In praise of the local bookshop

by Richard on February 25, 2010

I’m a big fan of online shopping in general, and Amazon in particular. But sometimes you just can’t beat the service you get from a proper shopkeeper.

A case in point. I needed to buy multiple copies of Balthasar’s Mysterium Paschale. Only 15, but that’s more than the British distributor keeps in stock. Amazon listed it, but the cheapest copies were over £40, well outside my budget. The US publisher were offered a good price on the book, but the shipping was a deal-killer.

Enter David, the manager of Manna Christian Books in Wrexham.

To cut a long story short, buying through him got me the books direct from the US at only £14 each, including the shipping. As you can imagine, this has made an already happy customer exceptionally so.

I’m still a fan of Amazon and the like. But there really is nothing like good local service.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Allan R. Bevere 02.25.10 at 8:02 pm

When I was in Durham many years ago working on my Ph.D, one of the things I enjoyed the most was visiting the local book shops and getting lost in the literature.

I still have many fond memories.

2

Dr. Evangelicus 02.25.10 at 8:51 pm

Of course, too much buying on Amazon leads to more and more of these local bookshops having to close down…

3

fat prophet 02.25.10 at 9:23 pm

If we visit somewhere we have never been before we always try to find the local Christian Bookshop and pay it a visit.
We were very sad when our local Wesley Owen closed but thankfully the shop has re-opened today as an independent shop called the HUB - hoping to visit the weekend and see how it ha changed. Hoping it will be there for a very long time.

4

Dave Faulkner 02.25.10 at 11:08 pm

Two Local Preachers have moved into our circuit from another, and they run the Synod bookstall. My Super invited them to run a bookstall at the Preachers’ Meeting tonight, and it went down well. They will be running the bookstall every other meeting now. Nothing like bringing the books to the people. Now if only they would join one of my churches!

5

Richard 02.25.10 at 11:28 pm

Amen to that, FP.

I’m sure that Amazon must take some of the blame for the closure of Christian bookshops, but I’m not convinced that it’s a major role. A bigger proportion of the blame, I think, lies with the church which - to be blunt - has all but stopped reading. (I’ve had a go at this before, of course) And no small part of the responsibility lies with the bookshops themselves. Frankly, they haven’t always been run by shopkeepers (a noble profession, imho) and they haven’t always properly served their customers. I’m glad to say that David is a terrific shopkeeper who really knows how to look after a customer.

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