How Does Barnes and Noble Stay in Business

Every so often I go through a must-read book phase. I’ll go for months on end without reading and then I’ll suddenly crave the pages of a good novel. I haven’t purchased a book for quite awhile, but I have a Groupon to Barnes and Noble burning a hole in my pocket so I thought I’d go online in search of something new to read.

Honestly I don’t know how Borders and Barnes and Noble stay in business. The cost per book and DVD is so much higher than Amazon! One book cost $12 on Amazon and $19 on Barnes and Noble.

I simply don’t want to pay $7 more for a book that I know I can buy cheaper elsewhere. I placed a whole bunch of items in my Barnes and Noble shopping cart, but I just couldn’t stand the thought of paying more money by purchasing my books there.

I paid $10 for the $20 Groupon to Barnes and Noble, so I will save money, but I think I would’ve saved more money or close to as much money simply by shopping on Amazon in the first place. I considered purchasing one book and one DVD tonight. The two items combined cost $12 less on and I only saved $10 by purchasing the Groupon.

Of course, my Groupon is set to expire in a couple of weeks, so I need to find something to purchase sooner than later. I have a couple of books in mind, but nothing earth shattering.

If you’ve read any good novels lately let me know. I’d love to find something new and enticing!

9 thoughts on “How Does Barnes and Noble Stay in Business”

  1. Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
    The Vanishing by Tim Krabbe
    Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
    The Stand by Stephen King
    The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
    The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
    Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

  2. I wonder the same thing…but I think it's because people like going to bookstores. I know I enjoy nosing around and paging through the various options. I always find something that I don't think I would online (or that's how it seems). Also, sometimes there are specials, like buy two get one free and there are clearance items as well. That being said it's still a little a little baffling, since I can have a very similar experience at a used book store and the merchandise is a fraction of the price.

  3. I used to work at Borders and I think Barnes & Noble has a better infrastructure- better inventory system, etc. Borders' inventory software was hilariously inaccurate. It was a running joke every day when I worked there.

    If you like fantasy novels, I highly recommend Sarah Monette. She's a genius writer! =) I also recommend Steven Brust because he's hilarious.

  4. I just started The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and it's AMAZING. I'm skipping all of my work reading for it right now.

    In terms of how bookstores stay in business, well, do a Google search for recent news on either major chain and you'll see it's not a pretty picture. Borders is in bankruptcy and closing a third of their stores, and B&N tried to put itself up for sale but didn't get any takers. Amazon has been killing their business model for years and is also hurting traditional publishers and authors by selling the books below cost. And that's to say nothing of the independent book stores – remember them?

    People shop at bookstores for many reasons (camaraderie, discovery, recommendations from a person instead of a computer, specials, etc), but there won't be many stores around in the near future.

    I don't want to paint a terribly bleak picture, though – I work in publishing and I love books and bookstores. Correctly managed, a bookstore can fill a great need in a community and I don't think they'll completely disappear any time soon

  5. If there is a risk I might need to return an item, I tend to favor stores with a local location so I don't need to worry about deal with return shipping and restocking fees.

  6. @CometGirl63 – Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for the recommendations. I've heard good things about 'The Friday Night Knitting Club'.

    @Ruby Leigh – There is definitely something to be said for wandering through the isles, but I wonder how many books the typical person buys this way. I think I bought fewer books in store because you can read a few pages and decide whether or not you really like the book. – Borders has always confused me šŸ™‚ Glad to hear I'm not the only one. Thanks for the recommendations. I've added them to my list!

    @Little Miss Moneybags – I absolutely love local mom and pop book stores. A lot of the ones around me have been going out of business and it's a real shame. I bought many a used book from their shelves back in the day.

    @anonymous – Good point on the return issue. I often buy from clothing stores that have a brick and mortar location so I can return items that don't fit.

    @anonymous – It's true that some books are the same price as Amazon, but book for book Amazon definitely has the same and/or lower prices on just about everything.

  7. When you are in a book mood, there are cheaper options than Amazon. Three levels and three more options to explore!
    or join and only pay for media mail shipping when you swap a book with someone else
    or ultimate savings on books — Your Local Library! Free books. Keep a que list online (this is normal at libraries now). The librarians pull them from the shelves for you and then they tell you when they are in and you can just pop in and get them. Free is good. Free without wasted time, priceless!
    Happy reading!


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