Why Does Wal Mart Sell Books?

Serious question. I can name one person off the top of my head who I know buys books fairly regularly from Wal Mart. I’ve definitely done my share of browsing the books at Wal Mart, but my memory tells me I’ve never actually bought a book from there. I usually just look to see if I know which books they’ll have in stock without even thinking about it.

If I set up my tripod near the books and threw Harry’s invisibility cloak over the top of it I’d see just how few people actually stop to take a look at them. I own something like 250 books. But when I think of Wal Mart I think of groceries, essentials, and TVs.

I’ve bought books from Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon, Half Price Books, Murder by the Book in Houston, and the Wal Mart website. We have so many options at this point that I just don’t see any benefit for a grocery store to sell such a limited number of books. They sell mega bestselling new releases and ultra popular older ones. The problem is that just about anyone who’d be interested in buying these particular books has bought them elsewhere.

Also, Target does a MUCH better job with their books than Wal Mart does. Better titles and better selection in every store I’ve been in. But still, I haven’t bought from there either.

My question still stands. Why does Wal Mart sell books? 

Stop Saying Barnes and Nobles

How hard is it? Something I see almost every single day is other bloggers talking about going to “Barnes and Nobles”. And I just don’t get it. Do you say you’re going to Wal Marts? Or that you’re going to Targets? Or maybe Books-a-Millions? No to all three of those? Oh. That’s surprising.

The next time you go to your neighborhood Barnes and Noble store, stop and take a look at the name on the outside of the building. Take a second to read it as it is written and not as you’ve been saying it for the last ten years. And then once you do that, stop adding that stupid “s” to the end.

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?