Around where I live, we only have a Books-A-Million. Whenever we go out of town, I have to go to Barnes & Noble since we don’t have one. Since I’m going to be going to be on vacation around a Barnes & Noble and not a Books-A-Million, I thought I would take some time and share with you some of the reasons I prefer to go to one store over another. And I won’t be telling you my favorite until the end. Plus, I been wanting to do this post since like September 2016…
Books-A-Million seems to have a better bargain section:
Both BAM and B&N have a bargain section that you never know what could be in there. Because of that, you almost always have to check it. When you walk through BAM, you are shown sections of books ranging from children’s books to classics. You can find a book for almost every subject when you walk through it. But when you are at B&N, you really can’t find many children’s books or YA novels. You find a lot of classics, war, and cookbooks. It is rare when I find something interesting there. Plus, most of the books at BAM in the section is typically less than $7 but at B&N, you really don’t know how much you could pay for a book.
Barnes & Nobles’ website is easier to use:
I like to preorder books or go and look for books that are going to be released soon. When I do this, I like to go over to B&N because their website is a lot more organized. It is laid out a lot more simpler and it is a lot more clear. Anytime I try to look up a book in the search bar at BAM, it almost never takes me to where I really want to go.
The Staff at Books-A-Million appear nicer to approach:
I’ve had some bad experiences at both BAM and B&N but overall, the staff seem a lot nicer at BAM. Anytime I walk into BAM, they welcome me and they let me know about all their deals. At B&N though, you almost have to search for someone to get help. And you are at least asked if you need help by the same person at least a million times. The staff seem to be a lot more calmer and friendlier at BAM than B&N when you compare the two.
Both places have about the same shipping experience:
I have had an equal balance of both good and bad shipping with BAM and B&N. I have had books come damaged from B&N and I have had boxes that have came ripped open and the the content dirty from BAM. But then, I have had some that have came in less than three days to my house from BAM and B&N. I think it depends on what time of the year you buy the books because that does make a difference on when the book gets to your home and how the quality of the book comes.
Barnes & Noble have a wider book selection:
There are times that I can go into BAM for a certain book that I know they have in stock. I walk in and it is not there. I check back a few days later and they still don’t have it. I go online and their website says it is in stock and neither the employee or myself could find the book. At B&N, I never have to look too hard for a book. There are several copies of the book on the shelf and there is never a blank space on the shelf like at BAM. The books also tend to be cared for a little more and arranged a little more than neater at B&N.
Books-A-Million has a cleaner appearance:
All of the BAM and B&N stores I go to, they all have some sort of coffee/cafe in them. It seems to be that BAM is a little better at cleaning up after their customers than B&N. Almost every time that I walk around B&N, there is a napkin or a empty cup just on the shelf. Right when you walk into BAM, you get the sense of books. B&N, you get the sense of coffee then books. The shelves seem to be cleaned and the carpet seems to be cleaned better at BAM even though they have their little moments too.
Books-A-Million has better deals and prices:
I am signed up to get emails from both BAM and B&N for all of their deals. Out of these emails, I have seemed to gather that BAM has the better deals and prices. I am always getting coupons for BAM and they periodically do their 20% for member. Both locations do have their own discount cards, which actually do pay themselves off when you think about them. I think that BAM has a little better prices than B&N, especially when you get to use some deals. Plus, B&N seems to restrict a lot of things when it comes to their coupons. I don’t like that.
Overall, I would have to give my favorite bookstore spot to Books-A-Million. I’m not saying that Barnes & Noble is bad but I would prefer to go to BAM for my books. But you should always look at stores like Walmart, Target, Harris Teeter, etc at their book section because you never know what kind of deals you could get from there. And all independent bookstores are always better than big chain bookstores, trust me.
Which do you prefer? Which one do you buy most of your books from? Do you live closer to a Books-A-Million or Barnes & Noble? Do you disagree with any of these? What would you put on this list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!