Shopping online – is it the new way forward?

So many shops are still having to keep their doors closed due to the Covid-19 restrictions and therefore if they do not trade online, they simply miss out of any sales during this time. Lots of people do not like shopping online and although they may of put it off for a while, there may of come a time when they have to. Shopping online has many benefits; it allows you to compare prices easily and order from the comfort of your home. There are also some down sides to shopping online such as having to often pay a delivery fee (even for cheaper items), having to wait to have your item delivered and maybe finding out that an item you thought was on its way is actually out of stock. As we all know, sizes can vary from shop to shop and even product to product so it can be hard to ensure you select the right size without being able to see the product. You should be able to return most items bought online but you may have to pay to return it as not all shops offer free returns. This is definitely something you should check before purchasing.

Have you finished all your Christmas shopping?

Christmas shopping has been quite strange this year with many of the shops having to close at certain times throughout the last few months. It has also meant that some areas of the country have seen more shops close than others and this has made Christmas shopping a bit of a nightmare. The run up to Christmas is also a bit manic with people saying out to by last minute gifts or to fill their freezers with party food, but this year has been even worse. Due to social distancing, many people have had to cue to get in and out of shops and then queue again to pay for items. This can add hours of time on to your shopping trip and you may find rather than of doing it all in one day, you have had to go back to the shops time and time again.

If you haven’t finished your shopping yet then you may want to get moving as some shops already seem to be clearing away the Christmas gifts and decorations. If you are ordering presents only, bear in mind that they may not arrive before Christmas if sent using the normal postal service as they seem to be experiencing massive delays.

Start up your own book club and make new friends

Many people enjoy settling down with a good book and are eager to talk about their current read especially if it is absorbing so what better way to do this than start a book club.

The main idea of a book club is that everyone reads the same book and then either meets up in person to talk about it or online if meeting up is not possible. Some novels have ideas for discussions at the end of the book that can be used to stimulate debate and provoke thoughts into character motives, plot lines and author intent giving the group a good starting point for discussion.

Another way to organise a book club is to use it as a way of swapping books that have been enjoyed. Obviously, discussions about the book could only take place once every member has read the book to avoid any spoilers. Members could however provide a brief synopsis of the book whilst not revealing any twists that the story may contain.

Joining a book club is a good way to make new friends with similar interests as yourself and it is certainly worth finding out if such a club exists if you move to a new area.

Real book or e reader what is your preference?

When e readers first came onto the market there was outcry amongst some members of the public who felt that they would take over the literary world and completely replace real books in future years. This has not been the case as can be seen in most of our supermarkets where a variety of books from autobiographies to the latest romantic novel can be bought so is there a place for both?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes for most people as each has advantages and disadvantages. Probably one of the reasons why people choose an e reader is that a whole library of books can be stored on it and so especially if you are going away on holiday and anticipate reading a few books it cuts down on the amount of real books you need to take, reducing the space and weight taken up in your luggage. If you are reading whilst sunbathing the e reader can still be read as the screen allows it to be seen in bright light and there’s no need to worry about losing your place as it automatically restarts where you left off.

With all the advantages of e readers why are real books still a popular choice? We are creatures of habit and for some people the enjoyment they get from holding a book and turning the pages can never be replaced by a handheld device no matter how sophisticated.

Shopping is not what it used to be

Many people see shopping, especially for non-essential items, as a bit of therapy. It is often referred to as retail therapy because for some it helps lift their mood.

During lockdown all the non-essential shops where clothes and many people had to turn to online shopping to feed their shopping habits. For many this is not the same and the fact that you have to go through the hassle of often paying for delivery and then paying again to return it if it does not fit, put many people off.

The shops have no reopened and people have started flocking to the centres. Although the shops are open, the experience is very much different from how it used to be. The majority of the clothing shops do not have their changing rooms open meaning that you cannot try anything on before you buy it. Many shops are even not allowing you to try coats etc on over the top of your own clothes due to the risk of contamination. For many of us, we simply cannot always walk into a shop and know that an item will fit. A pair of size 12 jeans in one shop may fit perfect but in another be too big or small. You will have to purchase items and then take them home to try them on before being able to decide if you want to keep them.  Shopping certainly has changed, but hopefully one day it will return to normal.