Shopping For Books This Festive Season

Shopping For Books This Festive Season


With the holiday season upon us, the challenge of finding the right gift at the right price looms large for many. This year, with retailers slashing prices in a bid to attract recession weary customers, some great buys are sure to be had. This includes books of all kinds as Christmas booksnobody needs to pay the published price or anything near it.

So, where do you shop for books? Likely, you’ve been to at least one online site, such as Amazon, and you’ve paid visits to your local Barnes&Noble or Borders bookstore. You may even have a favorite private bookseller that you prefer to use, a local and knowledgeable booksmith who can order you anything while offering the ambiance not found in the mega chain stores.

Let’s take a look at the choices available to you and the ways that you can save on all of your book purchases.

Local Retailers – One of my favorite shops is the local retailer who still manages to compete against the big guys. Like other shoppers, we know the best prices can usually be found elsewhere, but they do run weekly or monthly specials. What I do like about the few remaining local booksmiths is that you get great customer service and around the holidays they’ll usually wrap your books for free or charge a low fee. Sometimes that fee is donated to a local food bank or other charity.

Mega Merchants – Basically two huge chains are in operation, businesses which are routinely found at your local mall: Borders which also owns Walden Books and Bretano’s; Barnes & Noble which also owns B. Dalton. There are a number of regional shops which compete rather well, but the main reason shoppers visit these stores is for selection and price. Service can be good, but if they’re busy you’ll wait around to be helped. Whatever they don’t have in stock can be ordered for you.

Online Shops – Amazon is the most famous of all online retailers, having a presence like no other store. Up to a few years ago, the company struggled to get gifts out on time for Christmas, but they seem to have overcome that problem. Still, you’ll need to have your order in at least five days before the holiday and order speedy shipping to ensure its prompt delivery. Books-A-Million still operates a number of regional shops in the Midwest and East, but they’ve gained prominence of late through their online store.

Buyers will sometimes flock to popular used book stores in search of bargains for the holidays. Of course, you don’t want to give someone a used book, but quite a few stores carry a small line of new titles among their used books. Their overhead is typically low, bringing great savings to you.

Adv. — Visit nBuy Plaza for “The Big Big Book Fair” where you can find discounts on textbooks, audio books, children’s books and more. You can also find magazines and college textbooks at discount prices.


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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".