Sunny's bookshelf
Sunny's bookshelf photo by Judy Solomon

Online book reviews since 2011, the very best in reviewing – connecting good readers with equally good writers

I Didn't Buy It On Amazon

Holiday Shopping Message – 2020

HOLIDAY SHOPPING MESSAGE – 2020

First of all, my holiday shopping message is to thank all of you readers who have visited Bookin’ with Sunny throughout this most disturbing year. A special thanks to all of you who have bought books based on our reviews,

I believe next to a cure for Covid, peace in the world, and food in the belly; BOOKS are always the perfect gift. I hope when you buy those books during this Holiday Season, you will buy from your local independent bookstore and not Amazon.

Independent bookstores need our support more than ever. They can do everything Amazon can do except to sell their books at a loss. Because of the stay-at-home dictates to combat the virus, your local bookstores will happily give you curbside service, shipping, and some stores have opened with very health-wise in-store purchasing. If you think Amazon gives a rat’s whatever about the condition of your roads, your schools, your police, or any other community asset, think again.

Back in June 2014, I wrote the following, and with some edits, I am reposting it:

Everyone who comes to Bookin’ with Sunny knows that I wholeheartedly support independent bookstores. Several months ago, I removed the Amazon button from my website. Of course, if a visitor wants to buy the books we review from Amazon, they can, just not directly from our site. We support all independent bookstores, locally, nationally, and internationally. I also strongly support used bookstores, although the bookseller is the only person who profits from used books. It is still a great way to discover an overlooked author, one you can then go out a buy one of her new books.

Friends and family have heard me rant for years about what I think is Amazon’s threat not only to bookstores and the health of our local economies but American literature itself. Six years later, I have not changed my thinking.

Who can forget Stephen Colbert’s march into the fray? We have Mr. Colbert to thank for the bright red stickers to slap onto every book not bought from Amazon. Par for the course, Mr. Colbert makes us laugh, but he also points out Amazon’s seldom talked about subject of its attack on writers.

Next, one of my favorite authors, Sherman Alexie, came on Colbert’s show to go one better by encouraging us not to buy anything from Amazon. I won’t go that far, but do not buy books from Amazon.

And one of the most meaningful rants was spoken by author James Patterson. He, too, is concerned about the fate of American literature. Not only has Patterson addressed the issue of Amazon’s pricing, but it’s deep-rooted effect on reading. Patterson is now actively involved in support of both libraries and independent bookstores.

I hear most often from Amazon book buyers that Amazon prices are the lowest, and they quickly get their book. I’m not sure how much we actually benefit from price or speed. How much richer are you for having bought your books through Amazon, especially the eBooks? Is a new house in your future? Maybe that new car? And about speedy deliveries: if the purchase is hardcover or paper, do you sit down and read the book as soon as it’s delivered? Have you asked your local bookstore how quickly they can get the same book for you? You can buy the eBook from your local bookstore. Hey, they even have e-devices (Kobo) to sell you if you don’t have one already. Egads! Most can deliver a book, if not in stock, in one or two days. And what if the wait is even longer? Since when did we readers become so addicted to reading that we can’t stand to wait? It makes us sound like children: “I want it, I want it now.” Wah, wah, wah. (I knew I couldn’t get through this without some knee-jerking.)

Most of the books we review at Bookin’ with Sunny are gratis, Advanced Review Copies. Whatever books I continue to buy for myself (more than I should) are always purchased from independent bookstores, new and used.

Amazon tells its customers that it wants to sell books at the lowest possible prices for the good of the reading public. I think we readers need to tell Mr. Bezos that we can’t afford his books at any price.  Let the shopping begin!  –  Sunny Solomon

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