Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Orders up.

In a world with Amazon.com, halfpricebooks.com (what is the link to that), barnesandnobles.com, and others that allow you to find and purchase (almost) anything your heart desires and have it sent to your home, why should you (or do you) special order (ordering a book that store does not have in stock or carry to be picked up at that store) books through a brick and mortar store?

Have you tales of special ordering fiascos? Surprises? Happy stories of bookseller daring-do?

Let's hear them.

5 comments:

Eileen said...

I use Amazon or Powells to order gifts for friends and family so it can be shipped right to them. (saves me the trip to the post office) If it is for me I use my local store. The owner has this amazing gift to figure out what I would like based on what I already read. I would rather give the business to her than to Amazon.

Anonymous said...

I use the independent bookstore here in town when I'm in the mood for fiction and aren't entirely certain what I want--then having knowledgeable salesfolk is handy. I use the used bookstore (half price books) just a few miles from home when I'm doing research, need nonfiction, and just want four or five older books to round out the research. But I try to buy from BookPeople whenever possible, just to support their business.

(I'm also a former bookstore owner myself, which is part of the reason I'll drive the 7 miles into downtown to buy books rather than order on Amazon, unless the only way to get the book is via Amazon, which is sadly sometimes the case.)

-sgreer

Rowan said...

Online places can be pretty useless when I'm looking for something new. I like to look at the books, check a few pages, see some covers, etc. However, when the time comes to hunt down a hardcover that has already left the shelves, Amazon or Chapters.ca is pretty much the best bet.

piksea said...

I love bookstores and I enjoy going into a shop and seeing all those books on the shelves and perusing and choosing and carrying out a bag filled with new reading material. I don't think I would special order a book I didn't find in a bookstore, though. I probably wouldn't want to bother the sales staff. Those are the books that I would go online and have delivered to my doorstep.

The only thing better than carrying bags filled with books is finding boxes filled with them on my porch when I come home from work.

badgerminor said...

work for a bookstore chain.

currently under siege by a somewhat batty woman who insists that we must carry a certain Christian inspiration book. Normally two copies are on the shelf at any given time. However, she wants more copies on the shelves, 15 at the very least. there's simply not shelf space for the title. regardless, she's the only one who buys the book. it's getting ridiculous, as she's calling the bookstore pretending to be different people, yet always seems to wind up speaking to me. I offer to order additional copies for all of her other identities, but she will not be satisfied until the books are on the shelves.

When she comes into the store, she's had me read passages aloud to her, thinking it will change my life in a Road to Damascus moment, yet has been disappointed each time so far.

Lately she's taken to calling the customer complaint line, and trying to get through to home office. She's offended each time i suggest she simply order them all under her own name. I'm at a loss as to how to keep her from going into a frothing rage every time she comes into the store.