Some things just can’t be done properly online.

I’m in the minority of readers who don’t buy most of their books from Amazon. Amazon is my last resort. I have a few excuses for this. My husband won’t replace our ancient, tiny mailbox that is not a locking one, and is too small for books anyway. And packages are not safe on our porch. A large tropical plant used to conceal them from passersby, but it died in California’s drought and now everything is plainly visible.  

And now for the plain honest truth. I enjoy driving to brick-and-mortar bookstores. There are some small, charming local bookstores near me but I prefer Barnes and Noble. The closest B&N is a 25-mile drive that I love, along rolling hills with horses and cows grazing and beautiful homes. Inside B&N I have real-time conversations. One day I spoke on the phone with a young woman, Sarah, who helpfully located some books and put them on hold for me. I went to get them the next day and she helped me in person. It was nice to have a friendly real-time chat with this charming young woman. You don’t talk to anyone at Amazon. Do real people work there? It’s scary.

Here’s another plain honest truth. The real reason I prefer B&N to Amazon and charming little bookstores is that B&N has food and drink. I love to peruse my purchases over a doppio espresso and a sea-salted chocolate caramel, which I daren’t keep at home. I love chocolate and caffeine as I love books. I’m a plump, chocolate- and caffeine-craving, conversation-seeking older woman. Amazon is not for the likes of me.

 

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