Great Bookstores · Travel

The Seattle Mystery Bookshop v. Amazon :)

As anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will tell you, I am no fan of Amazon. What does that have to do with this fiercely independent bookstore in a town that is not my own? More than you know.

My husband and I visited Seattle in May, and in our time there, we stumbled on this lovely bookstore. While mystery has never really been my “thing”, my husband loves reading mystery and crime novels. Being the voracious reader he is, when we found this bookshop, I knew he would want to go in and take a look.  

We happily wandered the store for about a half an hour to escape the light rain outside. My husband went off into the shelves immediately while I strolled around. I liked the “feeling” of the place. The people behind the front cashier area freely wandered around the store, talking books with customers, and were very nice and helpful. I managed to stumble on a title for myself, and my husband bought a couple for himself.  It was a pleasant experience, and the obvious enthusiasm the booksellers had was infectious. I took their business card, not sure really if I would be able to come up with a post for them, but figured it couldn’t hurt to have on hand just in case.

Flash forward to this morning.  While I was doing my morning rounds of email, Facebook and twitter, I stumbled on this gem of a tweet from Galley Cat: “: Seattle Bookseller refuses to support Amazon’s new mystery imprint. What do you think? “. 

I immediately thought of the bookstore we visited. But on the other hand, Seattle has so many independent bookstores, I wasn’t entirely sure. I decided to click on the story and read. It was rather short, mostly referring to this awesome post on the Seattle Mystery Bookshop’s blog: Can’t Shake the Devil’s Hand and Say You’re Only Kidding.

There’s really nothing for me to add to how they handled the exchange with the author, other than to say that I wholeheartedly agree. I cringed at the stories I saw regarding Amazon deleting books off of their wildly popular Kindle, and their handling of LGBT literature makes me…uneasy at best. I think it’s important for independent stores to stand up for themselves when it comes to companies like Amazon. I’d like to say to the store owner, J.B. Dickey – you are not “the only one who feels this way”.

Related Websites:
Seattle Mystery Bookshop – Seriously, give this store some love! They are knowledgeable and lovely.
on Twitter: @SeattleMystery
on Facebook: Seattle Mystery Bookshop
Seattle Mystery Bookshop Blog

2 thoughts on “The Seattle Mystery Bookshop v. Amazon :)

  1. Thanks for bringing my attention to the article by this bookshop. I think the discussion is an interesting one (and know it is an ongoing conversation). I happen to be a fan of Barnes and Noble and switched my Kindle for a Nook this past year. I also shop at indies and rarely (if ever) on Amazon anymore — mostly because I relish the feeling of a brick and mortar store but also because I think supporting local stores is good for the local economy. 

    Dave, from the response section, makes a very valid point that indies need to pay attention to… Amazon is becoming more than a competitor, it's becoming a successor. However, (like I said above), the B&N model is my favorite — actual store with online benefits. Not that smaller stores can create their own e-readers, but many have created well functioning web sites and even offer e-books (as do local libraries for that matter). So, maybe it's just a matter of helping (and encouraging) indies to grow and adapt to the changing times, while continuing to support them so they can do so?

  2. Yeah I did see Dave's response after I posted this. You're right – he has a valid point.  Maybe because I don't actually own a bookstore, I feel like I can afford to have a truly antagonistic viewpoint regarding their practices in general. I'm sure there is a happy medium to be found somewhere, but Amazon seems to specialize in getting under people's skin (in both a good way and a bad way). 

    In this specific case, I thought it was important to show support for this particular bookstore. Mainly because not only had I visited it personally, but because I admire people who stick to their guns.:)

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