Yesterday I visited an independent bookstore about 45 minutes from here and bought The Museum Called Canada: 25 Rooms of Wonder by Charlotte Gray. I was thinking the whole time I shouldn't buy anything, but it is an independent bookstore... Also, this book is regular 65 dollars and they had it for 17. So... I also went to an independent second-hand bookstore and found a personal copy of The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. When I read it last year it was through the library. Now I can read it whenever I want!
I also shop at Chapters/Indigo/Coles. I know that technically this is a big chain bookstore, but it is also technically Canadian. I would hate for it to follow Borders and start shutting down locations. Canada needs a chain and it is competing with Amazon (which is available in Canada now), Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and now all the various e-book chains that are springing up. Do I have issues with Chapters? Yep! They are not perfect and they take forever to shelf new inventory, but at least they are Canadian. Do I think they need to shape up a bit so as to compete better in the world stage? Of course I do. I know many people that refuse to shop from them. So what is happening? They are taking their money and supporting chains located in other countries. I do it, too. Before Christmas every year when I used to buy books a lot I would make a big order from Book Depository. Then, after I spent my gift cards from Christmas I would tend to shop the rest of the year from Amazon.
The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that whenever possible I am going to buy books from Canadian bookstores. I do read books once in a while that are not in print in Canada, but otherwise I would much rather put up with my few issues with Chapters than have them close entirely and leave us just with outside bookstores. In the U.S. Borders will be closing stores, but they still have other options. In Canada, if you don't have an independent option you would be left with nothing. I find that possible thought scary... That's not to say it WILL happen, of course, but it could!
These are just my two cents on the book economy. What do you think?