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Why I no longer buy books at Barnes & Noble

Posted by Nathan House, in Books 24 February 2013 · 1,870 views

Bookstores have a special place in my heart. I love the atmosphere, the smell of thousands of books, and the opportunity to peruse the literature. But despite that, I no longer purchase books from my local Barnes & Noble. I still go to the store every once and a while - as I said, I love the atmosphere - but I no longer buy anything, except perhaps from the Starbucks inside. The reason: books in Barnes & Noble stores are ridiculously overpriced.

Take my most recent book purchase, for example: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. I was hesitant to buy the book because:
  • It's still only available in hardback, which is expensive
  • There have been a lot of negative reviews for it
However, when I saw it on Amazon for $19.89, I decided the price had come down enough that I was willing to buy it. Since I'm impatient and would rather pick up a book in-store the same day as opposed to waiting a few days for it to arrive in the mail, I checked the the price on the Barnes & Noble website. Excitingly, the Barnes & Noble price was $20.48, so I went to the store to pick it up! When I went to checkout, the price of the book was not $20.48 - it was $35! Apparently, I forgot that Barnes & Noble does not honor their online prices (even if you use the "Pick Up In Store" feature).

So what did I do? After getting home, I ordered the book on Amazon - with free 2-day shipping since I'm a prime member - and saved myself $15.11. What's ironic is that after doing this I remembered the the exact same thing happened when I bought the A Song of Ice and Fire boxed set last fall. I should have remembered.

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