This is a beautiful book and it is currently in my window. It costs £24.95. A man came in to the shop yesterday and asked to look at the book, so I took it out of the window and gave it to him. He spent a long time looking at it and then said, 'What are you asking for it?' I said that I couldn't sell for below the retail price as I am an independent bookshop and don't have the margins to cut prices. When he heard what it cost he gave it back to me, saying, 'I don't want to pay that much for it,' and walked out. The point is, he has a choice and he can buy it for less.
I have checked on Amazon - the book is on sale for £14.64 and it even has super saver delivery. It costs me slightly more than that to buy the book from my wholesalers. I doubt the man would have come across the book unless he'd seen it in my window but he undoubtedly went home to buy it online, congratulating himself on having saved so much money. Not surprising, then, that I read this morning, 'Online retailer Amazon reported a 68% rise in net profits for the first quarter of the year to $299m (GBP194.5m).'
It doesn't make sense. I am proud of my stock and the advice we can offer customers. We have to pay for the premises and all the costs associated with trading, such as electricity, Nielsons book data and so on. We are not overcharging, and give discounts to schools and book groups. But if most customers behave like that there soon won't be any independent high street booksellers: we can't depend on the enthusiasm of a bookish minority who buy from us in spite of the ruthless undercutting because they value our services.
Still, it's a glorious morning and I'd rather be here in the shop than most other places, so I'll enjoy it while I can.
Welcome to The Woodstock Bookshop
The shop opened in May 2008 and is on the main road in Woodstock, just next to the bus stop. We can supply most books to order by the next day and have several thousand books in stock: to order books ring or email the shop. We have a large selection of children's books and are happy to advise and recommend. We can also supply second-hand and out-of-print titles. We offer discounts for school orders and for book clubs and have a free local delivery service.
We were on the regional shortlist for Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2009, 2013 and 2017, and listed in the recent Independent's Top 50 UK Bookshops.
Two monthly book groups take place at the bookshop - a poetry group, initially formed to read collections submitted for the annual T S Eliot Prize and now following a slightly wider brief; and a book group focusing more on fiction. Both are open to everyone but occasionally space is limited - please contact us for details.
We hold a series of informal talks and readings throughout the year. If you buy any book at the talk the cost of the ticket will be deducted. Please ring or email to book a place - early booking advisable.
The Woodstock Literature Society also holds an excellent series of monthly talks - do visit their website for further details.