Nathaniel Ward

What’s the value of buying local?

The independent bookstore up the street maintains a well-curated selection, especially of children’s books, and regularly hosts events with authors. I enjoy having a bookstore like this nearby, and I frequently browse.

Yet I find it hard to actually purchase books there. Why? Because it’s vastly more expensive than Amazon.

I went in the other day looking for a copy of Fall, Neal Stephenson’s latest book. The bookstore sells the book at its list price of $35. Amazon sells it for about $13.53.

Is supporting a local business worth a 160 percent premium?