I’ve been in the book and publishing business for a while. I take advantage of the fact that there are local retailers by buying from them whenever possible. Perhaps I could use an Amazon or a BookPool or another online service, but if I’ve used the local bookstore to browse the stacks, look through possible purchases, I’ve used their services, what they pay rent for, and I owe them fair compensation. Tim O’Reilly notes similar thoughts here, and my thoughts were spurred on by receipt of my monthly email newsletter from SoftPro. The folks at SoftPro are great – they know their titles, they can order what you need. They’re working hard to make it through this “jobless recovery” when the joblessness is hitting hard in the IT sector.
Their “Regular Reader” program is a great deal – a percentage off list price in exchange for an email address for monthly newsletters. In addition, they sponsor the discounts sent on by their publishers, like O’Reilly’s “Buy Five, Get One Free” promotion. And to top it off, they throw in their own promotions of T-shirts and coffee cups.
And SoftPro is a cool store, the geek equivalent of a kid in a candy store. Wall-to-wall books, and they’re all computer books. O’Reilly, Addison-Wesley, Prentice-Hall, APress, No Starch Press, Microsoft, sometimes even Hentzenwerke. I was sad to hear they were closing the Marlborough, Mass, store, although the Waltham store (recently relocated from Burlington) is my favorite. Check them out if you’re in the area (or near Denver, where their other two stores are).