Monday, January 28, 2013

What the Feck (WTF): Bookstores

What the Feck?! (WTF?!) 
Is a new feature here at The Book Nympho.
Every Monday we will post a book related topic 
that had us thinking WTF?! while reading a book 
or talking to others in the book community.

Brick and Mortar Bookstores 
Online Bookstores

by Jennifer (aka The Book Nympho)

With all the rumors flying around that Barnes and Noble may be the next book store chain to close their brick and mortar stores I'm panicked and screaming WTF?!

I would hate to see B&N close their doors like Borders did. Yes, I mostly buy ebooks now since I have a Nook which brings a question....if B&N does go out of business then what will happen to their digital and online store? Will we still be able to buy from them online like Amazon and will I still be able to buy ebooks for my Nook? If not, what options will Nook users have?

If B&N closes what major chains in the brick and mortar world be left? There's still Book A Millon, at least in my state. Does this mean that the indie bookstore sales go up since they will have less bigger chains to comptent with or will the brick and mortar bookstore as we know it die completely?!

B&N News around the net:

I first got wind of B&N closing some of their stores while watching a Danny Marks YouTube video (he starts talking about it at the 3:50 mark).

Here is a great quote from that video:

"If you think people are dumbasses now, image when there aren't any books to read. How stupid people will get."

The Wrong Goodbye of Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble Fell Off A Cliff

Do you have local bookstores in your area? 

I have access to 2 Barnes and Nobles, 1 Book A Million and 1 Hastings in my area (within 25 miles of my home).

Do you use the major chains? 

Since I have a Nook I shop more ebooks now than I do in the brick and mortar stores. But I still stop in from time to time to check out the bargain sections to catch deals on books like when they have buy 1 and get 1 free or 1/2 off or I check the bargain tables.

What about used bookstores? 

I have a used bookstore in the town I live and he has a pretty good selection of PNR and UF books so I stop in very couple of months to trade or buy books. Hastings has a used book program so I also have them as an option.

There is another used bookstore in the town I work but I've yet to buy from them but that's just because I've not ran across a book I wanted but that's mostly because the store is not very unorganized.

Online experience (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel eBooks, etc.)

When I shop online it's for ebooks for my Nook. But I've been known to buy used books from Amazon /B&N if I can find a really good deal. The last time I bought new physical books online was back at Christmas when my local B&N didn't have a copy of the new Walking Dead novel that I wanted to get for my husband. So I ordered it through B&

I made a big purchase at B& early last year when they had a $3.99 paperback sale. I had some gift cards leftover from Christmas and I was able to get 20+ paperbacks for $5 difference. SCORE.

What do you think about big book store chains closing? 
Will it effect your book buying?


  1. I use Amazon for all my book purchases because it's so much cheaper than anywhere else. I only buy ebooks these days unless the book isn't available via Kindle.
    I think once our parents generation are gone, the bookstores will become extinct. It's sad but it's the way the world has gone. The internet is so much cheaper and faster than my local bookstore. I couldn't afford half of the books I read if I didn't buy them via ebook.

    1. Cheaper is better. Especially for us that reads a ton of books.

  2. Nice Article! Can you please help me that where can I find a used book stores online. It will be highly appreciated.

    1. I would just search your state/country. Try Googling used bookstores then your city and go from there.

  3. I buy almost all of my books online so this doesn't really impact me. Chapters Indigo is still pretty huge in Canada and I don't think they're in any danger of shutting down any time soon. It's sad to say but more often than not its cheaper to buy novels online (be they physical copies or eBooks) and consumers follow the prices so... I'm upset to see bookstores close but on the flip side it just makes good business sense. Less overhead, staff, etc.

    1. It does make sense business wise. It sucks for the employees.

      Yeah online/ebook prices are usually cheaper and for the most part if B&N closed in my area I wouldn't be hurt that much by it since I do buy more ebooks but since I have a B&N Nook I'm worried that over time I would not be able to buy ebooks for my Nook anymore if they went completely out of business.

      Fingers crossed that it doesn't happen.

  4. I hate the idea of bookstores closing, considering I work in one, I'd be out of a job but its more than that, I love being able to browse the bookshelfs and discover new things.

