Bookstores are Not Libraries
Why is it Thais like treating bookstores like a library? Whenever I go into Se-Ed I often see people sitting on the floor reading books and magazines. I wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t also lie down making it difficult to browse books. However, what is more annoying is that it is sometimes difficult to find a book in pristine condition as they often damage the books that they read. Several times I have bought children’s books only to find out when I got home that someone had written on some of the pages. What do you think about this? Should it be allowed? After all, the staff don’t seem to care.
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16 thoughts on “Bookstores are Not Libraries”
Guilty here too. The main reason being that my kids (who are 6yo, 5yo, & 4yo) love books. If there were half as many libraries as there are bookstores, we would gladly spend our time at a library.
We do have a nice book collection at home, but when we’re out & about, it’s nice to look at other books as well. We do buy occasionally, but we look more than we buy. My children know to sit nicely (without their legs out so no one can walk) and also to treat the books nicely (don’t bend them or take out stickers or whatever).
I have no problem telling kids who are not treatly the books nicely or sitting nicely to do so– oftentimes their parents are no where to be found. I definitely would have given the boy in the picture a little talking to.
And the odd time when we have bought something that turned out to be in less-than-new condition, we have had no problems returning it for a replacement.
I have noticed that many bookstores are wrapping more and more of their items in cellophane these days, which I can understand.
So yes, I do it and understand why others do it. My only issue is when kids are just left there with no supervision and often forget any manners they may have…
I don’t mind students who are sitting and reading through academic books – some of which are expensive. However, damaging books and lying across the aisle is another matter that staff really should get to grips with.
I was just thinking that last week! Never see them do this at Asia Books but at the Thai named stores you fall over the bodies on the floor just to get to your book
Books are expensive and libraries are seldom and often lacking, especially in English books. I wouldn’t argue against educating yourself through reading, even if it is an inconvenience for the rest of the consumers.
Parks are seldom and often lacking in Bangkok too. Would you openly open your back garden to the masses to trample all over?
The guy lying down is a bit much, but I believe in free public spaces and access to information.
maybe cos they don’t really have libraries here
At least they’re reading! Shocking statistics from the UN say that the average middle eastern male age 25-35 reads just one sentence of non-religious literature a year
I love being able to read English magazines without Having to pay over 300 baht! I might be in the way though, sorry 🙂
Guilty! I let my kids read in the bookshop. The B2S shop in the Central mall in Phuket always features kids sitting around reading. I’ve not seen any lying on the floor like the kid in the photo.
my kids love looking at books and we end up buying ,when in the states and the uk my kids are told not to look at the books so we do not buy,book stores are harder to find abroad these days guess there not friendly enough,so out of buisness they go i like the book shops here in thailand,wish the rest of the world would follow there example ,and not be stuck up
Just out of interest Phil, is English a second language to you?
Why do people care if customers buy or not buy? If you are the owner of the bookstore or coffee shop, then I would understand … but, if you are a customer as well, the question should be, why do you let the actions of others bother you so much?
Maybe these customers don’t have the money to buy books … or maybe they don’t have aircon at their homes so they want to spend a few hours in a cool place … either way, I don’t care what they do! and if I purchase a book that has writing in it, then i’ll just return it … it is up to the customer to inspect the merchandise before they make a purchase, right?
Leeshaaad, how is it important if English is not Phil’s first language? (btw, it should be “is English a second language FOR you?” haha)
If they don’t have money to buy books they are not customers. They are merely vandalising other people’s property they have no intention of purchasing. One could easily argue that many of these people can afford to buy the books but their parents would rather spend the money on ivory and jade trinkets and children who cannot really afford to buy the books who have saved and saved get to the book store only to see that the books they have saved so long for have been creased, ripped and scribbled over by illiterate spoiled brats.
It is unacceptable that people go into book stores, just read books and don’t purchase it. Those books should be sold at a reduced price I believe. Ajarn Blue
No it shouldn’t be allowed. The same way that students shouldn’t be allowed to buy a small water in Starbucks and then spend the next 5 hours doing their homework. However when you live in a non confrontational society people get away with doing what they want. One easy solution would be a no lying on the floor sign posted round the book stores and only one display book unwrapped and the other copies wrapped in clear plastic so they can’t be destroyed by unruley kids who have no intention of buying anything.