Hey guys! Here I am with another ‘Why I…’! This time I’m going to talk about why I buy my books online instead of in a bookstore. Because wouldn’t that be easier? A little trip to the bookstore and I would be able to sit on the couch the very same night, right?? WRONG. Maybe if you live in a country where English is the common language and where authors who live there write every book in English. But I live in the Netherlands and I don’t have that luxury. So, in todays post I will explain to you why I buy my books online instead of in a store (I will try to not sound too salty).
So first of all, as explained in my first ‘Why I…’ post, 99% of the books I read are English. And sadly, most of the bookstores near me don’t carry English books. And if they do, they’re usually in paperback and I’m honestly kind of a hardcover whore. Anyway, back to the point I was trying to make. I’ve worked in a bookstore for years, and back then it was so hard to get English books. It’s too expensive to order from the publisher directly so there is a company that we could order from. They just didn’t have everything, since well.. English books weren’t really selling that well. I wasn’t really allowed to just order one book for myself, which meant I wasn’t even able to buy books I wanted in the store I worked at.
Second, books in the Netherlands are hella expensive. Dutch books are around 20 euro a piece. Which might not seem that expensive. Compared to English it’s expensive. English books are priced between 9,95 and 13,95. Some are more expensive obviously, and this is just paperbacks. If I buy books online, I can buy them from England or Germany where they are very very cheap (in comparison). And sure, I want to support local bookstores, but if I have to travel for over an hour (which is also super expensive in my country) and buy books that are sometimes twice the amount of the ones I order online. It’s just not worth it..
Third, it’s easier. I work 40 hours a week, I travel to and from work. I have chores I need to do during the weekend, groceries, I need to see friends and family. I have parties to plan. I can’t scour four or five bookstores to find that one edition that I’m looking for. So I’ll just order it online and it’ll be here in two to three working days. What’s not to love?
Special editions. I repeat, SPECIAL EDITIONS! You know, like Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Indigo, whatever bookstores carry special editions. Do we have those stores in the Netherlands? NO. Okay yeah we do have a Waterstones, but they don’t always carry special editions (when I say ‘don’t always’, I mean 99% of the time they don’t, or they’re Waterstones online only and guess who doesn’t have a creditcard). But again, I’m not traveling hours for one book. Even if it’s a special edition. But guess what, I can get most special editions online (except B&N since they don’t ship to the Netherlands anymore).
Discounts! Yay for discounts! Books in the Netherlands have a set price, meaning the store that sells them can’t just change the price of a certain book. But when I buy them online I occasionally have 10% off. Amazon has this agreement that if you preorder a book and the price goes up, you still pay the lower price! I mean, that’s way better in my opinion. And if I want that book anyway, I can order it months in advance and get the lowest price possible.
People. Oh my god people. I don’t really mind people, but honestly when I’m just looking at books I don’t want people asking ‘Can I help you?’. To be fair I don’t want people to ask that, no matter what I’m looking at. Store employees in bookstores here don’t get commission so it’s not like they get paid more when they close the sale. I’m not even going to start with other customers because man, people can get rude.
At lastly, convenience. I can do whatever I want when I order books online. I can look books up on GoodReads, in case I have them in a different format. I can make sure I have the right edition. I can do it during folding laundry for example. I don’t have to get dressed. I can keep them in my shoppingbasket for days in case I’m not sure I want the book.
I could go on for hours. While I do understand the importance of keeping bookstores, it’s different for my country. If I read Dutch, sure, I would buy all my books in store. I just don’t have the time (and frankly the patience), to look through stores, though I do like to browse bookstores when I have time. I am a booklover after all!
I’m curious to know where you buy your books though. I know it depends on what country you live in, so tell me!
Until next time,