I've gone here before. I have written about the fact that not only can't 'bricks and mortar' retail match the prices of online shopping, but the online retail experience is no worse, and often far better, than it is in person. I have also written that the vaunted LBS ('local bicycle shop') sucks, usually. This is no less true in Canada than in Japan, and no less true of electronics than of bicycles, books...
So I was amused that a leftie website said the unspeakable: local bookstores deserve to die. They do. They deserve it in Toronto and they deserve it in Tokyo; they deserve it for new books and they deserve it for used books. Maybe you'll find a book you want, and maybe you will not. I do not have that kind of time. In a new bookstore I can only be certain they'll have bestsellers I could find anywhere else; in a used bookstore only certain to find books someone cast off. These are not business models the failure of which you can blame on customers*. I won't even start on the fact that e-books, whatever you feel about them, are more convenient for many.
In the same week, this article on 'show-rooming' came along: using a retailer to look at products you've no intention of buying from. I think we've all been guilty of this, but there are actions more and less gauche:
- doing it to chains is not like doing it to stand-alone
- walking through is not the same as taking a salesperson's time
- doing it in an overpriced store run by nobs is not the same as one which has treated you well
- whipping out a camera or smartphone app does mean you are a cock
But I won't be told I owe anything to 'bricks and mortar' retail, unless they have done right by me, and do right by their staff. Both have been less and less likely each year of my four decades. Fuck'em.
*In fact, you never can.