I came home the other day to a package from Book Depository sitting on the dining table and I literally pounced on it. One of my recent purchases had finally arrived after more than two weeks, and I just couldn’t wait to discover which one it was.
I’ve always had this thing for receiving books in the mail, ever since I started buying them online. Seeing the package and knowing a brand new book is waiting for me in there always give me the same sense of thrill and anticipation whenever I step into a bookstore.
I know there are some folks out there who don’t like to buy books online because of the longer wait (and because it kills bookstores). Yes, I’ve been through that struggle too. Whenever a new book that I’ve been waiting for hits the store shelves, I have this urge to buy it and start reading it straight away. But the rational part of me tells me that (1) I still have a huge stack of to-be-reads sitting on my bookshelf, (2) I will regret buying the book in its hardcover version especially if it’s a huge tome, and (3) I should wait a while for discounts so that I can use whatever I can save for the next new book. And so, if buying the book online can give me that lead time for reducing the to-be-read stack and saving me some money while allowing me to pre-order a paperback version, why not? It helps too that I like receiving books in the mail.
Having said that, nothing beats walking into a bookstore, discovering a fresh read out of serendipity and then walking out with the new book sitting triumphantly in my bag. Maybe that’s what Amazon has realized about book lovers and why they’ve decided to open brick and mortar stores. I just hope they don’t drown out my favourite local stores like they almost did when they started selling books online. I don’t want to be browsing the same stores online and off.