Schafer: Bookshops should skip Amazon's latest offer

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 14, 2013 - 2:23 PM

No bookshop owner savvy enough to have survived into 2013 should even consider Amazon.com’s recent offer to let them resell Kindle e-readers for just a thin margin.

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oleprofessorNov. 14, 13 3:22 PM

Bookstores (i.e. bricks & mortar establishments) are lame ducks in the field of information. Only old codgers, such as I, would rather have a non-e-book. With their limited remaining life expectancy, bricks & mortar bookstores are already on razor thin margins on their sales. Nearly EVERY SINGLE book is deeply discounted by the time it gets on their display tables. The people who buy e-book readers are going to buy them, either from their favorite b&m bookstore, or from Amazon. The "deal" that Amazon has offered just gives the stores to make some money on the products that are going to bypass them, if they don't move into the 21st century.

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sroeggeNov. 14, 13 7:18 PM

Oleprofessor, I don't know what subject you teach but I give you a c- at best on your comment.I own a bookstore in Hudson with my old codger husband :) While we have many old codger customers we honestly have customers of all ages. Customers who choose to shop their local bookstore. I have no idea why you logged on here to make such a blanket statement about what age shops an indie bookstore. What about parents and grandparents and children. I give you an F- for that statement, Professor. I'm bumping you up to a D on your assertion that we have deeply discounted books on tables. Sadly, we only get about 40% of a book sale so I promise there are not tables, plural, of deeply discounted books. We offer as many specials and discounts and creative marketing as we can to work a profit out of our "razor thin margin". If we get more and more customers who make a value judgement to value and support their bricks and mortar stores, we will be able to have more discounts. I have to give you a D- on your reading comprehension. You said we should sell the Kindles to offer products that would bypass them. Your assignment from me tonight is to reread the article. independent bookstores have been selling Kobo ereaders and e downloads for over a year so that our customers who want to make a value based purchase can choose an alternative to a Kindle. Gotta go now. I have some flyers I need to make for some authors we are hosting at our store this month. I also have to straighten up the children's section because we had lots of families in tonight after visiting some of the amazing restaurants nearby. After that I'm typing up a flyer as a follow up of book ideas and resources for the 6th grade class I visited today. I didn't see anyone from Amazon at the school.

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eurotravelerNov. 15, 13 9:57 AM

I haven't boutght a book at a real bookstore in years. For that matter the only thing I buy at physical stores is groceries at my local Byerly's. Everyhing else I buy online. I'm glad that bookstores are surviving, and I do think it would be a bad idea for them to take Amazon up on their offer, but for me personally I don't miss the shopping experience one bit. Oh, I guess I did buy a car at a car dealer and a motorcycle at a motorcycle dealer. But that's about it.

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DufferHNov. 16, 13 2:13 AM

Face it. Book retailers are operating under a failed business plan. Fight it all you want, but we're living in a digital world. So far this year, I've read more than 100 books, either Kindle loans from the country library or discounted ebooks from Kindle. Do you think I'd have purchased this many hardback and paperbacks in this time period? Not hardly.

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bookfamilyNov. 16, 13 9:09 AM

Our family loves our local bookstore for hardcover, paperback, cards and more. Why? They know us and point out things we enjoy. They ask our kids about their interests. We use the library as well, but the books in our house are read over and over again and the experience of finding it holds value. When school reports come in there is no big box rewards, they ask to go to the bookstore. I'm very thankful for the people who opened the bookstore in Hudson and for the experiences my family has shared.

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liesathillNov. 16, 13 9:47 AM

Nothing beats walking into a building lined with shelves full of books. We are very selective of the books we purchase for our children--they must be of high quality in terms of story, writing, illustration, and typesetting. The only way we can fully vet a book is to pick it up and page through it. If we can support another family in our community, all the better.

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wilma83Nov. 16, 1310:54 AM

I don't believe that print books, or bookstores, are going anywhere. There are too many of us true book lovers out there who do not prefer cuddling up to an e-reader. Recently I was on a flight and all of the passengers in my row had a hard cover book in their hands. Yesterday I was in a middle school library. Maybe they had e-readers at home, but those digital natives still left with a stack of books in their arms and smiles on their faces.

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cootoriginalNov. 16, 1312:32 PM

I disagree with oleprofessor. I haven't purchased a LP record in decades, yet used records stores thrive. I think there will be bookstores for another 100 years. The experience of reading a book versus a kindle is different. Books on a shelf call my name. I can't remember being enticed to my daughter's kindle to read one of three books I downloaded...one by force of college, and the other two because they were like $2 for one, and free for the other.

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rlbonzNov. 17, 13 9:04 AM

I am not an old codger. I have never downloaded a book. In fact I have bought very little online. I love my local bookstore, candy shop, dress shop. We need to shop local did keep our communities in tact. Would you all prefer to see every small town downtown full of for rent signs? Shop Wal-Mart, while at the same time subsidizing their employees wages? I think you guys are missing the bigger picture here. SHOP LOCAL.

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