Buy Where You Shop

powells, photo by Jill Greenseth
photo by Jill Greenseth
It's been disheartening to see Music Millennium reduced to its original store, to see the great record store triangle winnowed to one store, and to see yarn shops bite the dust. Likewise, it's sad to see the independent booksellers who aren't Powells packing up and moving out of downtown (or out of business).

So, why am I writing this? Just to remind you to buy where you shop. If you like the bricks and mortar experience, then support it.

Sure, it's fun to order online -- one click and you know there'll be a present brought to you at work by the hunky UPS guy. But if you like the experience of browsing, picking up the merchandise and feeling it, and having that lucky discovery of something new, then do the right thing.

Here's something that Tim O'Reilly wrote a couple years back that sums it up nicely (emphasis is mine, natch):

If you value the bookstore experience, my advice is this: buy where you shop. I buy lots of books online. I read about them on a blog or a mailing list, and buy with one click. But when I shop for books in bookstores, I buy them there, and so should you. Don't just look for the best price. Look for the best value. And if that value, for you, includes the ability to page through a book, support your local bookseller.

The title of this entry is the title of his article, and I was reminded of it in a O'Reilly Radar piece about the state of tech book publishing. He talks about how retail enables internet purchasing.

So, do the right thing. Support the stores that you frequent, which provide jobs here in Portland, which keeps the money you spend local.

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September 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)


extramsg said:

People who browse a store looking at or reading books and magazines, or use a listening bar, and then never purchase are the equivalent of people who go to Whole Foods and fill up on the samples. Unless you're dirt poor, it's just plain rude and a minor sort of theft, like sneaking into a second movie or sneaking onto a golf course.



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