    Plus if the bricks and morter bookstores do go, then whats to stop all the online retailers putting up their prices, no competition means that they can charge full RRP.

  5. I've worked at an indie bookstore in my home town for almost two years. You wouldn't believe the impact that ebooks and online retailers have had. There are no "chain" bookstores (B&N, BAM, etc) within a two hour drive of us, and we are still being forced to close the doors forever next week. With everyone reading ebooks and being able to buy print books online cheaper than they can in-store, the customer base has disintegrated. The fact that customers can buy books at walmart for 20% of retail doesn't help, either.

    It's true that independent bookstores can offer sales of google ebooks (if they are part of IndieBound), but they don't tell you that it costs the bookstore upwards of $300 per month for the website to offer that service. It's literally become too expensive for the little bookstores to keep up with the competition.

    It's truly sad and even though I have fought against because I believe they have too much power, I think I'm going to have to cave and buy a Kindle. Especially since B&N's are closing and my nook could potentially become useless at some point.

  6. Ugh...not enough coffee yet. LOL

    *20% OFF retail, not of retail
    *fought against Amazon

    1. LOL. It's Monday. Typos are the norm.

      Sorry to hear the book store you work at is closing.

      I have a Nook and I refuse to switch to a Kindle. Hopefully B&N will be a around for a while and use Nook users won't have anything to worry about.

      But yeah big businesses like Amazon and Walmart have taken over and can sell things cheaper. Which is great for the consumer but not great for other businesses that can't keep up.

      But after all that's what business is about. It's just shame on a personal level.

  7. WHAT?!?! I had no idea B&N was in danger of closing all of their stores! This is horrible news.

    B&N used to be the store I would purchase my books from until I started using about 5 years ago. I don't go into B&N as often but when I do want to get my hands on a book and can't wait for Amazon to mail it to me I will run to B&N to get a copy.

    I think it's sad that actual bookstores are becoming a rarity but I have to be honest I do prefer going to a local or smaller bookstore. I know that I don't ways get the same deals (especially with hardbacks) and sometimes pay just a little more but what most local bookstores offer is a buy/trade program which B&N doesn't. Honestly, if B&N did offer a trade program I would go in the store more often.

    I'm concerned for Nook readers. I know quite a few people who have Nooks and the thought that they wouldn't be able to offer Nook books anymore is a horrible thought.

  8. Well, I'm extremely relieved I have a Kindle instead of a Nook. I haven't stepped foot in a B&N in YEARS. It's been SO long I can't really say when that was. What I do remember from that time I last visited B&N the books I wanted and purchased were so obscenely expensive it was the deciding factor that I never would go back there again. And never did. Since then I've used used bookstores occasionally but mostly I make all purchases through and exclusively.

    So this news of B&N closing doesn't affect me in anyway. I believe in Karma and B&N is getting it back 3 fold now. And justly should in my opinion anyways. They didn't care about the independent bookstores they crushed and put out of business.

    I do worry about all the Nook owners out there and what that will mean for ya'll in the future. :(
    DeAnna Schultz

  9. I understand your feelings.

    I went with a Nook because I have 2 B&N in my area. If I could go back I probably would have gotten a Kindle. But my husband bought my Nook(s) for me as gifts so there ya go.

    Maybe we should all boycott and just use our library systems. LOL It would free reading. Our tax dollars pay for the libraries so we should use them more.

  10. There are other epub stores online that the Nook users to could use in the event that B&N goes completely under.

    Here are a few places I've found.

    I've bought a few Kobo books as well. I just download them into Adobe Reader then hook up my Nook to my computer and move them.

    There's also All Romance ebooks.

    So I think we Nook users should be ok.

    1. Jennifer, I use Diesel for most of my eBook purchases. Plus, they offer reward dollars for every review of a book that you post to their site. Those reward dollars can be applied to book purchases, up to 50% of the book price for most books. I've saved a ton of money.

  11. Oh no!!! After hearing about Borders closing I was depressed for an But it was a really intense depression. I don't think I can handle B&N closing. While I'm sorta kinda joking, I think there's some truth to it bc I love B&N.

