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An Amazon Nation
June 1, 2012 1:10 PM   Subscribe

The current issue of The Nation turns its focus to Amazon: The Amazon Effect by Steve Wasserman, How Germany Keeps Amazon at Bay and Literary Culture Alive by Michael Naumann, Search Gets Lost by Anthony Grafton, and finally Ten Reasons to Avoid Doing Business With Amazon.com.
posted by Toekneesan (57 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm favoriting this to read tomorrow. Today, it would only make me feel guilty. I just placed an Amazon order for a stereo amplifier for me, special conditioner for my girlfriend, and steel cut oats for both of us.
posted by gilrain at 1:20 PM on June 1, 2012


Stores supplied by distribution warehouses. Stores that are in warehouses. Distribution warehouses that are stores.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:27 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Search Gets Lost by Anthony Grafton

Wow, that was an incredibly long-winded way to complain about a relatively obscure feature being removed from Amazon's book search options.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:28 PM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's uncouth to demand ever-cheaper products and then complain about it.
posted by nickrussell at 1:31 PM on June 1, 2012 [15 favorites]


I read the Wasserman article last night via Instapaper and it's good stuff.
posted by jquinby at 1:32 PM on June 1, 2012


Ten Reasons to Avoid Doing Business With Amazon.com

Venerable UK radical booksellers Housmans recently convinced me with this page:

What is wrong with using Amazon.com?
posted by ryanshepard at 1:34 PM on June 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yeh, Grafton's piece was atypically disappointing.
posted by billcicletta at 1:36 PM on June 1, 2012


Is this the thread where I get to say how much I love Amazon?
posted by etc. at 1:42 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe in the next weekly Amazon thread.
posted by Artw at 1:47 PM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


/puts in Amazon Fresh order.

Fuck you Fred Meyer!
posted by Artw at 1:48 PM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, it's the thread where you go to say how much you love Apple.
posted by alms at 1:49 PM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


A lot of that stuff in the "Ten Reasons" link is absolutely true... and yet Amazon remains the single best thing to happen to book lovers in decades at the least. Possibly centuries. Yes, yes, independent bookstores blah blah blah. Do you know what fraction of Americans had access to a decent independent bookstore before Amazon came along? Ok, neither do I but it was undoubtedly extremely small. There were whole cities... or possibly even states... without easy access to a good bookstore.
posted by Justinian at 1:50 PM on June 1, 2012 [39 favorites]


Note: Waldenbooks was not a good bookstore. Ugh.
posted by Justinian at 1:51 PM on June 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I use amazon for a lot of things, but I also love and make use of one of my local indie bookstores, porter square books. I'm fortunate enough to live in an area that has several indie bookstores including one with print on demand. The thing I *love* about PSB is that I can order via their website but pay and pick it up in the store, plus they have a parking lot and a bus stop for a useful-to-me bus line. That's convenient enough for me that they're my first pick for books. I just used them to pre-order a book and then just went in and picked it up on the release day. On the other hand, I just used amazon today to buy some clothing because I knew the right size and I hate going into clothing stores.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:59 PM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have to agree (in part) with Justinian above. If not Amazon per se, at least having a large variety of books easily available via Internet has been a boon to people who aren't privileged enough to live in a big city or college town where quality independent bookstores abound.

It's easy to sing the praises of independent bookstores and deplore mass on-line retailers when you live in a place that has (or had) easy in-person access to a wide variety of books. If you live in a conservative, religious suburb or small town and your local bookstore shelves mystical/pagan books under "Satanic Literature" and has no LGBTQ books whatsoever, should you be SOL? If you live out in the rural boonies should you have to move to the city or be SOL? If you physically can't get out of the house should you be SOL?

According to Wasserman's article, Germany seemed to address this issue very well without benefit of Amazon - it mentions that books were easily obtained via the publisher and mailed out within 24 hours.

Look, I love independent bookstores and was lucky to have lived, for most of my life, in places that offered easy access (remember Green Apple in San Francisco? Or A Dim Poorly Lit Place for Books?). But I think it's important to remember that not everyone did or does - and saying "Let them read The Da Vinci Code" doesn't help.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:00 PM on June 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


The prices on Amazon’s website may seem amazingly cheap, but these savings come primarily from publishers, who are squeezed for every penny

Finally, a way to buy Marvel and DC without feeling guilty!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:01 PM on June 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


"He recalls Bezos insisting that the Internet, with “its bottomless capacity for data collection,” would “allow you to sort through entire populations with a fine-tooth comb. Affinity would call out to affinity: your likes and dislikes—from Beethoven to barbecue sauce, shampoo to shoe polish to Laverne & Shirley—were as distinctive as your DNA, and would make it a snap to match you up with your 9,999 cousins.” "

I'm sort-of fascinated by how APPALLINGLY BAD Amazon is at this given its focus on selling you more shit based on shit you already bought. In the absence of getting better at it, I wish Amazon let me sort my past purchases into categories (other than "gift" and "not gift"), so I could tell it that I like to buy SFF novels OR popular social science books OR Regency-era romances OR books about religion OR YA novels, and that they don't have to try to sell me YA sci-fi novels focused on the social science of religion with time-travel to the Regency era. I mean SERIOUSLY Amazon. Its algorithm doesn't seem to know you can like different KINDS of things that are not necessarily related to one another.

