Monday, March 14, 2011

Hurray for Amazon

I remember when a friend of mine first told me about shopping on Amazon.

"I don't know if I'd like that," I said. "I really like browsing in bookstores and finding books that I might not normally buy. There's something about the whole browsing experience."

"Try it," she said. "You'll be surprised." She had a sly smile.

It didn't take long for me to be thoroughly hooked. One click and the book was on its way! And I really liked the gutsy way that they published bad reviews of their products. A new form of browsing had begun.

Amazon is one company that has never disappointed me. The one time I had a customer service problem, they handled it promptly, professionally, and with a sense of style. I cannot think of a company that has done a better job of earning my loyalty.

What is their appeal to book-lovers? I think they realized that book-lovers want to buy books and yet often have a reluctance to do so because of the cost or the fact that serious readers always have an unread stack awaiting their attention. They became a friend who whispers, "Don't listen to those nay-sayers. Click here and I'll find that book at a decent price and smuggle it to you while you are doing other things."

Just the thing for those of us who like mysteries.


Kerry Palmer said...

I agree completely. Amazon is awesome! I have also started using the Kindle app on my iPad (never thought I'd be doing that!). Now, when I find a title I like, I'm reading it in under two minutes. Very cool!

Jeff said...

My wife works for a small US publisher that is hurting not only from the economy, but by the contraction of the publishing industry in general. Even if they wanted to move to a more stable position, the people in that company no longer can find those positions to transition into.

But as much as they complain about the shrinking industry, they've also begun sub-contracting out their typesetting and proofreading work to companies in India. Because they're cheap. Not necessarily better - just cheap.

This publisher just seems to be poisoning their own waters along with everyone else's.

Why do I bring that up in this post's context? If you buy only from Amazon, you will be left only with Amazon. Hard to beat the convenience and especially those cheap prices. But the alternatives are drying up - and once upon a time, so will the choices.

I remind you about - a community of independent, neighborhood booksellers where you can still find those books you need. And not only can you ask them to be delivered to you, but you can have them set it aside for pickup and still enjoy the browsing experience you value.

I have no commercial connection to them - but remember that now you still have choices. May come a time when you won't...

Just my .02 ...

- Jeff

Michael Wade said...


It ia a highly innovative company and the ability to get a book within seconds is like something from science fiction.


My dollars go to a lot of independent bookstores. I have a few that I visit on an almost weekly basis. [The recent weeping over the decline of Borders reminds me of how some small stores were driven out of business by Borders.]

Thanks for the link info for indiebound. I'll check them out. Not all independent bookstores, of course, deserve customers. I've gone to some where the customer service was terrible and the management was worse.

The good ones, however, deserve to survive and thrive.


Jeff said...

From the Anthony Daniels post above:

"Is it true that undisturbed on the dusty shelves of obscure bookshops lie poems of some merit?"

Yes there are - and often in a surly book-keeper's hands. And won't be found on Amazon.

- Jeff

Michael Wade said...


As a matter of fact, the Richard Elwes book is on Amazon. They probably got it from a surly bookseller!


Jeff said...

Hmmmm...and "no image available" for either the Elwes and Monahan books.

Guess ya gotta know what you're buying...not like in a bookstore where you can wander the stacks and sample the inventory...

I'm just sayin'... :)

- Jeff