Amazon.com says I have been a ‘member’ since 1996. That’s 22 years of year-round shopping. Amazon gift cards are the currency of Christmas for my nephews in Illinois. Boxes with smiling logos addressed to me c/o the neighbors are a sure sign I’ve been doing holiday shopping for my family.
But not this year. I’m swearing off book buying from the world’s largest bookstore. I’ll be buying at Barnes & Noble. It's time for me to do my part to save these stores.
A table in a store, stocked with 40 different books offers a different experience than a colorful Web page with plot summaries and readers' ratings. Not that I don't appreciate Amazon's contribution to helping me make a good choice. But the choice is not the thing I'm necessarily in a hurry to get to.
The book business, thanks to Amazon, is more and more Darwinian. The big publishers and the best-selling authors grow and prosper - and not undeservedly so. But their marketplace heat threatens to snuff otherl voices with new things to say, tell, teach, provoke, and even exhaust. Same thing with magazines. Barnes & Noble stores show hundreds of publications. Exploring, showing-and-telling, helping, instructing, and criticizing
If there were no Barnes & Noble stores there would be no opportunity for these voices to be heard. Physical stores distract you from the popular - and enlighten and engage, and expose you to something new, deeper, and imaginative.
CNBC says this is a critical holiday season for Barnes & Noble. So, I'll be buying books the old fashioned way this Christmas. At the store.