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Amazon Might Not Be Such a Bad Guy After All

10/27/2013 Comments (17)


Amazon might not be a Big Bad Wolf after all. According to Quartz, Amazon’s domination of book-selling isn’t necessarily knocking small bookstores on their backsides. In fact, it’s the big guys who are feeling the crunch.

Remember Borders? They've been out of business for over two years. And Barnes & Noble, despite being my favorite shopping destination, had dismal financial results for their fiscal year ending in April.

Indie bookstores--those local gems owned and operated by the people down the street--have actually be increasing. There are MORE independent bookstores now than there were in 2009.

According to Quartz:

There is very little difference between big, impersonal chain stores selling books and a big, impersonal website selling books. Independent retailers, on the other hand, have a lot to offer that Amazon cannot: niche coffee, atmosphere, serendipitous discoverability of new titles and authors, recommendations from knowledgable staff, signings and events, to name a few.

This gives me great hope, in part because I'm guilty of buying Catholic books from Amazon, despite the fact that there's a Catholic bookstore in our area (more than one, in fact). What that local bookstore offers me, though is far different from what I find on Amazon. In addition to being able to get high on the actual smell and feel of actual books, I can also check out other religious articles, talk to people I've known for years, and get ideas I wouldn't have had otherwise.

There's something to be said for Amazon. But there's something to be said for the little guy too. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so.

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard
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Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom, writer, parish worker and catechist, and coffee drinker. You’re just as likely to find her hiding out back with a book as you are to discover her playing in the yard with a few farm animals (or wait — are those her kids?) She is the author of many books, the most recent of which she co-edited with Lisa Hendey: The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections. She blogs at and writes online regularly at and Integrated Catholic Life. Reinhard holds a master’s degree in marketing and communications and has worked for many years in corporate and nonprofit organizations. She lives in central Ohio with her husband and children.