book purchase

Post photo: Books | © Marisa Sias on Pixabay

Buying books has become more and more of a shopping experience à la Kaufland, Lidl and Co. and not just since book chains came into existence. If you know one bookstore, you also know the rest. At least the books displayed there are usually the same.

The display and the books in stock are probably determined by the two or three wholesalers in Germany who also have the books available in the respective online shop. The layout and search results on the bookstore's website can be used to determine which wholesaler supplies them.

In Germany there is definitely the possibility that the book dealers would always go to the website access and search through all the titles available in Germany.

The best way to distinguish bookstores today is by the goods that are otherwise offered. Booksellers seem to be able to make more decisions and be more flexible here.

And because this is now the norm in bookstores, my own shopping behavior has changed accordingly.

First I look at Amazon after. It's the most convenient way to get a book, at least for me.

Then I look at the list of books available in Germany mentioned above. If it can be found there, all I have to do is call a bookstore that also uses it and I can order it from them. A few days later I get it sent.

If both ways are unsuccessful, I use that central directory of antiquarian booksto find the relevant book.

Alternatively, I access the library catalogs and interlibrary loans, especially when it is enough to hold the book in my hands only once.

And only when all of these methods have been unsuccessful do I have to contact a bookseller, who hopefully will ultimately find what he is looking for based on his professional experience.

Really a pity that there is hardly any bookstores where you can browse for books without being overwhelmed by the myriad of publications that are also available from Rossmann or other discounters.

"Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry."

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (1980)

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