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I have great news for site visitors who want to support independent bookstores. I am now a affiliate. I will provide links to purchase books I review or mention from

I will not be eliminating the Amazon links, especially as changing all the old links for a website as old as this one is just really difficult. I understand some people still prefer to use Amazon, but going forward, I will be highlighting over Amazon. You will find one affiliate link for Amazon purchases on reviews only, but most links will be links.

My rationale for making this change is twofold. First, Amazon has a demonstrated history of treating its workers unfairly, and it’s been particularly troubling to watch this company’s behavior over the course of the pandemic. I have had an Amazon account since 1997 or 1998—back when it just sold books. The company wasn’t always like it is today. Second, at one time, Amazon affiliation was not a bad deal. I never earned very much on commissions, but I earned enough to buy a couple of books each month. In the last few years, they have changed their payment structure such that I earn enough to buy about a book every six months or so. In the same way that the company has demonstrated a lack of care for its employees, it has also treated affiliates unfairly. not only supports independent bookstores, but it also offers fair compensation for affiliates.

I’m really excited about being a affiliate.

Borders Online

Borders, my favorite offline bookstore, which used to be a partner of my favorite online bookstore, Amazon, has launched its own online version. I really like being an Amazon affiliate. I opted to receive payment in the form of gift certificates from Amazon, and every once in a while I earn enough referral fees to get some free books for my classroom (or for me!) — books I might not ordinarily purchase for various reasons. If Borders online wants to win me over from Amazon, they will need to introduce an affiliate program that beats Amazon’s. However the site design is very attractive, and I will probably browse it for deals when I think Amazon’s prices are too high.

Another Independent Bookseller Closes Up Shop

Coffee Buy the Book, an independent bookseller right down the road from my house, is closing. As I drove by the shop this evening, I noticed a large banner covering the store’s sign: “Going out of Business — Everything Must Go.”

I have only been in the store twice, and it was empty both times. Coffee Buy the Book has a warm, inviting atmosphere with places to sit, coffee (of course), and a good selection of books. It’s a nice little shop, and it is a shame to see it go. However, given that I never saw many customers, I suppose it was a matter of time before it closed.

I would like to see independent booksellers be successful, but to be honest, I do very little to support them. I order books from Amazon or purchase them at Borders or Barnes and Noble, even though Coffee Buy the Book is just down the road and is open reasonable hours. One of those things I always meant to do was become a customer at the store. I never did, and now it will be too late.

The first time I went to Coffee Buy the Book, I met a fellow Bookcrosser (I no longer participate in Bookcrossing) to chat. We sat for a long time talking and no one ever bothered us. The second time, I popped in after a meeting at Maggie’s school to see if they had any Ramona Quimby books. I found Ramona the Pest for Maggie, got a great deal on it, and left.

It’s funny. Even though I wondered how this little shop stayed in business and I liked the idea of it, I never did my part to keep it in business, and now, well, I am sad it’s closing. I suppose the least I can do is stop by before they close and see if I can help them dispose of their stock.