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New rose AHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, spring!

    As you begin to dig into the new year's garden, could you (and your garden) use a little hands-on expert help? Definitely maybe? Then this would be a good time to contact Designs by Notestein.

    Or maybe you're the do-it-yourself type. In that case, this would be an excellent time to pay a visit to Goerings Book Store for any of the books we recommend.

    Now, we know you could order those same books from one of those gigantic online booksellers everybody's talking about. But (as we'll explain), we hope you don't.

    We could even set up links so you could order them through SouthernGardening, and we could collect a royalty on each one. But we don't.

    So, why should we buy our books from a local bookstore rather than online? The answer is a lot like why we should grow native plants: There's only so much available habitat (market). The more of that habitat (market) we cultivate in fast-growing exotics, the less room there is for natives, and gradually the natives will decline and vanish.

    A local bookstore has several advantages, especially for gardeners, that simply can't be provided online:

  • You can browse the books until you find the one that's just right for your current needs; you don't have to rely on guesswork or someone else's recommendation.
  • After all, bookstores are just fun places to go, period.
  • You can buy the book and begin using it immediately, not several days from now. And there's no cardboard, bubble-wrap or styrofoam peanuts to dispose of.
  • They host book signings for authors, giving you a chance to meet and talk with the experts.
  • You can build a personal relationship with the sales staff, so they can tailor their business to fit your interests.
  • Finally, they're part of your community, paying taxes and supporting other businesses and organizations in ways that contribute directly to your quality of life.

    What advantage does an online bookseller have? Price? Convenience? Okay, let's do the math — suppose you want a book that lists for $35. At a 30% discount, the online sale price would be $24.50. But now there's the shipping charge. (Oh, and if the book isn't in their warehouse, add an extra week or so to the delivery times.)

    Four dollars for shipping will get the book to you in 3 - 7 business days. IF the book contains what you wanted, and IF you can stand to wait that long (or longer), you've saved $6.50, about 20% of the original price.

    But what if you don't want to wait that long? The shipping charge for second day air will be $8, bringing the total to $32.50 and saving only $2.50 or about 7% off. And next-day air? That'll cost $11, for a total of $35.50, or fifty cents more than the original list price.

    Of course, if the book you want lists for $25 or less, the "savings" are even less impressive.

    Is it worth it? Reminds us of the old Ral Donner song, "You Don't Know What You've Got (Until You Lose It)." Back to top of page

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