Moonrat wrote an excellent post last week on the problems facing the publishing industry. These are troublin' times that we're living in here in America, and the news only grows a bit bleaker as retailers are bracing for a lean season. Barnes and Noble CEO Leonard Riggio is quoted in the linked news story as saying:
"Never in all my years as a bookseller have I seen a retail climate as poor as the one we are in."
I think Jeanne and I are going to find ourselves in that 40% of Americans spending less on Christmas this year. In our situation, it's primarily due to shipping. I do sincerely enjoy shopping for others, and I try to send things. You know, honest to goodness items? Gift cards always felt lazy, somehow.
Not anymore, my friends. I hope everyone likes Barnes and Noble...
But last night I did something I never thought I would. I joined the Book of the Month Club. I was looking for Stephen King's Secret Windows. That little gem is hard to find, let me tell you. Not a copy in all of Jacksonville's fine public library system. I had to track that tome to its source, and they had me at hello with the five books for a buck deal.
Now, I like rare books. I like first editions, and these BotM items have no collectibility or resale value. I know that. But here's the rub: I don't care. I'm going to read them and then pass them along. I only need to buy four books in two years, and the discounts are pretty good. I buy twice that many books in a month sometimes, so it's a pretty nice deal.
There's none of that sending-the-card-back nonsense, which in and of itself is a mark in the internet's favor. So why did I have a stigma about the club? I guess I was a bookstore snob. There--feels good to say it out loud. I do love bookstores, and I won't stop visiting, but in these rough times, I can buy books for everyone on my list and ship them directly from the club.
That's pretty sweet, I think. So how is this economy affecting your book buying? You grabbing 'em in stacks or peering over shoulders?