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Old 11-27-2008, 09:05 AM   #1
bcull
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Buy local

I have a concern with purchasing a Kindle and it involves being able to support the people and businesses I know in my home community. I currently buy the majority of my books through an independent bookseller aand pay a little more to do so (about 10%). It makes long-term economic sense because it means that a local business providing jobs remains viable and my community has a fighting chance in the global economy.

That being said, if I purchase a Kindle, or equivalent, am I now wedded to the large transnational company? Or is it possible that my local bookseller will have access (at reasonable cost) to the e-books and a method of download?

Barry
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:13 AM   #2
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I've never yet come across local booksellers who sell eBooks - it tends, by its very nature, to be a purely "online" business.
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:20 AM   #3
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I have a concern with purchasing a Kindle and it involves being able to support the people and businesses I know in my home community.
It's a real concern and it does you credit but there's no answer to the conundrum. Buying books from Amazon puts bookshops out of business. Buying ebooks from a central server puts booksellers out of business. Downloading nicely formatted out-of-copyright books from Mobileread puts booksellers out of business.

And even if your bookseller can download ebooks and sell them, how many people are going to bother to make the trip when they can just press the button at home and probably get it cheaper anyway - about as many as would go and download music from a local store rather than from iTunes.

The world is changing and when that happens, some people lose their current role and sometimes it hurts. Either that or we all get together and say 'No, that's not the world we want. We'll live with the lesser convenience and the higher price for the sake of preserving the neighbourhood.' If you think you can swing it, start organizing now.

Anybody want to buy a buggy whip? Locally made...
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:10 AM   #4
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changing world

Thanks for the information, Harry and Angel. If what you say is the case, you have helped me make up my mind about buying a Kindle. Until local booksellers have the rights of re-selling provided through the publishers, I will not buy one. Call me a Luddite if you will, but some purchasing decisions come with ethical implications that are too costly - have a look at the state of the global economy because we have fallen asleep at the switch.

As far as changing the world - let me quote Ghandi, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." Live by example, that's the best demonstration you can organize.

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Old 11-27-2008, 10:28 AM   #5
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But if you purchase eBooks at our favorite online shops, you will be helping them stay in business and we will benefit from that.
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:02 AM   #6
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Hi Barry, here's my take. I love the smell of books, and I love booksellers too. I'm afraid, however, that even the Barnes & Nobles are not long for this world as long as people would rather buy cheap stuff at Walmart or find cheaper stuff on the Internet.

The other problem with bookstores is that they're built upon the backs of undercompensated authors. Authors write books, which (if they're able to get traditionally published) get sold in quantities to bookstores that can never sell through, and then the books are returned to the publisher for a full refund. The era of the brick and mortar superstore is coming to an end. The only way for the book store biz to survive in the long run is to inventory fewer books in their stores and instead start selling print on demand books which will offer unlimited selection and the convenience of print for those who still prefer it. We'll also start seeing traditional bookstores dispensing ebooks via on-site kiosks.

I think it's important to support the nascent ebook industry, because in the long run ebooks will be a democratizing force for both consumers of books and the creators of books (authors).

I will bet in your very community, you have hundreds if not thousands of aspiring authors who would love to publish their dream book and have it be discovered by a worldwide audience. Unfortunately, the traditional print publishing industry isn't much different than an invitation-only country club. Its books are too expensive for a worldwide audience; they capture the voices of only a narrow sliver of the author community; most of its books lose money; and most books go out of print shortly after publishing. I'm a huge supporter of self-published print books, but even they have the physical challenge of traversing geographic boundaries and the economic challenge of expense.

With ebooks, anyone anywhere with a computer can publish one and make it instantly available to a worldwide audience. The only gatekeeper is the quality of the author's work. It's then up to the community of readers to determine what's worth reading and what's not.

I say buy the Kindle (or the iPhone, or whatever device you prefer), and then buy ebooks for it. Amazon isn't the only source of ebooks for the Kindle, by the way. Many independent online bookstores are sprouting up all over the web supporting both mainstream and indie authors.
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcull View Post
I currently buy the majority of my books through an independent bookseller aand pay a little more to do so (about 10%). It makes long-term economic sense because it means that a local business providing jobs remains viable and my community has a fighting chance in the global economy.

That being said, if I purchase a Kindle, or equivalent, am I now wedded to the large transnational company? Or is it possible that my local bookseller will have access (at reasonable cost) to the e-books and a method of download?
First, if you are not REQUIRED to buy ebooks from Amazon not are you TIED to it in anyway. It is actually the publisers that insist on using DRM that prohibit you from buying there ebooks to use on your Kindle.

Secondly... if you want to be a local philanthropist take the money you save buy buying ebooks and donate it to the local bookstore... or even better to a local mission or foodbank.

