A book addict’s worst nightmare

Historically, my book-buying addiction has been somewhat mitigated by the following:

  • I don’t like to shop in physical book stores — when I browse, I end up buying stuff that I don’t really want just because; online, I tend to take longer to decide what I’m going to buy (and I like being able to search without having to hunt for a kiosk or a clerk).
  • Amazon and Chapters require a credit card — and even if I was going to use one, I feel obligated to buy $39+ worth of books at a time in order to get the free shipping, and I can’t always convince myself that I should be buying that much money’s worth of books, despite the fact that my Amazon.ca shopping cart — an ersatz wishlist — is 27 pages long (yes, I know Amazon has an actual Wishlist feature but it’s more convenient to use the shopping cart as one instead; and yes, I know that a 27-page shopping page could be considered a symptom of hoarding — like there was any doubt of that *snort*)
  • Online stores that take Paypal tend to be based in the US (like Barnes and Noble) and charge fairly high shipping to ship to Canada
  • Buying books on eBay tends to be a crapshoot. Most charge exhorbitant shipping charges and many of the book sellers with the most feedbacks are really all different faces of the same seller (who charges a fairly high shipping charge similar to Amazon.com for its basic service — which can take months to get a book to you and you won’t get any answer to your emails — but offers a premium, astronomically-priced shipping option that ships in a couple of days and allows you the privilege of actually contacting them). In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a little bitter about this particular group of sellers because you don’t find out that they’re related until you go through the checkout process. My advice? DO NOT buy books on eBay unless you’re buying from a small seller.

I’d thought that Better World Books would be my downfall, because you can frequently find used copies of books you’re looking for at a reasonable (or lower-than-reasonable) price, and their shipping to Canada is $3.98 per book. Cheaper than most US sellers if you’re only getting a couple of books, but the shipping adds up. That ultimately held me back somewhat. And the shipping time definitely isn’t Amazon.ca calibre, understandably so, but it still can be a determining factor.

Now, through a number of friends who’ve used it, I’ve found the Book Depository, a Guernsey-based site offering free shipping worldwide and in many cases, significantly cheaper prices than any other place I’ve seen. If it’s half as nifty as it looks, I may just be completely overwhelmed by my addiction.

I just placed my first order with them (for a single book I’d been looking for) so we’ll see what the cost really is — in terms of shipping time, wait, customs, etc. If it’s even half as fast as Better World Books, which is fairly slow, I’ll still be a happy — if poorer — camper.


2 thoughts on “A book addict’s worst nightmare

  1. Mari

    I just found your blog(s) today and I can relate to so much of what I have read so far: 41, weight loss, food ethical dilemma, book fiending, worries about Mom’s health, etc…

    I got to combine my fascination with archeology, whales, and icebergs a couple of years ago with a trip to the northern tip of the Viking Peninsula of Newfoundland. It was a thrilling experience and I heartily recommend it to you.

    Anyway, I will continue to read and catch up on some earlier posts. I wish you and yours the very best: )

    1. Hi Mari,

      Welcome to the blog. I hope you’ll be coming back. 🙂

      Yeah, that trip comes to mind every time I see a Newfoundland tourism ad on TV, but then I quickly forget. I should probably add it to my somewhat-neglected bucket list so I remember next time. 😉

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