You may be familiar with the Nook by Barnes and Noble, and (unless you don't watch TV at all) you've probably seen Jane Lynch's Nook commercial. Now needless to say, I prefer Barnes and Nobel over Amazon. Amazon made a lot of mistakes that cost publishers and authors, heck the whole book business, a lot of money. And Amazon did nothing to correct those mistakes. And that's why I have a Nook, not a Kindle.
When Amazon made Kindle and started to sell ebooks, they set the price of all ebooks to $9.99, decreasing the margin for publisher and author income. Though Amazon did not make as much of a profit, they set the prices lower to expand their market. Publishers were in uproar, and since Amazon was the only seller of ebooks at the time, there was nothing publishers could do. If they refused to let Amazon sell their books, then they would not make any profit off ebooks. Amazon shortchanged publishers just so they could expand their market. Now there's a lot more details that I won't get into. Just know there's a reason authors hate Amazon and want you to buy elsewhere.
But I actually don't like e-readers. I hate them, in fact. I love real books so much better, and e-readers are slowly annihilating the market for print books. That's not to say that print books will be off the shelves anytime soon, however. There are still a lot of people that love real books and buy them over ebooks, myself included. But honestly, I can't carry all the books I want to take with me on vacation in my suitcase. Which is why I travel with my e-reader. But I still love print books, and I especially love buying them from my local bookstore or Indiebound.
Local bookstores are being overshadowed by big chain bookstores and especially Amazon. When you support local bookstores, you support the authors and the local sellers. The people are there because they love books. I love my local bookshop and if it were closer, I'd go every time I wanted books. Plus, if you go to an author's local bookstore, most of the time they will have signed copies in stock and can often get a copy personalized.
If you don't have a local bookstore, but you want to support authors the best you can, then indiebound.org is a great site to visit. Its mission is to connect readers with their local bookstore to support local businesses and "strengthen the health of Main Street ecosystems across the United States." Indiebound not just works to connect readers with local bookshops, but it allow you to buy online from a local store if you don't know the website. Plus, Indiebound has ebooks!! So you can buy an E-reader from Barnes and Noble and still support local booksellers by buying ebooks from Indiebound. How great is that?
So remember to support your local bookstores and support the author that bring you words to devour. Don't fall into Amazon's trap just because prices may be cheaper!! In the end, it really hurts the authors. Remember that as you do your holiday shopping. Happy holidays, and don't forget to read!