Can one avoid Amazon ?
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Any suggestions ?
Tim Spalding (majority)
Problem is : Amazon has taken over AbeBooks
I hope they live and prosper.
For used books, see how you like Marelibri. Also, you can contact book sellers on Abe and arrange for a sale off the site, if they are willing (I've never had a no, and every time they gave me a discount too).
Tomfolio.com is excellent for antiquarian books, had nothing but good experience with them. It's an association of booksellers, not a centralised company, so you have to deal separately with them too.
!!!Of course! Oh frabjous day! Thanks for this Easter miracle, Lola.
www.antiqbook.com more specialized and therefore usually more expensive, but may turn out to be very useful at times.
I hate Amazon. They are a monopolist that drives Indies under and makes it harder to find a nice store to browse.
I love Amazon. They deliver promptly and give great service.
I hate Amazon. They constantly push utter crap and encourage mass marketing of absolutely everything. No, for the 527th time, I do not also want to buy a Dan Brown book.
I love Amazon. When I can't wait for a book they wirelessly deliver to the kindle app on my phone.
My biggest alternatives to Amazon are academic publishers, direct ordering from specialists, like China Books, or E-Bay. There was a while when the aaba.org site could compete with Abebooks, but those days are gone - it is now a subset of abebooks. Project Gutenberg is also useful.
I am kind of upset they bought Goodreads and already own part of LT. I hope LT survives for a good long time because it has greatly enriched both my reading/intellectual life and my social life.
Anna, your lucky you have serious bookshops close to you
Tim is digging the trenches, North Korean, I mean Goodread refugees are coming over, or so I am said ; )
Yes, Amazon is indispensible, love it and hate it. They got an order from me yesterday, as I learned a friend was beginning Chinese and wanted to send him the Yip book on poetry. 20 years ago, doing so would have been an endeavor. Now, search for the book and then - one click!
It took me several years to adapt to buying books online. At one point I looked back and realized that I had been reading the same kind of books over and over: the ones Amazon suggested to me based on the books I had bought from them before. That's when I started really using LT to get good recommendations, based on people's comments and not on robots telling me "you might like this".
But really if I look back some more, I had let myself be steered to OK, easy to read and easy to sell books for years, and it started with brick-and-mortar bookstores. Amazon just industrialized the biased recommendation process and made it worse.
I also go to SF about twice a year, and City Lights is still what it ever was. Thanks, Larry.
But there is no longer a good bookstore near my office or home, and a few short years ago there were multiples, and that's Amazon.
Good bookstores today are destinations, not spur-of-the-moment whims.
Where's that whiskey fudge?
but, I hate them as well. Why do these companies have to be so fucking greedy? how much money does Beeezos actually need?
Brick and mortar bookshops in the UK are appalling, last time I visited: tables and tables of trashy chicklit and illiterate 9 year olds as service staff. THere are lots of really good books being published by small independent publishers: Dedalus, Tuttle, NDP, etc but you can never find them in a bookstore. Anyway, I haven't got the time or energy for an extended rant, but you get the picture.
Bookstores in Taipei are generally very good, but slow to order new releases.