Saturday, February 19, 2011

Books and expense

As sorry as I am for the workers at Borders and A&R, I'm still getting my books from the Book Depository or Dirt Cheap books or book sales or the op shop.

I needed a book on Low GI foods and the website suggested Dymocks. I go to Dymocks but they only had the book in their Sydney stores. Price $24.95
I went to Borders, they would order it in for me from their overseas supplier and I would receive it in the mail between 12 and 14 days. Price $24.95

So I thought if they are going to their overseas supplier, I might as well go to mine.
The Book Depository had this book and all the others in the series, $15.10, despatched in 48 hours and I received it in the mail in 3 days.

In an A&R book sale I bought the last two books of a trilogy and because it was an old release I knew I didn't have a hope of finding the first but the Book Depository had it, $10.95 and I had it 3 days later.

I love books, especially my big jewellery books. The last two from the BD were about the Russian Nobility and their jewells and the crown jewells of the Czars. I've never seen them in bookstores here and I don't think I'd get them for the price I paid, somewhere in the region of $170 for both. Every page is a treasure. So a pox on all publishers who are demanding that we pay GST on overseas purchases. Books should never have had GST on them anyway.


Elephant's Child said...

Not only should books never had attracted GST though of us who are addicted to them should be able to get them at concessional rates - just like medication. Says the woman whose shelves are stacked two and three deep. Not counting the piles. And what is it about Russian jewellery. My father had a book about Faberge and when I saw it years later I had to have it. Awe inspiringly beautiful things. And yes, I also feel for the affected staff, but my book hoarding will continue

Helen said...

Next year I must check out the BD for kid's textbooks instead of going along with the game of getting them from the "approved" supplier!

River said...

I like the Book Depository too. Price and delivery times suit me down to the ground. I still occasionally go into Dymocks and check the sales table, because I have a points card, so when I rack up enough points, I can get a slightly more expensive novel and pay a discounted price by using the collected points.

Fen said...

oh I'm so with you, I adore books and I use to work out who is cheapest and it is NEVER Borders or A&R.

JahTeh said...

EC, I have huge books on jewellery and so heavy I have to read them on a table but the hours of fun going through them. That's just for the photos then I start reading. The worst thing that can happen to me is to find a book sale on the way to the supermarket, food? Books? Food? Books?

Helen, what I love most is that they have a wishlist and the price of an expensive book can go down as much as $20 and that's when I pounce. They're much cheaper than Amazon but Abe Books has an English branch so arent' as expensive as their American site.

River, Dymocks usually have a sale table out the front of the store and I don't think I've been past the register. I like the fact that at BD I can pre-order before publication so I am expecting the new Kathy Reichs novel sometime next week.

Fen, it's never anybody here except at a sale table or when Big W gets in the small paperback edition. I just picked up a fantastic book of the Great Ocean Road, $34.95 for 50cents at the op shop. The way it's sliding into the sea I thought I'd like to remember it as it was.

R.H. said...

I used to find some extraordinary oddities among the old books in Savers Footscray, but it's stopped now. The wedding dresses are gone too, maybe there's a connection?
I don't like to see local book shops close. In America in 1998 I encountered bookshop cafes for the first time and liked the idea. The idea was (I think) that you could sit at a table and read part of something you intended to buy. But Borders South Yarra went too far: people lounging on sofas for hours reading an entire book. I wouldn't mind if they were broke, but none of them looked broke to me.
In my twenties I saw The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell in the window of a Book shop in St Kilda: paperback, four volumes. I thought about it for days. I had to have it. So I bought it and stole some woman's shopping from a car in Prahran carpark.
Man does not live by bread alone, says the Scriptures. I think that's what they meant.

Kath Lockett said...

I still like browsing in book shops but I too have been a Book Depository devotee for a couple of years too - cost savings and convenience are just way ahead of anything we have (had?) here. And don't forget the Salvos and other thrift shops - I've found some brilliant books in there.

Borders started to fill themselves up with crap, overpriced gifts and the only books on the shelves were best-sellers. Readings in Carlton is still worth visiting because they stock so much more variety and it's easy to see an hour or two disappear mysteriously whilst in there.

JahTeh said...

Rh, you swine, some child might have gone hungry that night. Was the book worth it? He was a fascinating man, I've seen a great documentary on ABC1 about him.

Kath, I can't do crosswords because I have trouble reading the letters down, same thing in a bookstore, I end up dizzy. I like sitting down to browze the Book Depository.

R.H. said...

I had a little bungalow behind a house in Robe Street, getting an occasional days work unloading wool bales, etc, at Spencer Street rail yards. To get a job for the day you had to stand outside the hirers little timber hut with a mob of other blokes, hoping that when he came out you'd be among those he pointed at. I don't know at all what criteria he used. It was probably the drink, some candidates were so ravaged they couldn't stand still on the spot.
I was raking up small change, that's the point. The first thing had to be the rent, the rest went on food. If I could have stolen mad George's polemics from the shop window I'd have done that instead. But I don't regret what I did. I don't regret anything I've had to do. I don't think this is a wonderful country, I think it's a shithead. And all these darling internet 'writers' 'artists' 'photographers' and so on viewing it otherwise will never knock up anything worthwhile; if I've ever caused a child to go hungry I've done it a favour.

JahTeh said...

I believe Rochester had the same problems, the big house, the huge food bills and pinching poems.

I hate people who say Centrelink are funding bludgers, very few are and I would never want men to go back to the old days of pleading for work for pennies. I know from my own family what that was like.

R.H. said...

A lot of families in wealthy suburbs took advantage of unemployed tradesmen during the Great Depression to get low cost renovations done on their big houses.

Pinching poems? Who does that?