Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Why we still need bookshops !!
Saturday, Dec 26, 2015 - Annie Hartnett - SALON
The week before Christmas last year, the bookstore I worked for ran out of “All the Light We Cannot See,” the most buzzed-about book of the holiday season. It was backordered, and we couldn’t get it in the store until December 29th.
“What am I supposed to get my wife?” a man demanded. “That’s what she wanted.”
Get her another book, I wanted to suggest, but instead I apologized from my perch behind the counter, explaining that the publisher hadn’t printed enough copies.
“I want to support local bookstores, but you people are really making me want to go to Amazon,” he said.
“The book is backordered on Amazon too,” I told him, as politely as I could. “They can’t get it to you before Christmas either.”
Nothing about this conversation was unusual. Customers regularly threaten booksellers with Amazon, like it’s a weapon they can deploy to get what they want from us. “I could get this much cheaper on Amazon,” people tell me when checking out.