Costco will stop selling books year-round

Looks like Costco will stock books only for holiday buying (September through December). Costco says it’s too labor intensive to stock books; they can’t just roll them out onto the sales floor by the pallet load.

I recently attended an estate sale that had thousands of books, most of them bought at Costco. I could tell because of the big white price stickers with item numbers. Most were titles, nonfiction and fiction, that were new and hot maybe 10 years ago and now are a penny a dozen. It was the home of an old, well-off couple who must have bought at least one book every time they went to Costco.

I also remember that Costco used to sell an enormous number of books and had a department devoted to selecting and buying – it was the cover story on the Costco magazine in about 2008.


Too bad. I think it represents the dumbing down of the American populace.

There were news articles a few years ago about how carefully Costco selected the books they sold. Sort of like when Amazon first started out and hired people knowledgable about books to recommend purchases and offer descriptions and reviews for their online catalogue.

As a reader, I bought very few books at Costco. As a bookseller, a Costco sticker on the cover is an automatic pass.


I would second that, though hardly with any relish for the inevitable consequences of such an alarming - and, most-anywhere one cares to look, ever-increasing - trend.


I suspect it might reflect a shift in preference from hard copies to e-readers and mobile reading apps.

Even libraries are loaning out e-copies.

We might see a Costco e-book subscription option soon :eyes:


Many are using Overdrive which seems to be offering libraries a package offering including Kanopy for video streaming.

Not sure how much control of what books are available the libraries have.

At our library this replaced a special deal with Amazon/Kindle on selected titles,

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NYPL has e-books in two formats: Cloud Library and Overdrive. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to which format is used.

A few years ago, I came across a Chrome app called,“Library Extension.”

If I see a book I would like to read, for example, in a newspaper article, I can look it up on Amazon, and the app tells me if the NYPL has a copy available, in hard copy or e-book form, and takes me straight to my NYPL online account to reserve a copy. It is not 100% accurate, but works most of the time.

The app is not just for the NYPL–it connects to most online library systems.

We were avid readers long before we started selling books online.


My wife has her own kindle but rarely reads anything on it.

Our library buys anything she wants to read which is not in their collection and is in print.

Usually, one of the librarians is the next name on the list after she reads it.

Since she usually get her book recommendations from print reviews that app would not save much effort.

Overdrive claims to be an ebook distributor and lists some of the publishers they distribute for on their homepage. Perhaps only the publishers they distribute are on their site and cloud library is used for the rest of their ebooks.

It is different here from NYPL. We are only 22k people in town. The library is well funded, and well staffed. It has a full calendar of events from book groups to concerts, to lectures, and topical events. It allows people in neighboring towns to pay to use the library. It is very much a part of the community.

Instead of FOL sales they give away deacquisitioned books to the public.

Way back in the 1960s when I worked for NYPL, the branch libraries were not allowed to give away or sell deacquisitioned books. All had to be shipped to 42nd street where they were placed in Sanitation Department trucks.

I would appropriate some of the childrens books and make them available to groups who worked with poor kids. There was still a lot of joy to be shared with those kids.

Literally thousands of books were transported to the dump.

The research library was privately owned, and they would sell books, deacessioned and donated to staff for 10 cents a paperback, or 25 cents hard cover.

Under the PL 480 program undeveloped countries received food aid in return for books published in their countries. Various depository libraries received two copies of every book published in countries like India.

NYPL only kept one copy and sold the others to staff. The only defect was a PL 480 stamp. My first book sales were some of those PL 480 Food for Peace books.