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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

RTW: Of Book Buying and Shame

Road Trip Wednesday is a blog carnival, where YA Highway’s contributors and readers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s take on the topic.

This week’s prompt was: Where do you buy most of your books?

I’m late to the Road Trip Wednesday party, but I couldn’t miss it. And pass up an opportunity for you guys to throw tomatoes at my face and call me a sorry excuse for a writer? Never!

First, you should know that my sister is a former manager of an indie bookshop in Massachusetts and now manages a Barnes & Noble there. As you can imagine, she’s not the biggest fan of Amazon.

In the olden days (last year), when I was feeling particularly ornery, I’d send her a photo of me holding a Borders bag because if you’re going to shop at a big chain store it better be Barnes & Noble. I guess that proved to be true anyway.

So there are two places I usually buy my books: from and Barnes & Noble online. Amazon is my go-to shop for paper books, and I like to tell myself that I buy more books on Amazon than I’d be able to buy (at full price) at a bookstore. I’m not sure if that’s true or just my brain’s way of easing my guilt over not buying from an independent bookseller.

When it comes to e-books, which I read a lot of, I buy from Barnes & Noble. And that’s really just because I have a Nook and therefore need to buy Nook books. In this case, I know for a fact I spend more money on books. It’s a very scary thing, guys. My brain just cannot compute that $9.99 is a cent from $10. Or that $10 times five is $50. Sigh.

Because I see you have more rotten food to throw my way, I’ll tell you one more secret: When I do go to a bookstore, it’s usually Barnes & Noble. I know what you’re thinking: SHAME! A PLAGUE ON YOUR HOUSE, EVIL WRITER! I know. But it’s about five minutes down the road and, considering it takes about 20 minutes to go a mile where I live, it takes much longer to shop at an indie bookstore.

So there. Hate me if you will—I’m nothing if not understanding. But before you sentence me to death by paper cut,* keep in mind that reading books in general is a good thing. Yes, supporting independent bookstores is important. Still, reading is better than not reading, and therefore I conclude I am not truly hopeless.

Where do you buy your books?

*Doesn’t sound harsh to you? I know how your mind works. First, you give me paper cuts all over my body using pages from a book. Then you force me to bathe in lemon juice. Then you rub salt into my skin. Death comes when you tire of my screams and just shoot me. Tsk. Tsk.

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