Its weighting towards recency is also aggravating ... you pick up one YA novel about princesses because a YA librarian friend recommended it, and suddenly amazon spends the next month suggesting nothing but princess books of widely varying quality. Sometimes it seems to forget that I have spent 10 years buying popular social science books because I ordered an Elmo book for someone's baby shower and forgot to mark it as a gift, and amazon thinks I want NOTHING BUT ELMO for months.

(Also the Kindle management interface needs to be hella better and more flexible.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:02 PM on June 1, 2012 [21 favorites]


Waldenbooks was not a good bookstore.

I agree, but there was a B Dalton Booksellers in the little mall up the street from where I lived as a kid that I spent hours in while my Mom shopped at Waldbaums. That place was like a fantasyland for me growing up and I devoured everything I could get my hands on. (I spent alot of time at the library too)

I have no idea if skimming Amazon listings engenders the same kind of wonder that holding the physical books did when I was young. My guess is that it does, that the imagination is kickstarted by the ideas and not the medium. But I think I will always have a special place in my heart for bookstores like Walden's and B Dalton.
posted by dave78981 at 2:04 PM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Amazon is not the only online retailer of books. Try Abe Books and Alibris, for instance.
.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:10 PM on June 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


AbeBooks Inc. is a subsidiary of Amazon.com since 2008.
posted by elgilito at 2:24 PM on June 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm sort-of fascinated by how APPALLINGLY BAD Amazon is at this given its focus on selling you more shit based on shit you already bought

Yes, it's surprising this palpable failure hasn't gotten more attention over the last year or two — since you'd think the business press would be attentive to the self-destruction of what's supposed to be one of Amazon's biggest competitive advantages. These ever-more-mythical hyperfocused, irresistibly data-mined recommendations that speak straight to the individual customer's previously undreamed-of wants only exist anymore in scare stories about how Amazon is killing indie bookstores and the publishing industry; they're fading fast from reality.
posted by RogerB at 2:24 PM on June 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Before Amazon, I got into the habit of reading books that were at least 500 pages long. It helped me develop a healthy taste for Dostoyevsky. The reason for this was cost - A 500 page book cost the same as a 150 page book, but took much longer to read - more than just proportionally. The folks who write the big tomes tend to write densely. My book budget was simply not able to handle the fact that I could read 200 pages in an evening.

Now I live in the big city and I have access to the library. Today I found a copy of the new Francis Fukuyama. I don't know if I will like it, but there are few risks associated with borrowing it. On the other hand, for my big city library access I pay a lot more in other big city costs.

Anecdote: I don't buy books from Amazon, because even though they are cheaper there they really aren't inexpensive enough for me to afford. BUT I did just buy a fanny pack on Amazon today, because even though I live in the big city, I have seen one fanny pack in eight years and it was $40 and I do not think so. What's the deal? None of the thrift stores even have fanny packs. I made my own but then it wore out. Why does Village Discount Outlet not have fanny packs? Because everyone is hoarding them, this is why. Because the fanny pack is as rare as a unicorn but about a million times more useful.

Honestly, I doubt pressuring Amazon though market activity is really going to work. I am ALL ABOUT regulating Amazon through the government though. Like, I'm going to buy from Amazon because they have the fanny packs. But if I had to pay sales tax, I'd be even happier! Because, you know, those sales taxes could go towards actually getting my street cleaned on time, or whatever. The government is pretty decent at turning revenue into stuff. Not great, but, well, better than Amazon, as far as public works go. Or if Amazon were forced to actually follow state mandates regarding breaks and overtime, I'd support the costs of the oversight needed to achieve that. They will find ways to make money. That's their whole thing. I'm not sure why we are so reluctant to tax or regulate them.
posted by newg at 2:39 PM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Amazon is not the only online retailer of books. Try Abe Books and Alibris, for instance.

Or Powell's
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:40 PM on June 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Totally agree that Amazon has helped open up access to tons of stuff for tons of people who otherwise would not...have access.

I still won't buy anything from them, though. All I can think about when I do consider buying something from them is the horrible chain of events that leads the UPS truck to my house with a cheap thing I don't need.

I haven't read The Nation in years and years though. Is this sort of single-focus issue something they do a lot? I don't remember it from when I actively read the magazine, and it's kind of a cool idea.
posted by broadway bill at 2:46 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry to say this newg, but I think that the paucity of fannypacks is due to their being incredibly unfashionable. Can I interest you in a nice messenger bag? They are larger and slightly less convenient but much more au courant.
posted by Scientist at 2:47 PM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


>There were whole cities... or possibly even states... without easy access to a good bookstore.
>having a large variety of books easily available via Internet has been a boon to people who aren't privileged enough to live in a big city or college town

Yeah, Amazon is the, uh, textbook case of leveling: If you live in a bookstore-deprived area, it provides a phenomenal benefit. If you live in a bookstore-rich area, well, all those local booksellers now have even bigger crosshairs painted on their awnings.

