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Got books?  Well of course you do…you’re an enlightened literary human being. If you love to read, the chances are that you — like some 16 million Americans — now own an e-reader device, too.  And this may be causing you a bit of book-buyer’s dilemma.  You love your local bookstore, but it’s just so much easier to shop in your pajamas from home, click “buy,” and in less than a minute the text is on your iPad (or Nook) and you’re ready to read.

I love my iPad. I also adore my local booksellers. I love to walk to town, chat with other readers, and browse. I love the cozy corner chair by the sunny window, the shelves stacked with titles my friend/neighbor/favorite booksellers have hand-selected and read through.

Torn between two loves, I looked for a practical solution. Is it possible to have an e-reader and still shop locally? The answer is a resounding yes.

iPad and credit card in tow, I trekked over to Watchung Booksellers this weekend and put myself in the able hands of the store’s technical genius, Nicole Ban, and owner, Margot Sage-EL. My quest was simple: to shop locally, buy digitally, and keep the profits right here in Baristaville where they belong.

“So much of life is about setting up accounts digitally,” Nicole said.  As the guru of all things digital and the de facto Buddha of e-book buying in Baristaville, Nicole made it all seem easy. First, I uploaded the Google eBooks app and set up my Google account. I don’t have a 3-g iPad and so had to log onto the store’s wireless (Nicole gave me the code).

From there it was a matter of accessing the Watchung Bookseller’s website on my iPad, and quickly setting up a bookstore account. I followed the directions (I’m pretty good at that!) and linked my Google account with my newly established bookstore account.

Then I searched for the title I wanted to  buy – in my case it was Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses, by Claire Dederer – pressed “buy” and voila – easy as pie, the (digital) book was mine.

“People can come in with their devices and we’ll go through the process with you,” Nicole said. “If you want to come in and sit for the afternoon on your wireless device, you can do that, too.”

See: a friendly place where you can shop, read, visit, browse, and shop digitally, too.

The story has a happy and satisfying ending: yes, reader, I succeeded.  Was it easy? Yes. Did it take a little time? Yes. Will I do it again? Most definitely.

You can do it, too.  You don’t even have to go into the store; you can go online and follow the directions on Watchung Bookseller’s website, or visit Maplewood’s Words bookseller website, where buying an eBook just got simpler.

Best of all, when you buy a Google eBook via your local retailer the digital content is yours, and you can access it from any internet or wireless device simply by going into the bookstore website.

That means — yes, it’s true! — you do not have to carry your digital reader in order to access to your digitally-owned book. It’s yours. If you can access the internet through your smart phone, your mom’s computer, your daughter’s iPad, you name it – you get to the website, and you can retrieve the contents.

“That’s one of the best things about the whole Google e-Books cloud,” Margot said. “You own the content of the book, and it’s not limited to any single device. It’s yours, and you can access it through our website any time.”

6 replies on “Walk to Your Local Bookstore. Buy an eBook. Here’s How.”

  1. Mybigwalk-No I have plenty of online accounts but it really isn’t a big part of my life. Perhaps you might want to get out a bit more.

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