I am a Bookstore Mooch – Take Four

I cannot imagine a world without a physical bookstore.

When I travel, one of my favorite pastimes is browsing in a book store. I like the smell of books, I like to see the cover art, I like to thumb through them to get a feel for the books before I buy them. Being an artist, I like coffee table books on art, photography and nature.

But I do not like to have boxes of heavy books filling my storage space. So I welcomed eBooks and I have stopped buying physical books, except for reference materials and books with lots of photos and illustrations, where eBooks don’t do the job very well.

So when I go to a bookstore now, I see what’s going on, and then I buy the book online later. This, of course, hurts the bookstore.

I wrote a number of blog posts about that. Here they are:

Mooch – Take One – March 15, 2010

Mooch – Take Two – May 10, 2011

Mooch – Take Three – December 26, 2011

Some of those posts were written when there were still Borders stores. Now those are all gone. Barnes and Noble is the only viable large bookstore chain left. I want them to succeed.

However, their holiday results in 2012 were dismal. Sales from stores and the website sank 11 percent to $1.2 billion. Revenue at the Nook unit, which includes devices, accessories and content, fell 13 percent to $311 million. Their Nook devices are competing head-on with Amazon Kindle devices and Apple iPads. A tough neighborhood to compete in.

Their outlook is bleak.

This caused me to change my behavior. I created a Barnes and Noble account, downloaded the Nook app for my iPad, and I have bought my first eBook off Barnes and Noble. I comparison shopped for pricing at Amazon, and found that the book was priced identically.

I am not buying a Nook. I have two physical Kindles. I have a Kindle app on my iPad, my iPhone and my computer. I do not need another device, sorry, Barnes and Noble. But I’ll buy books from Barnes and Noble from now on, if I can. I will test their service, offering and performance.

I don’t want to live in a world that has no physical book stores. Hopefully it’s not too late for Barnes and Noble to survive.

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