RARA-AVIS: Transatlantic Book Buying (Was: Non-U.S. Writers, chocolates and various filler...)

ejm duggan (ejmd@mcmail.com)
Mon, 27 Jul 1998 00:23:01 -0700 On Sun, 26 Jul 1998 00:19:34, ANONYMEINC@webtv.net (Mark Sullivan)

> Kevin Smith asked if any good US book store couldn't order a book from
> another country. No, at least not in my experience. They always say it
> will take 4 to 6 months (and it does) if they can get it at all, and
> half the time they can't. You are much better off ordering it straight
> from overseas. Even if you ship it surface it takes 4 to 6 weeks instead
> of months.

My experience of getting books sent in the other direction (ie I'm in
the UK and I often get books from the US and Canada) is that
bog-standard 'surface' mail is to be avoided---it really can be 4-6

A much better option for buying books from the US is to ask book dealers
to use Global Priority Mail. It's as fast as air mail (2-3 weeks) and
is very cheap: either $3.75 or $6.95, depending upon the size of the
envelope (not the weight of the book).

This is quite distinct from 'air mail' which is very expensive. If book
dealers claim ignorance of Global Priority, or want to charge over the
odds, my experience is that calm persistence will pay off, or you should
use another dealer.

Oddly, in Canada, Priority Mail is very expensive and air mail is the
best option.

However, I think the current concern is how US/Canadian based readers
can get hold of books published in the UK.

I have not tried Amazon to see what is available from them, but that
would probably be my first option <http://www.amazon.com>

I've also come across a company based in the North of Ireland, No Alibis
Bookstore who advertise in _Crime Time_ They claim to be able to get US
material 'within 2-3' weeks, so they may be able to help with UK
There's no URL given, but there is an email address:

There is also Murder One, a bookshop in London's Charing Cross Road (the
road that's famous for having bookshops in it). They have a web site:
and email:
[I guess they haven't figured out how to swap the silly Compuserve
numbers for 'real' names]
They offer a world-wide mail-order service (catalogue on request).

The Mysterious Bookshop also has a branch in London, who also offer a
mail order catalogue, newsletter and Crime Collector's Club. email:
[it looks like they have figured out how to do names on Compuspend]

I have no commerical interest in, nor have I had any dealings with these
bookshops, so I cannot comment on or vouch for their service. I'm just
passing on information which may be useful to other rara-avians.

I'm afraid I have no idea about shipping costs or services between the
UK and the US or Canada. Perhaps someone else can offer some advice on


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