Indie Bookstores Are Poised to Take Market Share from Amazon

Comments

1

Happy to see Indie bookstores fighting Amazon with success. I still use Amazon for e-books because the Kindle is a game changer, but for physical books an independent bookstore is the way to go.

2

Books kill trees.

3

Hey Chris, it's Mountlake Terrace - not Mountlake Terrance. Also Third Place Books is located in Lake Forest Park - not Mountlake Terrace.

4

@3 Thanks for the volunteer copyediting; I'll go fix.

5

Amazon is likely cheering for these bookstores to take market share from them. From today's SCCinsight.com:

"Its enormous retail (aka “consumer”) business continues to suck, with only a 1.4% operating margin worldwide — worse than Kroger, and much worse than Wal-Mart. The saving grace for Amazon continues to be Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is now generating 77% of the company’s operating income with an operating margin of 30% — on par with Facebook, better than Google, and slowly catching up to Microsoft."

At that margin, I would prefer not to sell a book, because my competition beat me to it.

6

Yeah - Third Place is in Lake Forest Park. It also has a location in Ravenna.

7

I don't understand why anyone would order books from Amazon in the first place. Especially anything rare or that you want to keep in nice condition. Amazon tends to mangle books a bit and they almost always tend to show up with at least some damage. It isn't worth saving a dollar or two. Besides, indie book stores are civic treasures that deserve our support.

8

@7, Not all book consumers are bibliophiles. They just want the content of the book. They are buying the intellectual content, not the medium it comes in. For them, price is king. Amazon can cater to that market segment, and local bookstores can cater to bibliophiles like you. Win, win.

9

@8 Fair enough, but I would imagine most of those people would have already migrated to digital formats.

10

@9, Assuming the book in question is still in print, or they are willing to read off a screen, you are correct.

11

I've never bought a book from or via Amazon, and I certainly don't intend to start now. My local bookstore down the street can get me anything I need and deliver it for free.

12

The indies need and deserve the support. Yes, you mention some excellent stores in our article--and, in addition, think Edmonds Bookshop, Island Books, BookTree Kirkland, and stores in many Seattle neighborhoods, including Madison Park and Phinney Ridge. And, of course, there are excellently curated used bookstores like Magus, Ophelia's, Pegasus, and Arundel. Shop where you want to, of course, but please consider indie bookstores a most deserving recipient of your book-buying dollar.

13

Great article, Christopher!

14

I have books myself. I also have DVD's. I've pretty much stopped buying them both since more and more they are online. If you have a wall or two of floor to ceiling books it's great for insulation but you never read all them again. Especially since the information they hold is just a few clicks away.
I see it coming, it will be a while, paper will go the way of the Dodo.
And it will be green.

15

"Mountlake Terrance" sounds like a name you'd see on a really cheesy dating profile.