Sunday Book Club: Brick and Mortar

January 22, 2017 Sunday Book Club 31

Good Sunday morning to you!

Today, let’s talk about the good old brick and mortar bookstores. Barnes and Noble. Ummm… are there any other chains still out there? LOL. We have a large local semi-chain bookstore here in central Kentucky – Joseph Beth Booksellers. And of course Half Price Books. Lifeway Christian Stores.

Anyway… that’s not my point lol. My point is this: do you go into those stores just to browse? Or with a particular book in mind to buy? As far as your favorite genre, what’s their selection like?

My favorite broader genre is Christian fiction and neither Barnes and Noble nor Joseph Beth has a good selection. Both are quite pitiful, actually. Our library, on the other hand, has a fantastic selection of Christian fiction which more than makes up for it. But sometimes you just want to OWN the book… in which case I order from Amazon and the warehouse here in town sends it nearly the next day lol. Lifeway, of course, has Christian fiction but they don’t always have the authors I want.

Ok now it’s your turn. Let me know your thoughts!


31 Responses to “Sunday Book Club: Brick and Mortar”

  1. Carolyn Astfalk

    We have B&N, BAM, and Charles St. locally, as far as the big sellers go. I generally don’t browse because (1) browsing with little kids is near impossible and (2) I can’t afford to buy much. If I didn’t have those limitations, I’d do more of it.

    As far as Christian fiction, a local discount chain, Ollie’s (“Good stuff, cheap!) actually has a good selection. I guess they are overstocks, buybacks, and whatever, but I always see a hefty amount of Christian books there. Now that I think of it, Sam’s Club has some Christian fiction as well, but not a lot.

    • Carrie

      hey – good stuff, cheap sounds right up my alley! lol!

  2. Karen Collier

    Great question! The closest decently sized new book stores I know of in my area (B&N, Family Christian, and Lifeway) are each about 40 miles out of my way. Much as I’d love to browse, I can’t often justify the drive, but it’s a treat when I wind up in the area. If I’m looking for something in particular, it’s much easier to borrow it from my library, download to my Kindle, or order online.

    • Carrie

      I normally order online too. Health issues may it difficult for me to browse even though I do enjoy it occasionally when I’m feeling well.

  3. Yvette-Bookworlder

    I only have a BN close, and its Christian section is small but has some great authors included. I shop there when I have a good coupon. A bit farther away is the Beaverton branch of Powell’s with a mix of new and used books (there is a Lifeway store nearby, I need to check it out!). I try to make a point of buying at least one book from the Christian fiction section each time I’m there (hint, hint Powells). It is larger than at BN, but still probably one of their smallest section and seems to be primarily used copies.

    I tend to buy more of my books online, from Amazon, Book Outlet, or my more recent discovery, Christian Book. One of my criteria to actually buy a book, unless its one I really really really want to own or cannot bear to wait for a hold to come in, is whether or not my library system has it.

    • Carrie

      We don’t have a Powell’s but that sounds like a great store!!

  4. Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse

    We only have Barnes and Noble in our area anymore. I go sometimes just to browse or hang out in their coffee shop and read. I really miss my old Borders. I pretty much lived there once a week when my mom would watch my daughter.
    I have been to Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR a couple of times in the past year. It’s my favorite bookstore ever. It’s so wonderful and overwhelming. I wish I lived closer to it.

    • Carrie

      You’re the second person to mention Powell’s!!! I want one!! Lol

  5. Sunshine

    We are blessed to have a chain of large Christian bookstores–Mardel–based here in Oklahoma. I live 40 miles from the nearest one, so I only get to stop in when I have other errands in the area. However, they have tons of Christian fiction on their $1, $3, And $5 bargain shelves, and it is always a treat to stop in and browse! 🙂 I usually come out with a nice stack at budget prices!

