Saturday, June 20, 2020

Book Blogger Hop: June 19th - June 25th: If You Do a Google Search for "357", the First Couple of Pages of Results Will Be About a Gun

Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Do you visit indie and/or used bookstores? Also, have you ever worked in any?

I try to visit indie bookstores and used bookstores as much as possible. I prefer to get my books from smaller venues rather than big booksellers like Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

In normal times, I buy most of my books from four sources: (1) used bookstores, (2) small, independent bookstores, (3) booksellers such as Larry Smith Books at conventions, and (4) authors at conventions. I have about twelve thousand books, and I estimate that I bought about 90% of them from these types of venues. I am kind of lucky in that I have some very good used bookstores quite nearby, and I usually have a couple of nice local science fiction conventions that fill in the gaps between. There aren't as many good local bookstores nearby, and the situation is only slightly better as far as comic books shops go, but I can get to them if I need to.

That said, I am not really patronizing many of those places these days. With conventions being cancelled for the foreseeable future, those last two categories of booksellers aren't really viable options. With most businesses being closed to foot traffic (or only allowing extremely limited foot traffic), the first two options are also kind of off the table right now. Whenever possible, I have been trying to place delivery orders from those local bookstores that will ship orders, but I have had to break down a couple of times and order from the larger retailers when I have been unable to find what I needed via smaller venues.

On a side note, I predict that the retailers who either had preexisting online ordering and shipping systems or who have been agile enough to develop them on the fly during this pandemic will be the ones who come out of this mess in the best condition. Sadly, some of my favorite places to buy books don't seem to be in that category. Some have, but I'm thinking there will be fewer options left when we emerge from the whole pandemic lockdown situation.

Subsequent Book Blogger Hop: Route 358 Is a Road and a Band in Arkansas

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