Happy New Year! I can’t believe that we are two entire decades into the 2000’s. It seems like just yesterday that I received the Backstreet Boys Millennium CD for Christmas. I want to get this blog up and running again. It will remain a book blog, but I will be blogging about more than just individual book reviews. Now that I have immersed myself so deeply into the book world, I have a lot more information to share.
For my first post of 2020, I want to share my visit to Amazon Books with you. Yes, Amazon now has brick and mortar stores. In Austin you can find one of their first bookstores. We drove 1.5 hours to get there. Was it worth it? For a rare visit, yes. I would definitely go back if I was in the area, however I would not make the drive just for that store. Keep reading for all my thoughts.
When you walk in, you are greeted by a happy person and books upon books. I figured out that all books available are rated 4 stars and up on Amazon, which is weird because I do not go to Amazon for book reviews. Most reviews on Amazon are about shipping speed or quality of the book and not the actual book content itself. Thanks for your one star rating, Karen. I’m sorry your book arrived four hours later than you expected. But I’m really glad it was the best book you have ever read. Don’t be Karen.
The store seems to only carry new releases and best sellers. I would not recommend this store if you are looking for a very specific book because chances are high that you won’t find it. It’s definitely more of a shop you peruse and possibly pick up something for a lower price. I was really hoping to find a series box set that I have been wanting to purchase. The store only carried the last book in the series because it came out in 2019. I guess I will be ordering that one online.
That brings me to their prices: only worth it if you are a Prime member. If you are not a Prime member you will pay the publisher’s price for every book. However for Prime members, prices are the same as on the website. The best thing is that the price tags on the shelves are e-ink so they change with the website. I don’t know about you, but when I shop I always pull up Amazon to compare prices. Shopping here streamlined my shopping process a lot.
Unfortunately their YA section was abysmal. I am happier with the YA selection at Target, and that’s not saying a whole lot. However, I was very happy with their graphic novel section because I was able to discover a few new graphic novels. If you have ever shopped for graphic novels, you know how overwhelming that is by the way they are organized. My husband was not impressed with their fantasy/sci-fi section, but I thought it was pretty good compared to the YA section. The best area in the store was their children’s section. Everything was shelved by ages, which I thought was very appropriate. Their children’s area took up a good fourth of the store, so my children scored with their purchases.
Another fourth of the store housed the technology merchandise. This is great if you want to see a Kindle before you purchase one. They carry all of their Amazon products plus some Samsung devices. Their headphone selection was fantastic as well. If I lived closer I would definitely go there for small technology before going somewhere like Best Buy.
Overall, we liked the store. It was well organized, and the signs and constantly updating price tags really made shopping easy. Sales people did greet you and were easy to find but they didn’t hassle you. We were able to pay using the Amazon app really easily and received the Prime discount. We bought 10 books between the four of us for $140 with the Prime discount (originally over $200). Thank you, Christmas money! For the books we purchased (a lot of hefty books and hardbacks) I thought it was worth it. I would give our experience 4 stars out of 5. I hoped for more of a selection, although it seems to work for what Amazon Books wants to be.
If you want to see more individual reviews as soon as I finish a book and more day-to-day happenings, check out my Instagram. I’ll be back next week with a tour of a local independent bookshop that I am very excited about!