I went to a local bookstore. Found the book I wanted. Brought it to the checkout counter. The guy took one look at the book I’d picked up, and said, to his coworker, “Hey, don’t we have used copies of this?” She replied, “Yeah, we should, I just bought one yesterday.” Then he walked with me to where the book ought to be shelved, found it, and checked me out. I offered to put the new book back where I’d found it, but he said that he would. The used book btw, was in almost as good condition as the new book.
Wasn’t that lovely? I mean, they read! And they know stuff about their books! And they helped me find a used copy! Oh and you know what, on the way out the door, they had a small stack of Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) for free! I picked up one.
To be completely fair, even used, the book was more expensive to buy at the local place than it would’ve been to buy new at Amazon. And I had to walk out of my way to get it. But … it was a nice experience, don’t you think? More lovely than Amazon can deliver, I think. Although Amazon is very pain-free, of course.
I know it’s a losing battle; there are fewer and fewer book shops within walking distance anymore. Most of them have closed or moved locations these last few years. But still, I personally still believe that they have something to offer that Amazon can’t. You can even order from them online at indiebound.org, but well, I really doubt that they can compete with the Amazon (and even Barnes and Noble) website.