02 February 2009

Musing Mondays: What to Buy?

Here is this week's Musing Mondays, hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page. For the entire meme and to see everyone's answers, click on through to her blog.

How do you choose what to buy from your local bookstore? Do you have a list, or just browse? What is the selection in your book store like? Do you find what you're looking for? Do you feel pressured to buy the kind of books the store makes prominent? (question courtesy of MizB)

My small town no longer has an independent new-book store. We do have a nearby used-book store, but I rarely get there. So I do my local shopping at a big chain.

The bookstore is well stocked with all the current familiar and popular books. But it often does not carry the books I'm looking for. It can even be difficult to find a book that received a Publishers Weekly starred review. My reading tastes often fall outside the usual best-seller lists, and so shopping at the big store is sometimes frustrating. The staff will order a book if the title is listed in the company's catalog. Usually it is just easier for me to find what I want online.

I never feel pressured to buy off the display racks or tables. I usually stop to take a look, but I rarely purchase a book just because it has been prominently placed. Every once in a while the "staff favorites" shelf will hold a surprise, so I always take a look at the titles. The store offers free pamphlets that highlight books from a variety of genres; I read many of the write-ups and am sometimes compelled to buy.

I often go to the bookstore to look for a particular title, but I love to browse and see what I can find on the shelves.

We used to have an independent bookstore with knowledgeable clerks who liked to hand-sell titles based on a customer's individual tastes. I miss that store.


Mary (Bookfan) 2/2/09, 9:00 AM  

I love a bookstore with knowledgeable clerks! Hard to find in the large chains.

Anonymous,  2/2/09, 10:38 AM  

I miss our independent bookstore too. I used to visit so often, the minute I walked in the door the owner would start telling me what she'd received since my last visit. You definitely don't get that kind of service at a chain.

Joyful Days 2/2/09, 11:11 AM  

I've not been in a good independent store for years. I'm glad the used bookstore I like is near my boys' activities.

Nely 2/2/09, 11:22 AM  

I've never had the opportunity to go to an independent book store. There aren't any around me. ugh

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide 2/2/09, 11:38 AM  

Unfortnately I live very far away from most indie stores. Thanks for visiting me today!!!

Robin M 2/2/09, 11:59 AM  

I love my independent bookstore and brad is very knowledgeable. However, most of the time amazon is such a great convenience, especially when you have eclectic tastes. My post is up now.

Happy Monday!

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) 2/2/09, 1:27 PM  

Aside from two large chain stores, I don't have much in the way of bookstores to choose from either. I'd probably do more browsing at an independant store, but I do that online now. Then I have my list. I buy books online also from Amazon and a few from Alibris. But I'm going to be using my library alot more this year, thanks to the downturn of the economy and the non-existant new home building, which is my line of work. So I'll be borrowing alot more this year.

Beth F 2/2/09, 2:37 PM  

I at least try to visit indies when I travel -- not the same as having a clerk who knows you and your tastes, but the atmosphere in a non-chain store is worth seeking out.

bermudaonion 2/2/09, 3:15 PM  

I usually go in looking for something specific and if they don't have it, I buy something else. Our indie bookstore is on the other side of town, so I don't get in there often, but I never leave without buying something.

Stacy 2/2/09, 4:13 PM  

Hate to see independent stores like that go. They are so wonderful and I would rather shop at a store like that with a smaller inventory and knowledgable staff than the bigger stores where sometimes I wonder if the clerks read.

Susan 2/2/09, 5:50 PM  

Our independent bookstores have all closed. It's really sad. I miss that relationship.

Melody 2/2/09, 7:38 PM  

I don't think I can find many independent bookstores around my place anymore... they're mostly taken over by big chains and I think that's so sad.

Nise' 2/2/09, 9:35 PM  

We are fortunate to have an independant bookstore in town. I love to browse the employee favorites shelf.

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