NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I miss several things about living in San Francisco, including the fog, the cold and the local bookstores.
I love my current residence, Santa Monica, as much, if not more than San Francisco. But I do wish our local scene was homier and more captivating, particularly when it comes to bookshops. Other than locally owned stores focused on somewhat narrow topics, Barnes & Noble (BKS) is the only one within walking distance of where I live.
Despite a supposed shift in strategy, Barnes & Noble is still soulless, cosmetically and otherwise. I'm not sure how long the current iteration can last.
I 'Showroomed.' And It Felt Good
I often get reading suggestions by eavesdropping in bookstores. Over the weekend at the Santa Monica Barnes & Noble, I heard a woman tell the person she was with how great the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 is. Their conversation led me to pick up the book and browse the jacket.Before seeing the price, I decided to buy it. After deciding $24.95 was bit too steep, I was going to move on. But then it hit me: I'll look for it on Amazon.com (AMZN). Given my interests, line of work and the frequency with which I use my smartphone to do all sorts of things, it's surprising that, up to then, I had never, in the moment, looked something up on my phone while in a store with the sole purpose of buying it. I have researched items that I had no intention of buying, but have never made a purchase decision, balked at the in-store price and gone mobile to buy. For whatever reason, I felt strange doing this. I looked around as I did it to make sure nobody was watching. If a store employee or security guard discovered what I was doing, I sensed they would treat me like a shoplifter. To top it off, I was in a Barnes & Noble store, cheating on Barnes & Noble with Amazon.com, using, of all things, a free in-store Wi-Fi connection. Is this a form of stealing in 2012?
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV