Please Stop Lecturing Me About Amazon

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People love to try to convince others to do the same things we do. I’ve seen this with so many different people for so long. The biggest one I notice in the bookish community is trying to get people to shop in local indies (or really any local brick-and-mortar bookstore) rather than buying books through Amazon or B&N’s website.

What I’ve also noticed is that a lot of the time this goes from someone trying to encourage a certain behavior to lecturing you because you don’t agree with them or don’t want to change what you’re doing or can’t change what you’re doing. It gets really tiring really quickly.

Here’s the thing. I get that physical bookstoresΒ are struggling. I get that Amazon is taking over the market and also has some less-than-stellar business practices. I GET IT. And I agree with you, at least on a theoretical level, that people should do what they can to support local stores that are struggling to stay in business over a multi-billion dollar company that really doesn’t need your support.

But for me, this is not always a feasible option. I don’t have a lot of money. I’m a college student drowning in student debt. If I can get a book on Amazon for $8 that I would have to pay $18 for in an indie store, I’m going to get it for $8.

When people lecture me and tell me that I’m not a “good” bookworm because I buy a lot of my books from Amazon (or from B&N’s website which is considerably cheaper than their physical stores), it just makes me feel guilty. I’d love to be able to pay list price for every book, but I can’t. And you’re putting the faults of the entire system of capitalism onto my shoulders.

The other issue with this is that not everyone has a local bookstore to support! If you live in a city, you may have plenty of bookstores near you. But people in smaller towns or suburbs or rural areas often don’t have that luxury. There are people who have to drive an hour or longer just to get to a bookstore. Are you suggesting that they shouldn’t be able to get books in a way that’s more convenient and less of a hassle for them?

I understand that you’re trying to help stores that you love and want to see succeed. By all means, continue to support these stores. And feel free to encourage (The key word here is encourage. Not lecture.) people to do the same. But please, I am begging you, stop making people feel guilty for going for cheaper or more accessible options.

Does it annoy you when people lecture you on where you buy your books?


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53 thoughts on “Please Stop Lecturing Me About Amazon

  1. I could not agree more! I’m also a college student struggling to make ends meet and failing most of the time, so I totally get it. Of course, I would love to support indie bookstores and of course I am aware Amazon is eating the market, but I can’t pay full price for books. Does that mean I should not be allowed to read? I don’t think so! There’s a major indie bookstore in Bordeaux, it’s the only one that has English books, and I would love to help them but when it means I have to pay 5euros more for the same book, I’m sorry but I’d rather buy food. If you can afford to go 100% indie and live comfortably, good for you, but don’t pressure people who can’t follow your example, sometimes it is not a choice, but a necessity. And even if it is not, everyone is allowed to go their way, whatever it is Amazon or an indie bookstore

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself! I think so many people just need to keep in mind that what is possible for them is not what’s possible for everyone. There are so many people that just kind of have the idea of “well, if I can do it, why can’t everyone else?” which doesn’t take into account people’s financial situations or even availability of bookstores to them.

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  2. I agree completely! Here in Australia books are so expensive – and never in hardback! It’s honestly like $15-$20 paperback, which is ridiculous. If it means that I have to shop online to get a decent price, then I will. (and even then, if there ain’t free shipping, I’m not buying).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha I get so frustrated when it’s not free shipping. I know that prices for books outside the US can be even more ridiculous. I have a hard time paying $20 for a hardcover, I can’t imagine having to pay that much for paperback. I know some countries prices are even higher. Who can afford that?!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely agree, people definitely shouldn’t lecture/harass other people while trying to get them to see their point of view! Amazon (and it’s sub business book depository) are places that I often go to buy books online, mostly because they’re half the price of what they are in the stores; BUT I do also see where these people are coming from. While I do still buy from there, I’ve made a conscious effort to either buy from sales (there are loads, you just have to know where to look), thrift stores (you can find some gems in here) or go to the library! That way, I’ll only be buying the books that I really enjoyed – then I can go and support a local bookshop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree. Like I said, I understand why they don’t want to support Amazon. But they often go way too far with trying to get other people to agree with them. I’m the same way – I love shopping at used book stores or thrift shops and I’ll gladly go to a local store if they’re having a sale or something. I love supporting indies, but I can’t afford to do it all the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you πŸ’― Kourtni! I haven’t come across any bookworm shamers personally but I’m very well aware that they exist lol. To each his/her own is my motto. I shop online & in store but the prices at Indie & chain stores can be hefty. I honestly buy in store at B&N only if I have a coupon to combine with my membership. Otherwise online it is. I’m sorry but to those shaming—- I’m reading for pleasure not to bleed my pockets dry. If you can manage the higher prices then go for it but like you said, not everyone can. In the end, how you get your books shouldn’t warrant shaming from anyone. Great post! πŸ‘πŸΌ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Completely agree with you! I’m happy to shop in store at B&N if I have a coupon and if I can get in there since there isn’t really one close to me.
      There’s a FB group that I’m a part of for readers and every single time someone posts about them buying books from Amazon or them wanting to buy a Kindle, there’s this one person who will write an entire freaking essay on their post telling them how Amazon is evil. And I just sit there like fuming because this person is so condescending and needs to relax and let people shop how they can and how they want. It’s so frustrating.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol smh they’d hate me then because I plan on visiting the Amazon retail store they’ve opened up πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ that’s terrible though, I really wish people would mind their own pockets & preferences 😌

