Shopping for books is a lot more complicated than it used to be. No longer do you simply drive to your local bookstore or library and pick out a couple of books that look interesting to you. Now with the advent of the Internet into every single facet of our lives, shopping for books can be as easy as turning on your computer and heading a button.
It might sound like nothing more than a first world problem, but my personal biggest problem with final what books of the Internet is choosing what to buy. There is too much choice from my simple little brain to comprehend.
I used to love nothing more than going to the library and picking out a new author to try. Now when I go online to look for a book to read or by there seems to be too much choice and I just end up going in circles reading reviews. I seem to read more reviews for books than books these days.
I do realise this sounds quite a lot like a fat man complaining to has too much food of too high quality, but shopping for books online should save me a lot of money. Using comparebookprices.org to find cheap books makes the purchase of easy, it’s just choosing which books to buy those become the hardest part.
I talk a lot about books ability to shape the mind, and the special place that books hold today’s media because of their ability to engulf the reader like no other medium is able to. Maybe is just me but I get far more engrossed in a book than I ever do a movie, but this is a double edged sword because while I’ve never been scared by movie I’ve read more than one book that is left me mentally scarred, utterly disturbed, and kept me up at night. These are some of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read.
House of leaves. This is by far one of the most creative and simultaneously disturbing books I have ever read. It is enjoyable and one of the most different and novel books I’ve ever read, but when the horrifying events start to happen, they jump right out of the page and into my brain.
1984 by George Orwell. Were it not for the name of the novel, you might think this book was written today about the current British government and the society in which individual privacy is valued at far less than it ever was previously. This book changed the way I looked at my government, and drastically shifted the way I looked at the world around me. Whether or not to change with the better remains to be seen.
The catcher in the Rye. As sad as it is to me to admit this, this book will literally changed me more than any other book ever simply because I was told by a few people that I reminded them of the main character. After I sat down and read the book I realised Petty and whiny I was coming off to everyone else. After I finished reading the catcher in the Rye I was forced to take a good long hard look at myself and literally change who I was. This one was intimately disturbing to me.
Books have a very special place in this world. They are the keepers of knowledge, the only hope the next generation. But they also have the ability to tell us a story about anything you can possibly imagine, to take us to distant worlds or time travelled to the past or the possible future. But it seems to me that lately books are taking a back step to the new forms of media like video games and movies. Driving past the school at lunchtime is rare to see a child reading a book, but I can be dammed sure to see one with a mobile phone or a Game Boy. Which got me to thinking is this necessarily a bad thing.
Part of me wants to rage and rile at the next generation the spending so much time on the Internet or playing video games. Tradition dictates that they should be outside the building a fort or playing sport of some kind, but is this really true? I remember when I was small I used to sit in front of the television every Saturday morning and watch the cartoons. Without fail whenever Mum or dad saw me doing this they would say you should be outside playing games or doing something physical. But look at me now, I hate television, it has almost no redeeming qualities and I spent almost all my time reading both fiction and non-fiction books. My grandmother also tells a story of how when she was little and she used to sit inside either fire reading books her mother used to come in and tell her that she should be outside being physical, and getting some exercise.
So to me it seems like the only constant thing about parenting over the last few centuries, his parents trying to get their children out of the house as much as is possible. And as a new parent I can completely and utterly confirm this. I am perpetually tired and as much as I love them, whenever my kids are inside it is impossible to take a nap or get anything constructive done.
So the next time you hear someone tell their kids to stop playing a damn video game go and do something constructive, think of my grandmother who was told stop reading books and go and do something constructive.
Why do College textbooks cost so much money?
Coming from high school where textbooks are free really into the college life where textbooks are very expensive can be a big shock to many people. Many new university and college students are astounded to find out that their textbooks can run them up well over $1000 per year.
Part of this is because writing a textbook attracts a much smaller potential audience than writing a high school text which will be syndicated out hundreds and thousands of times to students all over the country and all over the world. College textbooks are only so to college students were studying that particular subject.
This is not to say that college textbook prices aren’t exorbitant in the least. Particularly the practice of updating their book every year with minor updates so that next year students can’t buy used textbooks from this year students. What makes things worse and compounds this problem is the fact that your textbook on which you may have just spent 50 or $150 on is now effectively worthless.
Authors should be paid for their work, writing a book takes a massive amount of time and effort and authors should be rewarded accordingly. But adding minor updates to your book to Kilda used book market is a practice that needs to go.
Purposely devaluing your book once even twice a year is a horrible business practice. Yes I make you more money in the long run, but how many bridges are you burning along the way.
Renting textbooks is becoming a new fad to students to save money with. Renting textbooks and using online tools to compare book prices from various retailers is not only economically sensible, but it is a way that the problem publishers to be told that there are horrible cannibalistic practices are no longer acceptable.
Said the well read chicken. Are there any more puns about books, I’m drawing a blank.
During my literature lecture today the professor had a great discussion about puns in book, which naturally lead to puns about books.
My favorite was Absolutely this one
Do you like Kipling?
I don’t know, I’ve never kipled.
Which somehow lead us writing a book cover with something along the lines of, if you have only read one book in your lifetime, then you should shut your mouth. Which I think is just a generally great statement. Its easy to tear down things you don’t understand, but it is by far harder to build something up.
When a person first looks at comparing book prices online, it can be very easy to become overwhelmed with the options that you are presented with. At first it might seem a little bit like you are a pretty woman in the wild wild west, with everyone competing for your hand, but it is nothing so romantic. All they want is to get into your pants and open up your sweet and tender wallet and have their merry way with it.
While it does feel a little bit like I stretched that analogy just a bit too far, the fact remains that most of the sites on the internet are simply trying to make you empty your wallet, and remember the words of the immortal bard, if they aren’t trying to sell you a product then YOU are the product.
So with this in mind, let me share a few tips for shopping for and comparing book prices online.
Always use someone you trust
There are always dozens of different sites on the web catering to your every whim and fancy, but unfortunately not all of them are legitimate and safe to use. Before you enter your credit card information, if you have never used the site before or never heard of the name, it only takes 1 minute to do a quick Google search for the name of the website along with the word “scam”. Check out some of the responses to see if other people have been burnt by this site before.
Age is Experience
In the cut-throat world of the internet, if you are a scammer or spammer or a pirate, then your days are always limited. Spammers and scammers count their website age in days, not years like the rest of the legitimate web. Once a website is suspected of being malicious or scummy, Google or the authorities step in and take them down, either by pressing legal charges or removing them from the Google listings. So again, a quick Google search for the name of the website you are giving your hard earned money to will not go astray.
The Big Names are Famous for a Reason
Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, The Book Depository, these are some of the biggest names in the online book selling business for a reason. They are safe, they will keep your credit card details secure, and you will always get what you pay for. You can either search these websites by yourself or use a trusted website such as CompareBookPrices.org to search all of these websites at once using their Book Price Comparison Tool. Search the big names and never get burnt.
Right now, I am busy getting things into an acceptable shape to start listing some of my favorite and most treasured books, whilst simultaneously trying to find the best prices of these book on the web.
I may have bitten off far more than I can chew, but lets find out shall we.
Here is just one quick sexy little picture to start off with…
Gorgeous aren’t they?!