Skip to main content

Online vs Offline bookstores

There has been a deluge of support for local bookstores across the internet. I am going to take the contrarian view on this and say that buying books online is much better.
Physical bookstores suck to say the least. I remember my experiences way back when I was a kid and hunting for something to read. The people who ran the shops would usually know nothing about the books whatsoever. I remember looking for American Gods by Neil Gaiman and being asked to spell his name and Gaiman is no small fry by any stretch of imagination. The guys there know absolutely nothing of what I want. Next once by some chance you find the book that you are looking for you have to stand in line to get the thing billed. The whole process is lengthy and painful to say the least. Also till recently most books didn't let you read when you got to the shop which means that you would have to buy the book just based on the blurbs without any other signal.
Buying books online is just easier and better. You can look for reviews. Most books have extracts so it is easy to get a feeler for the book. The billing is far easier and makes for a much better experience. They deliver the books to your place. My reading for once has increased tremendously since online book stores came into the picture.
The romanticists claim that bookshops curate and there is no better way to discover books than on the shelves but that is a bunch of nonsense and a way of clinging to the past. The internet has tons of curated content and is a much better way to discover books. There are recommendation engines so far ahead that no one else can complete. Librarything and goodreads usually give me the best recommendations.
Old businesses give way to new ones. Its a fact of life. Local bookstores should move on and accept that online is simply better. There is no way they can compete with the quantity and quality of offer.
Amazon is not an enemy of books.. They have probably done more for increasing reading in the last 10 years other than Harry Potter.


Popular posts from this blog

An ode to Hall 1

This goes out to Hall 1, the hostel where all the 4th year students of IIT Kanpur live. Indeed this hostel serves as a meeting ground between familiar foes some of who go on to become friends. A lot of factors make Hall 1 what it is. It acquires a mythic quality right from the first year when juniors are often threatened with “Aaj raat hall 1 main chal”. The seniors who live in Hall 1 seem to have a totally different existence as compared to the rest of the campus. On a visit to the hostel in the first year all one hears is the constant swearing, and sees everyone in shorts or in suits. Legends surround Hall 1 and in our first year the stories we hear are of Hall 1 and none other. Indeed Hall 1 residents perpetuate this myth as well acting as if they are the scariest beings on the campus. Indeed the fear is such that if a fresher goes to Hall 1 they are not expected to come back. There is something about Hall 1 that separates it from the rest of the Halls. For starters, Hall 1 has

Places to eat in Kanpur

Our real exploration of Kanpur began in our 5th year when we had our stipend to spend so hopefully this article will prove helpful to all the foodies out there. Surprisingly(and I really mean this) there are a number of terrific places to eat in Kanpur. Hopefully this article will prove helpful to many who are looking forward to spend their stipends. By far the best way to reach places to eat in Kanpur is to catch the bus that the institute provides. The bus runs everyday(except Sunday) at 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm. The bus returns at around 10:15 pm. Murgi(Our food and snacks Coordinator, every wing should have one) always takes the phone number of the conductor so that he can stay updated about where the bus is and so that the return is convenient. The bus service is really a life saver and unless you have a bike should be the first option. It is also better to roam during weekdays than weekends simply because there is lesser ruckus everywhere. Going to a restaurant on a weekend is an ab

The best of Paul Graham

Paul Graham is a startup incubator. He also happens to write essays which are really really good. In general I wish I had them read them a lot earlier. I have been reading his essays for a while now. Here are some extracts which I liked and so it begins. Addictive things have to be treated as if they were sentient adversaries—as if there were a little man in your head always cooking up the most plausible arguments for doing whatever you're trying to stop doing. If you leave a path to it, he'll find it. And my main computer is now freed for work. If you try this trick, you'll probably be struck by how different it feels when your computer is disconnected from the Internet. It was alarming to me how foreign it felt to sit in front of a computer that could only be used for work, because that showed how much time I must have been wasting. From Disconnecting Distraction How do you avoid copying the wrong things? Copy only what you genuinely like. That would have sav