Friday, 30 September 2011

Bricks'n'mortar or virtual?


Bookshops in Australia are closing their doors quite rapidly if I believe everything I read. A major chain (Borders/Angus&Robertson) has gone into receivership. And, many suburban shops cannot compete with online and supermarket prices.

I do a mix of both. When it is a specific title, I will often source it online. When I am browsing, I still purchase in store. I shop at Dymocks in the CBD, here at Berkelouw, and across the road in Ariel Bookshop. I used to buy from The Book Depository, but they were taken over by Amazon. So, I swapped to Fishpond. I have to be careful what I choose. If the book is cheaper because they have used inferior ink on inferior paper, causing the print to 'bleed', I find the book too hard to read. If they shrink the font size and reduce the white space, equally I find it hard to read.

I know that is how they reduce the prices, so I am prepared to pay to enable me to check that I can actually read the book.

15 comments:

Rosemary said...

You may find an e-book reader will allow you to enjoy reading more, particularly with the scalable fonts and very crisp text.

Yes, there is nothing like a new book, the smell, the feel of the paper ... but the older I get the more I appreciate my reader. I'll appreciate it even more by the end of the year when my library will allow me to download books to it.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I prefer to read an actual book, but who knows, these reader things sound like they might be ok!! Maybe one day.

Kate said...

I would love to have a Kindle but I am still holding out for the "actual book." Since I retired I have stopped (almost) buying books and am now a heavy user of the library, but I still ask for books as gifts. Love to receive them!

Joan Elizabeth said...

Until recently I used to spend thousands of dollars on books each year. Now I am trying to economize so am rereading what I have already got or some free classics on the e reader. So I guess I have contributed to the bookshop demise. Abbies bookshop York St is also good.

Windsmoke. said...

A new book shop has just opened in my local shopping centre so i've been ordering from them, because there's nothing like a real book to hold :-).

Vicki said...

I know what you mean about the varying quality in paper books, Julie. US books might be less expensive to buy, but I've noticed that the quality is usually inferior to the same title printed in Australia. Not that I buy many paper books these days...

Ann said...

I swore blind I would never have an ereader. Then I started seeing people using them and they looked intereseting but I have a lot of colour pdfs and they didn't do colour. Then I found the Nook Colour (not available in Aus so had to jump through a lot of hoops to get one) and I love it. I still miss the feel of a book in my hands but I have everything in one place and with me and can enlarge the print which is wonderful. I'm a convert. There's so much free stuff available as well esp from the wonderful Project Gutenburg.

On the other hand I've always loved bookshops and feel like a traitor at contributing to their demise but I refuse to pay the prices they charge here and have been buying online for several years, unless I found a good sale.

Kay said...

The feel of a good book, and even the smell, is so much a part of the experience, as is the quality of the paper. But so many avid readers swear by e-books. . .and how compelling to load an entire library into such a small package. I guess that will be the next electronic adjustment. . .

Joe said...

I haven't made the e-reader leap. I like the look, feel and smell of a good book. I need to turn the pages. I need to see how much I've read. I need my bookmark to signal how far to the gripping conclusion.

J Bar said...

Having the same problem with my music these days. Singles are no longer sold in shops. Sometimes I only want to purchase one song so it's either buy the whole album or download a single song. Another problem is if I buy the whole album, sometimes the artist will then release a couple of extra singles, so months later rerelease a repackaged album which forces me to buy it again or miss out. So annoying!

brattcat said...

an independent, brick-and-mortar bookstore is always my first choice, but they're becoming as rare as hen's teeth, aren't they.

Dutchcloggie said...

I seem to remember smelling books at Berkelouw... A very lovely book shop indeed, if it is the one I am thinking of.

E-readers are brilliant. Just don't get an ipad as they will hurt your eyes. The Kindle is nice and calm on the eyes, never gives me eye ache like the ipad does.

But nothing beats a book with a good smell and a nice font. I often look at the book, the font and spacing and smell it before I really read what it is about. If I like the summary but the rest is wrong, I won't buy it.

Julie said...

DC: You are remembering "The Book Shop" which is further down Oxford Street. It is still in business. I have never touched a Kindle. Shall think about fixing that ...

9ec49152-ec4e-11e0-9d4a-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Anyone who buys e-books is just asking for their local shop/publisher/printer to close and once gone!!

I was staggered how expensive books were in Oz when there. Try using Amazon but use the UK site .co.uk not .com With the price of the pound against $aus and cheap books in the UK you will do OK.

UK bookdealer

Julie said...

UK Bookdealer - Your argument in this comment speaks with forked tongue.