BOb
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:21 PM   #8
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I was in Borders the other day, trying book lights with my Kindle. Not wanting to open the packages myself, I had a supervisor helping me.

He told me that his biggest reason for not buying an eBook was the demise of the brick-and-mortar stores and how Amazon's efficiency took away the human factor...the very reason he's loved selling books for 30 years. He talked about how not that long ago there used to be several bookstores (small and chains) on the street...and now they are the only one. He said "I know its big box stores like this that are responsible but it doesn't mean I like it". To me, this is the downside of the whole cyber world we live in today..not just the book industry.

We agreed that to survive, bookstores should start partnering with the publishers and companies like Sony to sell eBooks that can be transferred on-site...to sell just the readers makes no sense.

One of my favorite things to do is browse through a bookstore. For that reason, I still make a point of buying from them. I hope they find a way to co-exist but I fear the bookstores will go the way of most record shops.
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:30 PM   #9
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I love walking into a Barnes and Noble.......I love the 'book smell.'

Until I try to find a particular book. Unless its on the best seller list, or has to do with the latest flavor of the month, their selection is abysmal.

Their stores are filled with movies, CD's, cards, games, stationary........money that could be used to increase their selection.

From Amazon I can type in any book I want, from old classics to the latest, and I can find it. Used books are fine with me.....most can be bought in like new condition.

In my area, there are very few used book stores, and those are far away.

I've found, personally, that if I can't find a book I want for my Kindle, it doesn't exist in any other ebook format either...
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:47 PM   #10
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I am a big supporter of buying locally and supporting your local economy. However, this is not possible in all things. The vast majority of communities will never include enough publishers of content to keep one satisfied with entertainment and information needs. Publishers are all over the world in all sorts of communities. Their businesses require broad distribution.

Yes, you should support your local bookseller, but be aware that competitive market forces are overwhelming the business model of a local bookstore. I'm on the email list of a local book store where I live. The poor woman is staying open because of donations. This is most unfortunate, but realistically she needs to become a nonprofit and call herself a library because the small indie bookstore thing is almost futile at this point. She has many local supporters but her small shop physically cannot offer a selection that can compete.

There are many ways to support your local economy. Choose local food whenever possible. Choose local shops over big box stores. But we can never be entirely local. There are some things that must be distributed broadly (information, coffee).

If you want an ebook reader, you will naturally become a consumer of goods beyound your local sphere, whether you choose Kindle or otherwise.
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:50 PM   #11
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I'm not fond of the big chain stores myself there is nothing else close to where I work...my favorite book store is a local one which is a little out of the way.

Don't think I've ever been able to leave there without spending $100 or more (or spending hours at a time). They've been able to find any book I've ever looked for (even if they need to order which can take a week).


http://www.wickedlocal.com/newton/ho...19034216906749
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:07 PM   #12
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I see no reason at all why bookstores cannot sell ebooks. I enjoy looking around bookstores, but I would prefer to buy ebooks. There is no reason why they couldn't allow a terminal for you to swipe your credit card when you've decided on a book & download it onto either the device or your flash card/usb device. The biggest holdup in ebooks, DRM an also be covered as you'd have to type in your PID or however else you do it. Technically I don't see it being any more difficult than trying to get photos printed from High St stores with your flash/CDROM or camera from these instore print terminals.

Even better if you could take the book, swipe it's bar code & the terminal then tells you what you can do with it...

Several shops have ebook stores, WHSmith & Waterstones for example it is surely the next stage to link the 2 for easier access & browsing.
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:13 PM   #13
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Would people really go to a book store to download something they could download from the comfort of their sofa while wearing PJ's and fuzzy pink slippers? That's overhead that would make the price of ebooks more expensive.
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:40 PM   #14
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Would people really go to a book store to download something they could download from the comfort of their sofa while wearing PJ's and fuzzy pink slippers? That's overhead that would make the price of ebooks more expensive.
I absolutely would. I love the bookstore and the experience.

Too many books that I've bought on-line without "seeing" have not turned out to be what I thought (even with the abundance of reviews). Some of the best books I've ever bought and would not have looked at otherwise were from other buyers in the stores as well.

Admittedly, its still hard for me not to make an impulse buy when in a book store. Although I seldom buy a book (or anything else) at full retail, as long is its priced reasonably, I would buy.
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:54 PM   #15
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I absolutely would. I love the bookstore and the experience.

Too many books that I've bought on-line without "seeing" have not turned out to be what I thought (even with the abundance of reviews). Some of the best books I've ever bought and would not have looked at otherwise were from other buyers in the stores as well.

Admittedly, its still hard for me not to make an impulse buy when in a book store. Although I seldom buy a book (or anything else) at full retail, as long is its priced reasonably, I would buy.
Interesting. I would not. The "buying without seeing", for me, is covered with the samples available from Amazon.
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