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 bookstores 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.