Saturday, May 28, 2005

Buying books on the Internet

Nothing catches my attention like a post like this, from John J. Emerson's site Idiocentrism. Like Emerson, I usually start with Advanced Book Exchange. (Link via Language Hat.)


Blogger Carol said...

While the Internet has been a major boon to the book collector, in some ways it's been devastating for many small book businesses who deal in used, rare and out of print books. Someone dealing from their spare bedroom who has no overhead, no staff, no investment in reference books, and no ethical accountability can undercut a knowledgeable and experienced bookseller.

It's become harder to do these days because of the prevalence of database shopping, but if you can find a bookseller who specializes in your area of interest, develop a relationship with them or at least browse their online stock occasionally.

You may end up paying more than you would from general interest book stores, but you can have the satisfaction that you will be helping someone in a small business who is going out of their way to look for the books you both find interesting. They may be more inclined to offer rarities privately, and you know you'll be supporting Right Livelihood.
We treasure our customers who realize that the value of a book is not just measured in money.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...


Your comment seems to assume, however, that the "used, rare, and out of print" dealer is just down the street.

In my case, for example, it's a 150-mile drive to the East Colfax Avenue "booksellers' row" in Denver that John Dunning wrote about.

But Advanced Book Exchange is right here--and aren't most small dealers doing as much business online as through the front door with the tinkly bell anyway?

8:38 PM  

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