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Old 10-10-2010, 10:09   #21
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Having seen some of the figures it's clear that Amazon sometimes make only a few pence on a sale what with offering free postage and selling at only a few quid above the wholesale price. Volume is the key to their entire business and larger/heavier books must be subsidised by the paperback sales. No high street shop can possibly match their prices as a result - they'd need to be selling thousands of books at every single branch every single day just to cover staffing costs.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:19   #22
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I've seen numerous posts where people say that the high street HMV and the online HMV are two separate unconnected companies.
HMV online is based in Gurnsey. It has to be a seperate legal entity to avoid VAT on purchases under the £18 limit.

Because books are VAT free, there's no advantage for booksellers.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:35   #23
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I do like to browse in bookshops. But then I go off and buy online. Scumbag that I am.
Not scumbag. I can't see any reason to buy books any other way. Charity shops and secondhand stores also churn up some excellent bargains.

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Old 10-10-2010, 10:46   #24
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I really don't see the appeal of bookshops anymore. Unless the book you are after is in the top 100 or so, there is every chance it won't be in stock. If you are not sure what you want then surely you are better off online where there is more choice and you have reviews and easy search facilities? How many people have sort guidance from Waterstone or WH Smiths staff about recommendations? (Genuine question by the way, perhaps lots do and I don't realise it).
There is the human interaction but, again, how many people really manage to strike up conversations in bookshops?
There is the gratification of an instant purchase without waiting for a delivery but this can be achieved via kindle or similar devices if your not precious about the traditional slab of paper. Otherwise you still have the top 100 from the supermarkets to choose from.
Bookshops are dying and will dissapear from the high street. OK it's the end of a traditional way of buying books but is it really such a loss? I think some people are uncomfortable with change and that's the real problem.

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Old 10-10-2010, 11:34   #25
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If price is the #1 concern then just get a library card. Books for free, and if your library doesn't have the book you want then you can order it for less than £1 (30p at my library).
.
Yep, only found out about this quite recently. My library even has a service that can obtain books from British Library if not in the Borough, costs about £1

I rarely buy fiction now as bar a few authors, I am happy buying and getting rid. Makes more sense to use library

Most books I buy are non-fiction or reference books which I think I'll want again. If not recent, these are often fairly pricy
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:39   #26
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I really don't see the appeal of bookshops anymore. Unless the book you are after is in the top 100 or so, there is every chance it won't be in stock. If you are not sure what you want then surely you are better off online where there is more choice and you have reviews and easy search facilities?

Where's the fun in that though. Have you never been browsing and came across something you had never heard of before, had a little read of a few pages and it turned out to be fantastic so you buy it. Little chance of that online.

If everything continues the way its going we will all be shut-ins in 20 yrs time.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:57   #27
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Books, CD/BD I buy all online now. The thing is, I enjoy walking the few large record stores that are still around, & I love bookshops. They won't be around in a year or two, & I'm one of the reasons for it!
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:05   #28
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As much as i'll have a wander around bookstores, i'll always buy with whoever sells cheapest (which means online pretty much) - if that means bookstores eventually close down, so be it (that applies to most things though, not just bookstores).

I wouldnt pay 50%+ more for books just so they can stay open, i'd feel like i was throwing my money away.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:17   #29
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Where's the fun in that though. Have you never been browsing and came across something you had never heard of before, had a little read of a few pages and it turned out to be fantastic so you buy it. Little chance of that online.

If everything continues the way its going we will all be shut-ins in 20 yrs time.
True to some extent but If you go onto Amazon a large number of books allow you to see inside and read the first few pages or so. With a Kindle you can download the whole first chapter for free. As far as being shut in's in general, that's a worry, pub's closing homeworking ( allthough I would welcome that), but there are still restaurants, sporting events, supermarkets and plenty of other activities where you can mingle with others.
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Old 10-10-2010, 14:53   #30
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Most books I buy are non-fiction or reference books which I think I'll want again. If not recent, these are often fairly pricy
My bargain of two years ago was my local library (the one I used to work in) getting rid of it's Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th edition, 1993). Absolutely mint condition, and all 30 odd volumes for £10. Sits nicely next to my vintage 11th edition (1909, leather bound), which I picked up about 20 years ago. All a bit redundant now really what with stuff like Wikipedia only an internet search away, but there really is something wonderful about actually having a nice quality book in your hands.
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Old 10-10-2010, 16:31   #31
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All a bit redundant now really what with stuff like Wikipedia only an internet search away, but there really is something wonderful about actually having a nice quality book in your hands.
(x) 100000

I hope ebook readers die on their arses.
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Old 10-10-2010, 17:12   #32
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but there are still restaurants, sporting events, supermarkets and plenty of other activities where you can mingle with others.
You can experience/do all of those things online, on TV or via takeaway? It's all beginning to sound a bit sterile to me.
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Old 10-10-2010, 18:54   #33
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You can experience/do all of those things online, on TV or via takeaway? It's all beginning to sound a bit sterile to me.
The thing is that these things are going to remain options as regards doing them in person as they all offer something sufficiently extra from the online experience and in the case of supermarkets, for example, the price is the same or similar. Bookshops are threatened because the experience of visiting them, for most people, isn't sufficient to make up for the huge price differences. Electrical stores are likely to start to disappear for the same reason.

