Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Beef about Book Stores

First off, part of me feels guilty even bitching about this. I have read how hard it for some people such as Rosario to find books. I’m not sure how easy it is to find romance books “across the pond” either. But I have a beef with the way the “system” works in Canada.
For those who don’t know, there is very little “free enterprise” here. There is one book store chain and only one. A few years ago, there were more. Coles Books and HB Smith Books were the two main chains. Both happened to be located in the mall near where I live and it was wonderful. If I couldn’t find a book in one store, then I could look in the other. Then there was the third choice, Woolco. I don’t know too much about the corporate happenings and I suppose I should do some research, but things changed, and not for the better a few years ago. First of all, Woolco was bought out by Walmart. One of the first changes I noticed was in the book department. Once it became Walmart, the selection changed immediately. When it was Woolco, I could find lesser known books by lesser know publishers but once it became Walmart, there just wasn’t the same selection anymore. Unusual books I could previously count on finding were no longer available. Then not too long after that, the Indigo Book Store Chain absorbed both HB Smith and Coles Book Stores. They the proceeded to open huge box store book stores known as Chapters. Coles still exists but it’s owned by Indigo books. They are located in malls and are much smaller than the Chapters Book Stores

Now you would think a big box type store would mean more of a selection wouldn’t you? Not necessarily. They don’t stock the lesser known publishers and even some of the more well known publishers such as Dorchester, aren’t carried.

This means I miss quite a few books. Luckily, I hear about quite a few of them on-line and I can and do order them. But for less savvy romance readers or those who don’t follow what’s being published via the internet, they are missing out on some very good reads. And authors who I feel deserve better are being left out. Here are just a few of the books I’ve had to order that never showed up in any of their stores.

Fallen from Grace – Laura Leone (Five Star Publishing)
PB Ryan Mysteries
Michele Albert’s - No Way Out
Body Check – Deirdre Martin
CJ Barrry’ earlier books

And I’m sure there are quite a few that I haven’t heard of that I missed because they weren’t on the shelves.

There are a few independent book stores, but there selections are even worse.
So, I will continue to use the internet to ferret out books I might never otherwise even know about. But I feel bad that so many other readers miss so many good books because there just isn’t the competition that there should be.

5 comments:

Tara Marie said...

I hate to admit this, but we've got a Barnes & Noble about 25 minutes away (it's great--great selection), we also have 2 Waldenbooks and a Media Play and a couple of the Wal*Marts have good book departments--maybe you should talk to the Wal*Mart store manager about the poor selection.

What's even better is our local UBS also sells new and will order anything I'm looking for (she even gives 10% off new books,) so I can literally find just about anything and everything.

Maybe one of the indies in your area could special order for you.

Kristie (J) said...

I am SO jealous!

Jaynie R said...

In Australia we have a couple of big chain bookstores (Dymocks and Angus & Robertson) but the romances are squished into one little corner at both my local stores. K-mart carries the category books and a few of the bigger name romance authors. I buy practically all my books online now.

Karen Scott said...

We have a Borders store 15 miles from us, and I frequent there often, but honestly, I find that I have to rely on Amazon more often than not cuz the more obscure authors are usually nowhere to be found there!

So I can sympathise with you!

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