        I live in the city, Barnes is a couple train stops away but if ever I leave the city I’d probably be in your same situation.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jeez! No way smh, honestly technology has pushed paper out & although very sad, that’s what led to the closing of many branches. My local library’s shelves hold the bare minimum. Many rows remain empty so I have no choice but to buy. At the rate that I read, I’d have to eat my books to survive if I were to pay the high prices…I’d have no funds for food lol. To read, I’ve gotten bargain savy. We can’t all be big ballers πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I did not know that this was a thing, people lecturing others about where they buy their books. WTH?! I live in NYC and Indie bookstores are way more expensive than B&N. I love The Strand Bookstore, but some of the books are expensive. Even Shakespeare and Company is expensive. $20 for a hardcover when I can get it online for $10? You could get two HCs online for the price of one HC in store. That sounds like a better deal to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree! Sometimes Amazon has hardcovers for $7-8 so why spend $20 on one? And yeah, a lot of people will either directly tell you that you should be supporting indies or they’ll post really vague tweets or something basically saying that if you buy from Amazon, you’re the reason for some of their less-than-stellar business practices. They’re getting mad at the wrong people, IMO.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely agree. Don’t get me wrong, I love physical bookstores and I’d rather support them that a corporate giant. But I’m not made of money either. I can’t afford to spend $20 on book I can get for $10. Maybe it comes down to bookstores needing to find a way to bridge the gap between what readers want and can afford.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I mean I’d love to buy all my books from physical stores, but that would buying a LOT less books than I do now when I buy from Amazon. I don’t know if it’d be realistic to expect bookstores to pay lower prices (the bigger the store, the cheaper they’re typically able to get things), but if they could, I do think they’d see a lot more business.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If they couldn’t lower prices, maybe they could have some sort of incentive. Chapters/Indigo for example, has a decent rewards system that is sometimes an incentive to shop with them. But I know that can end up being the same issue as lowering prices.

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  7. I luckily have yet to have someone lecture me on where to buy books! I definitely agree with you, if I can get a book cheaper on Amazon I will! I do try to shop in bookshops but they don’t always have the right books and even if they do I find that usually they only have one damaged copy. It is so annoying! Amazon is so easy. I don’t understand why people are book snobs, there really is no need for it. As long as people love to read, does it really matter where they got the book from?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree. I actually had that “one damaged copy” thing happen to me a couple of months ago. I was at B&N and wanted to buy A Court of Thorns and Roses and they had one paperback that had a bent cover and it cost like $12. Why would I pay that much for a damaged book? lol I’ve never had issues with Amazon giving me damaged books and theirs are much cheaper (just looked it up – paperback of ACOTAR is less than $7 on Amazon. Point proven).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think my worst damaged book experience was a few weeks ago when I went to get a copy of Fairest. They only had one and the pages were stuck together, I experimented to see if it would be easy to separate them, it would have ripped pages out! I have to think that in those situations even the book snobs would go online! I got my copy of Fairest online a lot cheaper and in perfect condition and nobody is going to tell me I shouldn’t have done it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I very nearly took it to a member of staff to ask them to take it off the shelf because it would be better to say they don’t have a copy than to sell someone something they would be unable to read but I was in a hurry so I couldn’t. I hope someone else has done so, but if someone bought it without noticing, I feel really bad for them!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my gosh thank you so much for this post! I usually feel guilty for buying books off of Amazon and B&N, too, but you’ve captured the truth of this situation perfectly – I can get books for as much as half off on these sites instead of relying upon indie stores or even going to a physical bookstore. You’re absolutely right; there’s no need to feel guilty about this at all! We should be proud that we’re saving money and can buy several books for the cost of one!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This post is perfect! I completely agree with you. Like you, I’m a student slowly drowning in student debt. I work online and make half of what I used to make working in a grocery store just because it’s more practical for me currently. So, being able to buy books for cheap online is incredible. I wouldn’t be able to bookshop if that didn’t exist. I actually have a local used bookstore that sells for REALLY cheap too, but it’s nearly 30 minutes from where I live so I can’t go a lot and more often than not they don’t have all of the new releases. I’m all for supporting bookstores, but the convenience and discount that Amazon provides is more practical for me than what I would spend going to B&N to buy all of my books. And no one should be made to feel guilty because they can’t afford the luxury of such a thing, we’re all here to support reading and a love for books either way. Our goals are the same even if our book buying differs. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear ya! People who try to make others feel guilty for going with cheaper online shopping have probably never been in the position where they NEED to buy things as cheap as possible. At least we’re still buying books and not downloading them illegally. THAT would be bad. But we’re still paying for our books, so leave us alone lol

