Thursday, April 26, 2012

Here's The Thing

I've blogged from time to time about buying local.  I shop at farmers markets, I try to "buy American" when possible.  This year I am patronizing local nurseries for my seeds and plants instead of buying a lot of seeds mailorder because one of the best nurseries was flooded out twice in 2011- but one thing I rarely do is visit my local indie bookstore.  (I admit to being a very heavy user of the local public library).

Today, I did visit the local bookstore and now I have a decision to make.

RiverRead, I haven't visited you in months!  Inexcusable for someone who loves to read and works in easy walking distance from you.  And, at that, you were flooded back in September.  I must put my money where my keyboard is and buy something form you.

So, today I went into the store.  After a few minutes of browsing, Pat (a co-owner) offered me a cup of coffee.  I took her up on it.  I especially enjoyed the fact that the sugar was sugar cubes - and that, next to the coffee pot (coffee purchased from Toms, a local store in Binghamton) was a very nice selection of herbal teas.

Then I saw The Perfect Book.  Not for me, but for a loved one.  A certain occasion is coming up the beginning of June that calls for a gift.  I looked through the book.  Had I wanted to, there was a nearby cozy chair to curl up in.  The book would be just perfect for that person.

But (as TV detective Adrian Monk used to say) "Here's the thing."

It was $40.  That's not an easy purchase for cheaps...I mean, frugal, me. So I paused a bit, browsed a little more, and left.

When I got home, I looked up the book on  I don't buy from them that much, but I have always had great experiences with them, and I am a Prime member to get their streaming TV.  And, I know they sometimes offer deep discounts on books. was selling the book for $24.39 and I would have free 2 day shipping with my Prime membership.

So....again, "Here's the thing".
Local bookstore, friendly owner, holds "meet the author" events, has a lot of interesting books, buys local themselves:  $40. does nothing I know of for our upstate community but its cost is some $15. less. Same book.
Shipping from some distant warehouse would take additional natural resources, so the local store would be the "greener" purchase.

I don't need it until early June so time isn't a factor.

The little devil on my shoulder said "Buy it from Amazon.  You could do that and still have a little less than $15. left to buy something at the local store."  OK....

The little angel on my other shoulder said "RiverRead. Do The Right Thing."

Should I put my money where my keyboard is and Buy Local?

If it was you....what would you do?


  1. Ooh, that's a tough one, but if time is not the limiting factor, then I'd lean toward supporting the local store.

    I'm also an Amazon Prime member (we wind up in some odd places & their 2 day shipping gets some essentials to us without me having to hunt several stores in new town to find), but you'll notice that I don't have an Amazon referral buy button on my book blog, despite some folks' urging, and that I often remind readers to try their local library or bookstore for the books that I recommend.

    But when time is of the essence (oh, days of sudden college textbook needs!), I'm a-gonna run with Amazon....
    **Katy M
    Recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers at
    Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove

  2. IF it were me, I'd buy from Amazon, but then again I purchase from them from time to time, and I also like the discount price they offer. My family lives on my husbands VA disability, so we're always watching where our pennies go. Sure there are some things that I just "have" to purchase local, but it's not often. I have my favorite "mom n' pop" shops that I love to frequent and although they are a bit more expensive, the family feeling I get when in there can't be beat. SO this is a tough question, and a great thought-provoking one at that! I wish you luck in making your decision!

  3. See here's the thing. I try to buy local too and not purchase anything from China. Last year when I needed sneakers I found out that NewBalance is the only sneaker manufacturer that makes a portion of their sneakers in the US. I went to my local Bob's (a place to get inexpensive stuff) and they had NB sneakers for about $60.00. I could have bought the sneakers there and been done with it. BUT we have a local NB Store and in order for me to let the manufacturer know HOW much I appreciate them making their product in the US I went to that store. I very clearly told the salesperson why I was there. I was fitted for the sneakers and an insert and it cost me $150 more than I would have paid at Bob's. Was it worth it? I'm not sure, but I was trying to stand behind my principals.

    Probably a really useless comment. LOL

  4. Thank you, everyone who commented! All very thoughtful, and I thank you. I still haven't made up my mind but you all had interesting perspectives on the matter. In a way, I'm relieved to know I'm far from the only one pondering this issue.


Thank you for visiting! Your comments mean a lot to me, and I appreciate each one. These comments are moderated, so they may not post for several hours. If you are spam, you will find your comments in my compost heap, where they will finally serve a good purpose.