  6. Susan Reichert

    Carrie Booth Schmidt shared this blog post in my email this morning and I am so glad I decided to check it out. I enjoyed reading your post about bookstores and the replies you received. In our town we have our library and of course B&N. Twenty-five minutes away in another town they have a library, and a bookstore. Of course both locations, our libraries have a book sale couple of times a year where you can find Christian Fiction, but as was mentioned in a few of the replies they don’t have a lot to choose from. So like others, I buy from Amazon. Of course I can drive into Memphis where they do have more than two bookstores but I like shopping in my area.

    We are seeing a resurgence of independent owned bookstores opening across the country but even with that, there is not the selection that Amazon carries.

    One of the nice things when you find an author you like, you can go to their
    websites and keep up with when they will release a new book, and order it. At least we get to read Christian fiction that way quicker than if I just walked through B&N.

    Anyway, it was a delight to be introduced to this blog.

    • Winnie Thomas

      Susan, I think you’ll love Carrie’s blog! I certainly do. I must give you a word of warning, though. You will find your pile of books to read multiplying rapidly until it grows out of control! 😀 But if you’re a book lover, that can be a very good thing.

  7. Katie Donovan

    Brick and mortar stores are few and far between here, even in general market. We have a small independent bookstore about ten minutes away, and a Christian bookstore about 35 mins away, but most of my browsing is done online. I tend to read eBooks almost exclusively now, and if I don’t know the author I like to be able to read reviews.

    It’s a bit sad, because I used to love wandering into a book store and browsing.

  8. Sally Bradley

    All the B&N I’ve been at lately have been terrible for Christian fiction. Mardel isn’t bad, but Lifeway has the best selection I’ve seen. I like to go there and browse.

  9. carylkane

    The nearest bookstore for me is Family Christian, it is about 45 minutes away. Due to distance, I usually browse my library and Amazon.

    • Carrie

      All of our Family Christian Stores have gone out of business 🙁

  10. Brittaney B

    We have a Books A Million here in my small Texas town but I prefer to go to Mardels. To be honest because I buy so many books I’ve taken to buying the kindle version or used printed books because my budget doesn’t stretch far enough to buy them all new.

  11. Winnie Thomas

    We don’t have any big book stores here. There’s an independent one in town, but I haven’t been there for a long time. I have so many books in my TBR pile already and on my Kindle, that I haven’t even been to the library for quite a while. 😀

  12. Carol Alscheff

    Here in Rochester, NY we have 2 Parable Christian stores owned by the same couple and I am blessed to work in one. While our stores are not huge we have a decent selection of Christian fiction which is also my favorite genre. If there is a book I want to read that we don’t have I can usually order it and I can do the same for customers. We don’t charge for shipping as long as the customer is willing to pick the book up at one of our stores and it often arrives in just a few days. We also have a good selection of bargain books that are often as low as 5 dollars. We just got a bunch in the other day. A few of them were the newest books of popular authors that were still on our shelves for full price. While I realize that for some customers Amazon or similar distributors are the only option we really appreciate the people who are willing and able to shop local. Small bookstores would not exist without our loyal customers!

  13. Rachel Dixon

    We have a couple of indie book stores…. but B&N and LifeWay are the only chains I cam think of. I haven’t been in LifeWay in a long time. But anytime I am at the mall I will go browse B&N. Their Christian fiction selection is quite pitiful. Mostly carrying only new releases of the better known authors. But like you, our library is fabulous!!!! They carry a ton of CF and order prettyuch anything I recommend.

  14. Jeanne Bishop

    I love to use online ordering at
    If you sign up for their emails, they oftentimes have free shipping.

  15. Michelle Connell

    We have a B&N not far, and like someone else said, I miss Borders with all their coupons. I do have an educator discount at B&N which helps. I try not to order from Amazon, but from B&N or Christian Book unless they don’t have the title I’m looking for. We do have a great library system with several libraries connected, so I look there first. Then, if I really love the book and want a copy, I’ll buy one.

    There are a few indie stores in St. Louis, but I don’t travel across the state border much.