by: Thomas G. Robinson
You know you do it! Hell, even I do it! (I really hated to admit that.)
You do it, you save money, it comes directly to your door or device, and then... for some of you, yeah, you... ya feel a little guilty. Don't you? You know, the heartache and financial punch you just gave to the quickly disappearing, ever-so-humble, brick and morter, 'mom & pop', locally owned bookstore? The ones who have been around here much longer than any of the east coast transplanted big box bookstores. The 'good guys' who know Bakersfield in and out, upside down and sideways - because they're true Bakersfieldians. Yeah, I'm talking about Russo's Books at The Marketplace!
They've been around for over twenty years here in Bakersfield. They've seen a lot of businesses come and go, and at one time had four stores around town. But, as the competition grew, and the economy didn't, they still fight the good fight with the ever-so-popular Marketplace location, and continue to make a difference!
Cut to the current age of technology, where some people feel that reading can and should be done on a little screen with back-lit words that appear on it like magic! Yeah, push some buttons, approve a quantity, and bingo-bango, you've got yourself a book in your little device that lets you read it, store it, save it and with some systems, even lend it out to someone! What's this? Why this could transform the book industry as we know it! Guess what folks, it already did. With the advent of 'eReaders', brick and morter bookstores have been folding faster than the laundry at Today Cleaners! Even your big-box stores have suffered; cutting hours, reducing stock and coming up with their own devices to lure the customers back into their stores... or at least their websites.
But, the local independent doesn't have a fancy room full of scientists working on a device that they can unleash to the world. We're lucky to have a room full of customers! The eReaders have made it that much harder for us to stay in business. At one time, we thought we were going to go the way of the record store when all the mp3 players downloaded them out of business!
But, enter Google and their eBook business! Google launched its e-book program on December 6, 2010, and is partnering with the American Booksellers Association so indie bookstores (like Russo's) can provide an easy way for their customers to discover, read, and buy e-books at competitive prices.
"More and more of our customers are buying ereaders and are looking to purchase ebooks," said Michael Russo, store owner. "Google eBooks now allows us to remain the store of choice for our loyal customers who are reading digital, and to serve new customers."
"This partnership with Google allows independent bookstores that are our members to better compete with corporate retailers on selection, price, and convenience, " said ABA President Michael Tucker. "It levels the playing field."
What all of this means is that you can continue to do your online ordering, save your online bucks, get your book delivered straight to your eReader, and still feel comfortable knowing that your local bookstore is behind your sale if you do it through their website, www.russosbooks.com! It is so easy to do and there's no extra cost to you! Simply create an account (takes all of 45 seconds), then start ordering your books through Russo's via Google! As a result, you get the online prices and your local bookstore gets to enjoy a sale!
The eBooks will download to most eReaders available, including Sony eReader, Nook, Kobe, etc. But, alas, you Kindle people cannot partake, as Amazon still controls your thoughts, minds, choices and availability! Muah ah ah ah!
With Russo's and Google, you now have the choice of downloading over 5 million different books and 2 million (public domain) books available for FREE! Check us out at russosbooks.com, and do all your eReader purchases through Russo's! You'll feel better about yourself, and you'll feel better about your sinful reading ways! (I, on the other hand, will continue to flip through my tree produced, glue and ink stained model... because, that's how I roll!)
Click this! http://russosbooks.com/gbook/help/about