    While I buy mostly eBooks these days, I really like the idea of being able to go into a bookstore and browse. I don't know what it is about being in a store amongst other readers, but I like the feeling. I'm not a big fan of Books A Million so shopping there would be a pain.

  12. I don't buy hardbacks or trade size at B&N unless it's online. Their books are full price at brick and mortar stores but the same books are deeply discounted on their website. Makes no sense to me... I'll buy mass-market paperbacks though because they're the same price either way and then I get the instant gratification ;)

  13. What a strange predicament. It wasn't that long ago that many were complaining about B&N's domination of the market at the expense of the independent book stores. Now that we have moved into the digital age with books, they're now at risk. I just read their market report to analysts and they do plan to close a lot of stores but over a 10-year period. Many of their stores are still profitable but aren't growing. It means they won't be expanding. Their holiday sales were weak but they aren't taking a loss. If you care to read the analysis, just Google "Barnes and Noble future."

    The trick for brick and mortar boom retailers is to find that balance between their online business and their physical bookstores. There's a place for both and they just have to figure out how to make it work. While I only read eBooks, I buy an awful lot of children's books for niece's and nephews and still visit bookstores and end up buying something.

    1. A lot of retail businesses book stores are not make the mistake of opening up too many stores too fast. For example, Starbucks. You can find one on just about every street corner in some cities and then they end up having to close some.

      I think maybe B&N had this problem. Opening too many stores to fast and now some are not making a profit so they will close the ones that's loosing money.

    2. I agree, Jennifer. B&N expanded really fast, which was curious at the time as they should have done some modeling of the impact of digital books. Like other industries who faced technology changes (video stores, electronics stores), they will adapt quickly and survive or become a thing of the past.

  14. Great post Jennifer! I had no clue B&N might close, which is sad because it is still the only brick and mortar bookstore still standing (from what I know). I rarely go to the bookstore, and like many others buy most of my books online either through Amazon and Book Depository. I usually buy mass market paper back and through both sites, It is about 20-25% off the original price. Amazon offers the buy 4 for 3 (any books $10 or under)and most of the books on Book Depository is discounted. I sometimes buy hardbacks and trade and if I do it'd be online where it's cheaper.

    Did you know Amazon just recently acquired Book Depository? I hope they don't start charging shipping lol, I usually buy from Book Depository not only because of their cheap prices but also because there's no tax or shipping.

    1. Yeah, Amazon also owns which I use a lot for my audiobooks. They are taking over the world. LOL

    2. Oh, I didn't know Amazon purchased the Book Depository. Interesting.

  15. I just want to say first, I love this new WTF blog! I actually find myself looking forward to Mondays.
    As for B&N closing down stores, I had no idea this was being talked about and I think it would be a tragedy. There are still services that they provide that you cannot get online. I buy about 90% of my books online but do shop in B&N a few times a year. Before e-readers I would spend hours in Borders or B&N. As for small independent book stores, I live in a very populated area and I can only think of one which is sad.

    1. Thanks! Jonetta and I are enjoying writing the WTF posts. It's a nice break from reviews and gives us more interaction with our readers.

  16. I shop locally through Barnes & Noble and Half Price Books. Mostly I shop locally if I'm in a hurry to get a book (I want it on release day), or if I just want to get it cheaper used. If I'm not in a hurry, I order from, because I get free shipping and I don't have to take the time to go to the store.

    I have recently changed jobs, where the B&N store is less than a mile away. I have found myself shopping there more often, but they don't always have the book I'm looking for in-stock. I usually check the site for availability before I travel to the store, so I know if I need to just order online. I just hope that they don't close my store. :(

    I'm loving the WTF posts. I think I might have commented on all of them. I ready many of the reviews, but don't often comment. They are helpful, but not as engaging. Keep up the good work. :)

  17. After working jobs that required me to be kind and helpful to all customers I have shopping problems. Chain store employees (any store) are so useless and rude. Large companies for the most part just hire warm bodies to perform a task. I'm one of those people when I get amazing customer service I call a manager and praise the employee. I'll end my rant now. I think the type of people working large chain book stores have ruined me on shopping them.

    I've found small locally owned places are few and far between, but I will pay more and go to them. It's usually owners working the store and they know if they do not make a sale they do not eat. My only local places are used stores, but I use them every chance I get.


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