So here’s the thing, I am part of the problem I am about to complain about. We’re all pretty clearly aware that Barnes and Nobles is in a death struggle. It is only a matter of time before the book giant slowly chokes to death on the impact of online sales stealing its profits.
So why is this an issue? When the book giant opened it cut into the sales of smaller book sellers across the country. Many had to go out of business in the exact turn around that they now face with Amazon. The problem is Amazon has no retail location.
Here’s my situation. I’m a father of a now one year old. A one year old whose imagination and love for literature I want to encourage and nourish as much as possible. When I was a kid I loved spending time at the events and browsing the shelves. I mean how could this not be heaven for a kid?
That same love of books carried through my teenage years and only started to wane when I became a young adult. Clearly, that didn’t stick. I think reading is important and is an activity that is slowly starting to slip away from society.
I want to be able to provide the same opportunity to my son and with each item I order from a competitor I know that I’m doing my part it not allowing that to happen. So here’s is the conundrum. Do I sacrifice the cheaper prices and ease of use to attempt to keep a company that is in a downward spiral afloat? Hell a vast majority of the books I end up picking up aren’t even available at the giant retailer. However, I also know that the view of “I’m just one person what does my single vote count” in politics is as flawed in politics as it is in retail.
I do the vast majority of my online shopping, sans sales, on Amazon.com. I have a membership there. I get free shipping. I get most of my personal books digital these days. I don’t have to spend what little of my free time I want to spend with my son going to a place he can’t really appreciate yet. The key word though is “yet” as one day I want him to have the option to have this kind of a store to enjoy.
So what is the solution?