A Prime Location
I discovered the Chicago “Amazon Books” store on my way to see 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it immediately sky-rocketed to the top of my to-do list. Sure enough, only three days later I was wandering the aisles in search of my next read, a strict one-book budget guiding my decision-making.
By the end of my trip, I had four books in hand. Three of which I bought for myself, and one Erin bought for me after I mentioned wanting to read it for the umpteenth time. Erin, always more frugal than I, only bought one for herself.
Our trip yielded some good reads:
- Love is Love, a comic collection honoring the victims of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando.
- Age of Myth, a longtime resident on my want-to-read list.
- And Then There Were None, Erin’s pick, which she recently devoured and thoroughly enjoyed.
- Astrophysics for People In A Hurry, an impulse buy because, duh, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
- The Road, another long-standing want-to-read, now in my to-read stack thanks to Erin!
The store itself is intriguing and welcoming, despite how packed it was on the Saturday we chose to explore it. All the books face outwards, and each has an Amazon customer review accompanying it on the shelves. Only books with 4-star ratings and above make the cut, and the store’s setup only allows for a few thousand books, whereas a Barnes & Noble may have tens of thousands. That said, I had no trouble finding my favorite genres or a particular book to read.
I’ve been a book store junkie for as long as I can remember. I love ’em all: independent shops, big city Barnes & Nobles, coffee-shop hybrids, you name it. Amazon Books is unique among them. Aside from the unconventional layout, the store’s large electronics offering sets it apart. Many Amazon products lined the shelves of that half, and I spent little time there, instead eager to explore the book offering.
Amazon’s big advantage, of course, is Prime pricing. This brick-and-mortar location takes full advantage. Prime members need only use a credit/debit card connected to their account, and they’ll get the Prime pricing on whatever products they purchase. It’s a HUGE leg up on the competition, considering how high retail book prices can be. But the weakness lies in the selection. If you’re looking for a specific book, Barnes & Noble is more likely to have it. If you want a new read, but don’t know exactly what it should be, Amazon Books is the way to go.