Wendy Bergier: Not just another book with this post

Dear HuffPost,

I am a fellow book lover who loves a good novel. Until last fall, I (and many others) bought books at Barnes & Noble but usually bought them online because the selection on the store shelf was far better. I went out of my way to make sure that the book purchased via the store’s website was an overstock title and would not likely get slashed in half. I eventually opted for Amazon because it had the best selection at that time, especially in terms of classics.

About a year ago, I realized that Barnes & Noble was cheapening itself through its evil ways. It was the world’s largest bookstore, but it was selling its brand at fire sale prices. Now, though, I no longer shop at Barnes & Noble. I choose to shop only online. However, when I do order, I look for the best discount I can find by far. I compare prices across several sites, and when I find one that offers the best deal, I book it there. If it is a used book, the book is checked out. The discount does not apply to the first book, however.

My favorite store is Independent Bookstore Day, which celebrates independent bookstores and occurs every year on the first Saturday in October. I love discovering new authors at these events. I have never had the opportunity to visit an indie bookstore since all of them are either closed or far away from my home, or in a state such as Florida that is not listed as an Independent Bookstore Day destination.

Amazon offers this deal: Use coupon code 728 and get 10 percent off your online book purchase from Sept. 1-Oct. 6. This is one of the best deals I’ve seen anywhere. If you are not interested in doing a large online purchase, then you may not want to use the coupon code. However, this discount is only valid if you use it within the eight-week period and if you spend over $25 in online purchases. Also, the deal only covers books in print or e-book format.

When I purchase a book online and have an item with a code related to my community, I give it to one of my customers for free. With one special exception, Amazon doesn’t allow me to do this with out-of-print books.

In regard to regular book sales at independent bookstores, I like to spend close to $100 on a book and go to a good one with several items that speak to me personally. If I get a deal for buying this way, it’s because it is not necessarily the cheapest item available. It is what is right for my needs, and I always know which bookstore has the best price.

— Wendy Bergier is a consumer advocate for the International Consumer Protection Center.

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