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow I didn’t know people actually went to the hassle of lecturing others about this! Sure, I’ve heard it a few times, people promoting independent bookstores and physical bookstores, but I’ve never seen it get to the stage where they call you a bad bookworm for not doing so. I get most of my books from Amazon too, and I see no problem with it. I have very little money, yet I’m still choosing to spend it supporting authors and building my collection of books. I’ll always love going to the actual bookstore more, and do buy from there whenever I can, but it’s just not practical most of the time when it comes to money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh it happens hahaha It does seem ridiculous and if I hadn’t seen it myself and been made to feel guilty about it, I’d be pretty shocked too. But yeah I completely agree with you. I’ll always love buying from physical bookstores, but I can’t afford to do it 100% of the time, especially not with the amount of books I buy hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Even people who work in publishing order from Amazon. As you said, it’s cheaper. If your choice comes down to buying the book from Amazon or not buying it at all, there it is. Even if you DO have the money to buy something for a higher price somewhere else, the capitalist nature of our society means you often won’t. I find it hard to blame people for that, unless a certain business is really, really deplorable. But the reality is that Amazon is good at what they do. They’re cheaper and more convenient than many other options. There’s a certain extent to which they deserve their success. People wouldn’t buy from them if they weren’t providing decent services and products.

    Anyway, I actually buy relatively few books at all. I buy them for gifts, but for myself I often go to the library. Yes, I enjoy reading, but I also don’t think it’s my personal moral duty to fund authors, publishing houses, or bookstores. If you’re a bad bookworm, I’m probably worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Also, these people never know someone’s circumstances. I don’t own a car. (And can’t afford one.) I walk just about everywhere. So, honestly, it’s a really tough sell for someone to tell me I ought to walk 30 min to the indie bookstore (at least I have, I guess), pay $20-$35 for a hardcover, and then walk 30 min. back home when I could just stay at home and have the book delivered to me for, say, only $15.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha it’s kind of funny – buying from Amazon apparently makes you a bad bookworm, but I’ve never seen someone say that borrowing from a library does the same. I love borrowing from the library too, especially when I’m low on funds or when I’m not sure if I’ll like a certain book but still want to read it. πŸ™‚

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      • I do think there are questionable things about Amazon, and I’m not sure why there aren’t more questions raised about a potential monopoly. But I consider that a legal issue and not necessarily my personal problem. Of course, don’t shop there is their ethics bother you, but I think there’s enough gray area about the whole thing there’s no point in harassing people who do shop there. I bought a Kindle and not another e-reader because I think Amazon has the best service for that. If B&N wants me to buy a Nook, they need to provide a better product.

        But, yeah, that’s interesting. I should be the bad bookworm for barely buying books at all, but no one bothers me about it. (Although I’ve noticed people tend to just assume I buy a lot more books than I do.) I’ve tried a lot of books from the library that I definitely would not have been confident enough to spend money on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I completely agree. I think capitalism in general is going to create unethical business practices, but I don’t view it as my personal responsibility to try to fix that lol If you want to try to make your voice heard and make it known that you don’t support the business for X reason, go for it. But it’s such a huge issue that you really shouldn’t blame individual people who don’t feel like it’s their responsibility or who don’t feel like they’re able to fight it. I bought a Kindle for the same reason – I feel it’s genuinely a better product than any other e-reader that’s out there. Why should I pay for a sub-par service? It doesn’t make sense.

