonderful people working for it—people who love books and like talking about books.

Lorelei said...

I save my fiction list and when I visit my parents in Santa Barbara I go to the splendid independent bookstore Chaucer's. I will usually buy a dozen books at a time, mostly hardback new fiction.

soon to be 3aparrs said...

Costco. While the atosphere is not nearly as nice as a big name book store with a Starbucks...you can't beat the price! I rarely walk out of that store without a book in my hand.

Shellie said...

Yup, it's amazon, but only because I haven't handed in my kid's scholastic book order yet. I would buy books on a train or in the rain...I would buy them anywhere. If they look good. And the price is good. And I'm feeling rich enough.

Joseph L. Selby said...

There is a weekly board game meetup at my local Borders and they have a liberal return policy, so I buy all my books there.

Danette Haworth said...

Ordered from Amazon--it's like getting a Christmas present! Before that, I bought a book and some magazines from Barnes and Noble. And a paperback from the grocery store.

Book Calendar said...

I bought a paperback book, Deadly Beloved from Dorchester Publishing at the New York Comic Con on April 18, 2008. It was by Max Allan Collins and it was part of the Hard Case Crime series. They sold it to me for $5. I don't usually buy books I work in a library.

Timber Beast said...

Powell's online

Elver said...

Amazon.

The last time I bought a book in a real bookstore was when I had to catch a plane and needed something to read on it. So I grabbed Pratchett's "Interesting Times". Which disappointed a little.

Jennifer L. Griffith said...

Thrift store.

La Belle Americaine said...

Wal-Mart, because it's convenient and even though they don't carry everything, the major new releases are usually there (and it's easier to browse when the books face out). I do shop at Borders, but they're so far out and I only like B&N for their reprints of classic novels.

Tasha said...

I love bookstores...I can hang out for ours just thumbing through different books. DON'T TAKE AWAY MY BOOKSTORES!!!!

Zen of Writing said...

I bought my last book at my local small independent bookstore. I admit it's the exception. Most of my books come either from Amazon (new and used) or from the local library -- either borrowed or bought at the book sales. I also use half.com and campusi.com (a price comparison engine.)

Bethany said...

Word Traffic Books, in Tallahassee, FL.

This in no way reflects my usual book-buying habits. I live an hour from the nearest bookstore (actually, I think Word Traffic might be the nearest bookstore, and it's more than an hour). And the local libraries are tiny and mostly contain paperback romances and farming guides. So most of my reading material comes from Amazon.

southernbelfry said...

Last pile of books I bought was Book of the Month Club and Paperback Book Club. (They don't let me leave the house.) But seriously, if you buy a lot of books, there are good deals to be had.

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