Yesterday I purchased a Kobo from my local independent bookstore, Antigone Books. It’s a sleek, pretty little device, and best of all, once it finishes charging, it’ll be set up to buy ebooks from Antigone as well, and to give them a share of the profits. (I can, of course, also transfer the epub books I’ve already purchased elsewhere onto it.)
And I have a customer service story to tell about my new Kobo. See, last night, the model I brought home had a dead, will-not-charge battery. Kobo’s online customer service was less than helpful; their phone customer service was hugely helpful; but the bottom line was, I needed to bring my dead Kobo back and get a new one.
So I went down to Antigone Books this morning. I said, “My Kobo has a bad battery.” They handed me a new one.
That was it. We were done. I asked Antigone if they needed to see my receipt; they said, “No, we know you were here.” I walked out, and was charging my replacement Kobo moments later.
I thought of the days and weeks it can take to replace electronics purchased from chain stores, and of the documentation and trips to the post office often required to do so. I thought about how easy exchanging my Kobo was today, at a local store where I was known, and I thought, “That’s what buying local means.”
So if you’re in the U.S. and want to buy a local ereader already set up to buy local ebooks, check out your nearest independent bookstore. There’s a good chance they’re ready to sell you one.
If you don’t have a local bookstore in your own town, here are some folks around and about my part of the country who’d also be happy to sell you an ereader and who are well worth supporting:
Or you can just check out Indie Bound’s complete list of Kobo-participating U.S. independent bookstores.