Do You Have a Favorite Indie Bookstore?

Last year sometime I asked about favorite bookstores. But I was talking more about Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Borders, Books A Million, or whichever major chain you have near you in which you get your books. But now I’m only talking indies.

I have to first be honest, I very rarely shop in my favorite indie bookstore. It’s just too expensive for me. I buy all of my books new, but doing so there would be ridiculous. So there, that’s out of the way.

My favorite is a store called Murder by the Book in Houston. It’s been around since the 80s and they host a couple hundred author events every year, mostly for crime writers. And these events are well attended. I’ve only been to two, but I’ve seen pictures of others in which there were people lined up outside. Besides all the events the store hosts each year, one of my favorite aspects is the feel when you walk in. I mean, the Barnes and Noble a few miles away from me is nice. I just went for the first time in over a year last week. But it still has that store feel. At least for me. Murder by the Book feels more…like your neighbor’s house with a lot of books. I think. It’s hard to describe. And the people are rather nice.

Anyway, that’s all about my favorite indie bookstore. Here are a couple pictures from inside Murder by the Book.

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Tell me about your favorite indie bookstore.

Your Favorite Bookstore

ImagePhoto Credit: BookRiot

There once was a time in which a reader had many options as to where to buy his or her next book, at least here in the US. We had Borders, and Barnes and Noble, a number of indie bookstores, Book-A-Million, and then of course, Amazon. Okay, that wasn’t quite as many as I thought, but let’s move on. I’ve pretty much gone through every bookstore I have over here at some point in time.

Way back in my high school years when I first started buying books for myself, I’d go to Barnes and Noble and do what millions of others do everyday, I’d find my next book. I wouldn’t go with a specific author in mind or a book or anything. I’d just browse the mystery section and take a chance on something that caught my eye. But this didn’t last. Barnes and Noble charges full list price for books, and I can’t be the only one who doesn’t have eight or nine dollars every time I want to buy a paperback. So I switched.

Then came the days of going to Borders. This was in the year or two leading up to their bankruptcy. They would email me coupons every week for 30-40% off any item. I mean, yes, please! AND if they didn’t have the book in store, I could order online and have it delivered to the store for free. I remember getting several books for a whopping $5.21 after the discount. I know I’m an author and all that, but you CANNOT pass that kind of deal up. But then the company closed its doors and I made a dash to the store located about seconds from my house. I think I bought five books that day.

Then came Amazon. See, I knew I didn’t want to go back to Barnes and Noble, but I’d never bought anything from Amazon before. My apprehension soon faded when I realized that Amazon had a buy 3, get fourth free deal on millions of paperbacks! It was almost too good to be true. But I took advantage of this deal more times than I can possibly recount now. And I thought four books at a time was the perfect number. But then like all good things in life, the deal came to an end. It was roughly at the start of 2013 or the end of 2012 that they did away with the deal. I’ve read on forums that people were livid that Amazon could do this. I wasn’t all that upset, Amazon is a business, right? Imagine the millions of free books they’d given away during the time of their promotion.

Then came another switch. I’d known forever that Wal-Mart sold books online, I’d even bought one before several years ago. But I never knew how cheap they were! Wal-Mart was cheaper than Borders (with their coupons) and Amazon with the 4-3 deal. How!? Around the holiday season last year, they ran a promotion in which all books available in their online store were 40% off. That meant that most titles would drop to $4.79! Yes, I was in heaven. And yes, I bought a lot of books before that promotion also eventually ended. Now I’m back with Amazon. But I no longer buy three or four books at a time. Mostly just one or two. Which is fine since I’m hardly reading anyway.

So now you know my journey through all the bookstores I’ve known, what’s your favorite bookstore?