I didn't grow up with records. I grew up looking through my parent's record collection and listening to their curated music collection. I thought the records were neat, the large artful covers, the heft of the record and the ritual of putting it on the turntable and dropping the needle. I grew up with CDs and cassettes. I knew how much fun going to a music store to buy an album was and it's something I miss. It's always interesting to talk to other people about music, I've had a lot of interesting conversations in record stores.
Part of me loves digital media, I love my iPod like it was my child, but I miss that shopping experience of digging through the albums to find what you were looking for and chatting about music with the other customers and clerks. What I don't miss is carrying loads of CDs to play on my walkman whenever I wanted to go somewhere.
Record shops are a rarity now. When I was a child and in my early teenage years there were lots of places to by CDs and slowly they began disappearing. Most of the time new business don't move in and the building is abandoned.
Thankfully it's still possible to have a great record shopping experience. In New Jersey (where I'm from) there are two great places that spring to mind, the Princeton Record Exchange in Princeton, NJ (surprise) and the chain of Tunes stores.
The Princeton Record Exchange (http://www.prex.com/) has a huge selection of top quality records and I owe most of my collection to them. They have the biggest vinyl selection, to my knowledge, in the state of New Jersey. There is a huge dollar section with quality records (not junk) and harder to find albums at reasonable prices.
Tunes ( http://www.tunesonline.net/) is a chain that has 6 locations, including 1 in Maryland. Like the Princeton Record Exchange they have a dollar section and reasonably priced harder to find titles
So, how many of you prefer purchasing your records from a record shop instead of ordering online?