I live in a small town that has no major book store. If I want to purchase a new book on release day, I am better off by either buying online or traveling 50 miles to the next town to get it. All we have in our small town is a few used book stores that don’t have much of a selection, Goodwill, a grocery store and a Kmart. It is slim pickings and newer releases don’t arrive to these stores until months down the road. If I want a book that is releasing a certain date, my best bet has always been to drive the 50 miles to the next town and buy it. Sure there is online ordering, but I still wouldn’t have it until days after release day.
Now not only does this make it hard for buying books, but it also makes it hard for any type of author signing event. Most authors travel about 150 miles South of me before traveling up the coast line to San Francisco. They can never make a pit stop within my range of driving. It is very frustrating! I was fortunate enough to meet Alyson Noel and TK Richardson though at a signing that they graciously attended at the Borders 50 miles away and at the Russo Books that is also in the area. Those have been the only authors to have done this in a long time. Now with the most recent information that has been released, it looks like they won’t be doing it again.
Recently, Borders announced the closure of 200 stores after filing for Bankruptcy. We all waited with our breath held hoping that our stores wouldn’t be included on the list. I know I was worried as well! If my local Borders was on that list, I would have to travel over 100+ miles to another one. I don’t have time or money for gas to travel that far so needless to say, I was worried. Yes, we have a Barnes and Noble, but they never have any good deals here and they hardly ever host an author for an event. They are too cheap and too better-than-thou to support the authors enough to hold an event. Now this may not be true at other B&N’s, but for ours, that is how it is. They refuse to help you and they never seem to have the time to order or look something up for you. In two words–they suck. When the Borders list was released, I wiped the sweat on my brow and sighed with relief that ours was spared.
Now, Border’s has announced an updated list adding 28 more stores bringing it to a total of 228. Did my local store make the list? Yes. I. AM. PISSED. Instead of adding an additional store from another city that has 3 or 4 stores, they close one in a town where they are the ONLY one! Then they try and tell me to check out their online store for ordering now. Hello? What is the point? Unless you plan on shipping it days before release so I can have it in my hands on release day, I see no point in it. I can go to Amazon and do the same thing. (For the full updated list of closures please click HERE)
Then I got to thinking about how much I love a printed book. Yes, I caved and bought an e-reader, but I hardly ever use it. Half the time I can’t figure the darn thing out! I knew that once the electronics took over the lovely print books, stores would close. I still believe that ebooks have ruined the sales of print books. Some of you have even emailed me and asked why I even care about this since I get ARCs all of the time. Yes, I receive ARCs, but I also PURCHASE many books. If I give a book a 4 or 5 star rating that I reviewed in ARC format, I can guarantee you that it goes directly to my list titled “BUY”. I always either pass on the ARC to another blogger/friend or donate it to the local library. If it was a book I loved or by an author that I love, I always support them and purchase a copy. Sometimes if I was not a fan of the book, I still buy a copy to host a giveaway with. Unfortunately, I might not be able to do this as much now with only online purchasing available now.
So the next time you think about purchasing that book in ebook format instead of print format, think about how it is taking away from smaller towns who no longer have a book store to purchase print books anymore. The electronics are taking away from the people — who is a big number of people– who still can’t afford or want the luxury of e-readers.
What are your thoughts on Print Books vs. E-books? Do you have a preference? Was it one of your local Border’s closing? What options do you have in your town for buying books?