I don't see life becoming significantly more sterile because bookshops or electrical shops disappear. If restaurants, football stadia, live gigs, and pubs(many threatened for other reasons) were all under threat I might begin to worry.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy visiting bookshops but like most people I won't pay twice as much for the goods. If the choice is bookshops or 1/2 price books then I will go for the half price books. Furthermore the choice of books online is huge. If you want to talk sterility then High Street book shops seem to be concentrating on celebrity rubbish. Nothing but best sellers seem to be discounted or pushed onto the display stands.

Last edited by Mondo; 10-10-2010 at 19:00.
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Old 10-10-2010, 19:06   #34
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Having seen some of the figures it's clear that Amazon sometimes make only a few pence on a sale what with offering free postage and selling at only a few quid above the wholesale price. Volume is the key to their entire business and larger/heavier books must be subsidised by the paperback sales. No high street shop can possibly match their prices as a result - they'd need to be selling thousands of books at every single branch every single day just to cover staffing costs.
Thats quite probably true, but chains like Waterstones and Smiths must be buying in enough bulk to be able to sell at lower than RRP. I can completely understand indi shops charging £19.99 for a book with £19.99 on its cover, but the chains don't do anything to get you through the door.

Personally I would rather buy everything on the high street, and do buy a lot there, and don't mind paying a little extra (not just on books, this applies to anything). However I won't pay totally OTT prices just to be able to walk away with the goods there and then. If I can get a book for £9.99 from Amazon, then I'd probably pay £13 - £14 for it in a shop - theres no way I'll pay £19.99 for the same book.
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Old 28-10-2010, 14:46   #35
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I tend to use Amazon purely because of choice, until the recent company reshuffle / change in stock policy ( individual stores given more control over what they stock ) Waterstones was very bland. If you want mainstream books, then great, although the supermarkets are chaper, but if you wanted something slightly off kilter and not a best seller you had no choice other than online. Ok so you could order it through Waterstones but that was never a straightforward process.

I'm also a librarian, and public libraries are a great thing ( used to work in one), and more under threat these days than high street book stores. Your local library can pretty much get you any book published in this country via the british library. If ofcourse you don't view library books as being dirty

If it wasn't for its direct support of parent company HMV running it at a loss, there was a serious possibility of Waterstones going the way of Borders last year.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:34   #36
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I'd like bookstores a lot more if they stocked hardcovers. All my local ones only stock the TPB airport versions of new releases, which are usually priced at the same price as the hardcovers would be if they carried it.

Really annoying as I love getting books by my favourie authors on the day they come out, but ordering online's the only way to get the proper version.
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Old 30-01-2011, 01:48   #37
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Stanfords in Covent Garden always appears to be busy with people, not sure how they are doing in the light of Amazon but they specialise in travel books and offer specialist mapping services thus I guess have the edge over Amazon in that respect. I acutally managed to undercut Amazon recently for some books in their 3 for 2 offer. A few quid cheaper than buying all three on Amazon. But another book I've purchased that they stock I got from Amazon as I saved myself around 4 quid going online. Still it's one of my favourite bookstores and I hope they survive in some form.

Charity shops are great places to pick up books for a few quid. Oxfam Books & Music in particular has some very good stocks. Their Chiswick branch is great. I also buy my baby brothers children's books from Black Gull Books in Camden. Some great gems in their for a couple of quid each.
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Old 30-01-2011, 09:38   #38
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Our local bookshop in Keighley just closed down due to lack of business, although interestingly they said that their biggest rivals were the supermarkets. Popular new series like Harry Potter and Twilight that would have been great money spinners for the book shops a few years back are now readily available at the supermarkets who are able to sell them for less than the wholesale price available to the small book shops so there is simply no way they can compete.
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Old 30-01-2011, 09:55   #39
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(x) 100000

I hope ebook readers die on their arses.
Not going to happen.

Kindle book sales outstrip paperbacks for the first time.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20029839-1.html
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Old 22-07-2012, 14:21   #40
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RESURRECTION ALERT! :-)

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Not going to happen.

Kindle book sales outstrip paperbacks for the first time.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20029839-1.html
I wonder how many of those ebooks were free ones... I've downloaded a couple of hundred free ebooks for the kindle and have bought... one. For 20p.

The local bookshop here is Waterstones but when they took over Ottakars they closed the large Waterstones store that had a good range and moved into the smaller Ottakars store, which has probably not even a quarter of the range of the old store. I think I've bought one book there. I don't remember the last time I bought a book from WH Smith as the store here seems to have a gorilla stocking the shelves, most of the time I pick up a book and it's damaged in some way. It's hard to justify paying retail prices from a large chain, I find it much easier to do so from small independents... though there are precious few of those these days.
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