RARA-AVIS: Second Hand Rose (...or Williams)

From: Bill Bowers ( BBowers@one.net)
Date: 24 Jan 2002

>At: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 20:16:24 -0800
>From: "Michael Robison" < zspider@gte.net>
>Subject: RARA-AVIS: Charles Williams

miker wrote:

>usually amazon is a good source for
>used books.

...but rarely the most economical one: I have a friend who sells books on the Internet, and only one of his many stories concerns the paperback he bought for $5.00, then filled a request from Amazon, they paying him $20.00
... before turning around and selling the same book to their customer for something like $80.00 . Nice work if you can get it. [Amazon doesn't
"stock" used books; but if you want, they'll find it for you. For an ever so modest mark-up.]

Other's have mentioned Powell's, but even they are becoming institutionalized.

Try the American Book Exchange


a consortium of *hundreds* of small bookshops banded together: You type in your wants on the entry page, and -- more often than not -- you will get back listings for several stores holding the title, giving condition. Take your preferred choice ... and then you deal with the bookstore directly. Some will take credit cards, many require a check in the mail; some will not ship outside the U.S.; many will.

You are not going to find every book you want the instant you want, but I've rarely come up with no choices at all, and you can always check back. I've ordered from at least twenty different "stores" -- and never been stiffed once.



is another variant; they claim 40 *million* books at their disposal.

[At all costs, avoid Alibris; see below...]

I do buy new books thru Amazon and B&N.com, but primary use them only as a database to find out if a book has been published, because, again, there are alternatives.

I like mySimon.com


which will give you a page with 20 or so hits, which you can then "sort"
(email-style) by "price" or by "total price" (including s&h), not always the same sequence. Then you do business with the individual seller. [mySimon now has French, German, and UK variants.]

This takes a bit of time to get used to, but unless your budget is more expansive than mine, well worth the time. I know full well that *gotta have!* rush to purchase when I hear of a new book I'd previously been unaware of -- and in that sense, This List has proved rather Expensive
<g> -- but with savings usually no less than 20%, and often more than 50%, off Amazon quotes, it's an investment of time well worth it.

If you have a good local independent book store, used or new, for Ghod's sake support them.

But if, like me, you are pretty much limited in mobility because of health, the on-line Independents are a miracle....

Bill Bowers  |  <Bill@Outworlds.net>  |  "What's your beef with 
Alibris?  Their whimsical policy of huge and seemingly arbitrary mark-ups 
of other booksellers' prices?  Their offensive and stupid ads?  (In case 
anyone missed them: a full-color photo of the jacket of the Gnome edition 
of Kuttner/Moore's MUTANT, with the legend:  'April 11, 1977.  Freaked you 
out so bad you had to bury it.  Jan. 25, 2001: Unearth on Alibris for son 
who shares your sci-fi gene.')  Or is there still another reason to have 
nothing to do with them?"  --- John Boston  |  fictionmags

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