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  13. Not a lot of people have lectured me on where to buy my books actually…but I can imagine how annoying it would be! After all, Amazon is just convenient and honestly, I understand being a college student and having very little money. I’m sorry that people have been lecturing you on choosing Amazon over local bookstores – that’s horrible 😦
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I totally understand. I wish I could shop in bookstores but I feel like the books are too expensive for me and I can never find the book I’m looking for. I feel like the bookstores by me have limited options. For example, I love hardback books so incredible much. I’m willing to spend extra money to buy them; however, as soon as the paperback book comes out, I feel like all the hardcovers for that book disappear from the bookstore. So online is easier for me to find hardcovers. Plus, again, it’s cheaper, especially being on such a tight budget. I’m not sure were you live, but if you live in the United States or Canada and havent’ heard of it, Bookoutlet.com has some great deals on a lot of books. They also give out a lot of coupons, One of my favorite book online stores. (:

    Amber @ bibliomaniacbibliophile

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really does get hard to find hardcovers in stores once the paperback has been released. I personally don’t care since I actually prefer paperbacks, but for anyone who likes to have hardcovers, I can definitely see why buying books online would be easier. I love Book Outlet! I did one huge order back in February and March and still haven’t read a single one so I’m trying not to order more from them until I’ve gotten through a few of the ones I have hahaha

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  15. I completely get you. I too am so tired of people who are constantly badgering about how readers buying books online shouldn’t do so, I mean wtf? If there is a store online which is selling the book cheap, then why not buy it? I too don’t have the advantage of local bookstores and I envy people who can go to local bookstores or second hand stores but well, if it’s not there near your house then it’s not there! Nothing you can do about it.

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  16. Yesss at this post!!! I COMPLETELY agree. I mostly read ebooks so I get a lot of that “you’re not supporting books” thing πŸ˜‚ but like I live in the middle of nowhere and it it’s so much more convenient to buy ebooks or buy my books online. I have a local bookstore in my town, but most times it’s $25AUD for a PAPERBACK and I can not justify that at all. I don’t think it’s fair for people to try and say others aren’t real fans of books or helping the community when we’re all in different situations. If I lived in America I would be using Amazon for everything, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amazon is a life-saver tbh I buy so many things on there because it’s cheap and I have prime so I can get it in 2 days. When I’m at school, I have to walk 20-30 minutes to get to Target where I could buy the stuff I need. I don’t have time for that lol And when I’m at home I need to drive to get anywhere but I don’t have my license so if someone can’t bring me, Amazon it is. πŸ˜› It’s just so convenient and really cheap. I can find books for less than half their retail price on there. I’m not going to spend money that I don’t need to spend, you know? $25 for a paperback is crazy. I don’t even like spending $18 on a hardcover hahaha I think as long as people are actually buying books and not illegally downloading them, everyone should just mind their own business πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  18. I work in the back end of the publishing industry, in warehousing and fulfillment. It’s interesting because I know firsthand that Amazon under buys the books from publishers-authors, finding ways of giving them such a teeny tiny profit margin (if any), and that way they can turn around and sell the books for so cheap. They’re a publishing/author nightmare, since they also can’t afford to not do business with Amazon. Amazon rules the industry these days.

    I know this firsthand, yet I still buy more than half of my books from Amazon. I can’t afford to spend 20-30 dollars on a book from the store that I could get for 8-15. Now, i will do things like, if it’s not marked down on Amazon (most mass market paperback’s aren’t discounted) I’ll then just buy it from the bookstore. But, if I can get a mark down I’m going to take it. Consumers are struggling the same way the bookstores are. Money is tight for a lot of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly – I think in people’s desperation to do what they can to help struggling bookstores, they forget that there are a lot of people who are struggling too.
      I’m the same way when it comes to prices though – if the cost is the same at a bookstore as it is on Amazon, I’ll gladly buy from them. Like I said, I like to support them when I can, but it’s just not always possible for me.

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  19. I just randomly came across your post and wanted to chime in. First, I’m sorry that people have made you feel that way. I’ve never come across anyone who has made any comments regarding my book buying habits. I shop everywhere for different reasons – Amazon ( for ebooks, their amazing selection and my husband is an employee), Independent stores ( because of their quirky selections, it’s where I made the best book discoveries), book fairs/ book conferences ( I love small presses) and I get free books from publishers to review. I’m in the industry and I can assure you this, buying books and supporting authors is what matters most, wherever you choose to shop. The fact that you’re a reader, book lover, and that you support the literary arts is what matters, not where you specifically buy your books. I’m not saying it isn’t a nice thing to be able to support your local bookstore, but no one should shame you for shopping elsewhere.

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