Costco Just Announced a Major Change, and Shoppers Are Not Happy

published 3 days ago
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Temecula, California September 2, 2022: Costco wholesale store.
Credit: Artography/Shutterstock

Shopping at Costco with my family is a core memory from growing up. Once we set foot in the warehouse, you could go with mom (and shop for groceries and get those sweet, sweet free samples) or go with dad (and check out the electronics and, more importantly, peruse the book and movie section). I probably went with my mom about 60% of the time (again, samples), but the times I went the dad route are more memorable because of how many amazing books, games, and movies Costco had in that seemingly never ending section. 

If you, like me, have dear memories of Costco’s book selection from long ago (or just last weekend), I have some bad news. According to the New York Times, starting in January 2025, Costco will no longer stock books regularly, and instead will only sell them during the holiday season, from September to December.

There may still be some books available but not consistently, the Times added. The reason for the change is the labor costs associated with having to refill the copies by hand, especially when new titles come out on Thursdays.

Needless to say, I’m not the only one dismayed to hear that a reliably low-cost book shopping option is going away. Commenters on a Reddit thread about the news weren’t necessarily surprised, but they’re still pretty distraught.

“Not surprised to hear that as they have been shrinking the book section for a long time. It used to take up 1/2 to 3/4 of a row but now it’s 1/4 of the row,” one commenter said. Others are already mourning the loss of Costco’s excellent kids book options. “I understand perhaps not selling adult books. But to me stopping selling kids books would be like cancelling the hotdog in the food court. While I don’t buy kids books much any more, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the joy on kids faces when they find the book section,” another said.

Though the news is sad for book lovers, another commenter wisely pointed out that your local library is still a top-notch alternative for getting quality books for no cost. “As a current public library employee and former Costco employee, in charge of the book aisle (back in the early 2000’s when it was a full aisle in the middle of the stores and dozens of different titles) I would like to encourage everyone to use their local public library. Usage gets tracked in many ways and all of that gets considered for funding […] I know it is a loss for many that Costco is ending selling books but please support your local library. They are one of the last free spaces, open to all folks, where opportunities don’t cost a thing!“