Kobo: Buying eBooks Locally

The local Bookshop Santa Cruz is running a pledge drive, asking customers to pledge to buy 1 fewer book from Amazon and buy from them instead.

A recent study found that even customers who define themselves as loyal independent bookstore customers only buy four out of every ten books from an independent bookstore. Imagine what would happen if everyone dedicated themselves to buying that fifth book from an independent as well. […] Since amazon.com is the biggest threat to independent bookstores like ours, taking the pledge is the best way for customers to ensure the long-term viability of Bookshop Santa Cruz.

I love Bookshop Santa Cruz and hate to seethem lose money. And one book out of ten is not a lot to ask, so I’m happy to take the pledge. Generally, I’m not buying books on Amazon; I’m buying ebooks on Amazon, but these days, I read the vast majority of my books on screens.

 My arguments for ebooks are myriad. I don’t want to carry books around anymore when I have an eReader (my phone) with me everywhere I go. I’m usually reading 3 or more books at a given time, and many are heavy tech manuals. I already have too many books, and I like freeing up my shelves. I like having books instantly when I want them. If only Bookshop Santa Cruz had an app through which I could buy ebooks instead of Amazon!

Apparently they do.

Kobo is an eReader app that’s partnered with local bookstores to fight Amazon’s growing monopoly on the book market. A quick glance at their shelves shows a decent selection at reasonable prices, but it’s always when  you want that one book that these things are tested.

My New Year’s resolution will be to buy from Kobo and Bookshop Santa Cruz as often as I can, and I will report back next year on how often I have to resort to Amazon out of necessity.

As for BSC, they might want to try to publicize Kobo more energetically. I was actively looking for an app and had to dig around the website for it.