In any case, Amazon's success, and particular the success of its e-book store, just reinforce the notion that, 80% of the time, customers prioritize some combination of speedy access and minimal price above other considerations.
posted by darth_tedious at 2:50 PM on June 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Yes, it's surprising this palpable failure hasn't gotten more attention over the last year or two"

What's even more interesting is that while amazon has consumer data on me dating back to like 1997 or so, they haven't suggest a novel or book (or DVD) to me that interests me in like four years at least (with one notable exception below*), but LibraryThing, which I've only entered about 200 books into, all poetry, religion, and philosophy (because that's the shelves I've started with) is great at suggesting NOVELS I will like based on those 200 books, none of which are fiction.

*The one time in the last four years that amazon suggested a book that interested me was when I was perusing twin-sized mattresses on amazon and it said, "People who bought this also bought: "Big Enough for a Bed," a Sesame Street book where Elmo moves to a big-boy bed from his crib. I was like, "Whoa," because that's exactly why I was shopping for a twin mattress. But that's probably exactly why a lot of people are shopping for a twin mattress. I ordered the book from amazon but got the mattress locally. I don't think the Elmo book helped, though. I think the truck sheets helped.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:50 PM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why does Village Discount Outlet not have fanny packs?

Did you try the one on Clark?
posted by theodolite at 3:05 PM on June 1, 2012


Regarding suggestion algorithms... We at MeFi are not the target audience of such things. This is because on the whole we are discerning or at the very least expend more energy on being aware. If you are the like the makority of people though, these things work fantastic because yes, you really liked that Bridges of Madison County and you want another dose of exactly that. Look at it this way... If those features did not generate some large degree of ROI, Amazon would not waste the resources.
posted by spicynuts at 3:11 PM on June 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


"If you are the like the makority of people though, these things work fantastic because yes, you really liked that Bridges of Madison County and you want another dose of exactly that."

First, if it was suggesting another dose of things I liked, based on things that other people liked who also liked what I liked, we'd be all good! The whole POINT of their algorithms is that they CAN narrow and capture more unique (and elite) markets. If they're just catering to mass taste, there's a NYTimes bestseller list for that, and amazon isn't adding any particular value.

Second, I just went and looked, and among the front-page recommendation absurdities were suggestions that I would like to purchase Downton Abbey Season 2 (Blu-Ray) because I recently purchased and watched Downton Abbey Season 2 (streaming), and that I would like to buy FOUR DIFFERENT PICTURE BOOK VERSIONS of Peter and the Wolf because I recently bought a fifth picture book version of Peter and the Wolf. The algorithms are broken and clearly nobody at amazon is even looking at them.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:38 PM on June 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've found their reading suggestions surprisingly accurate. But I also have 2,000 books total in my wishlists.
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:42 PM on June 1, 2012


I live 6 hours from anything that could be considered a metropolitan area with an independent bookstore and let me tell you this: You can take my Amazon Prime from my cold and dying fingers. And I do place an order with Powells now and then - sometimes through Amazon.
posted by Ber at 3:45 PM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wired: So how did you become a Charles Stross fan?

Krugman: I think I probably was just browsing in a bookstore. As I’ve often said, you can shop online and find whatever you’re looking for, but bookstores are where you find what you weren’t looking for. I think I stumbled across The Family Trade, but then discovered that there’s much more.
posted by Toekneesan at 3:49 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the moment it just costs to much to crunch all that data they have on you and do something measurable to increase sales. Don't worry though as CPU's get bigger and quants get better tools te time when come when your further creeped out by Amazon.
posted by humanfont at 4:03 PM on June 1, 2012


I was looking at Blu-ray players recently. I chuckled at one of the listings that claimed that the unit I was looking at was "commonly purchased together" with two other, different models of blu-ray players.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:04 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Remember Green Apple in San Francisco [...]?

Oh, it's still there.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 4:18 PM on June 1, 2012


If there's one thing Amazon isn't short of, it's the ability to recommend me a lot of Stross books.
posted by Artw at 4:20 PM on June 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think Krugman was talking about a recommendation. He was talking about serendipity.
posted by Toekneesan at 4:38 PM on June 1, 2012


Maybe it's age, but I really don't like being told where I can't or shouldn't buy. I buy from bookshops and record stores as often as possible, and from independent stores of all types (hardware, home improvement, clothing, food, etc.). But I also buy from Amazon. I use them when planning trips to other stores; the product reviews are useful resources. As much as I love going to my favorite bookshop, don't hector me if I decide to buy a copy of Stan Musial: An American Life on Amazon and have it shipped to my father across the country. (I used "hector." It must be age!)
posted by jleisek at 4:40 PM on June 1, 2012


Justinian : A lot of that stuff in the "Ten Reasons" link is absolutely true

A lot of that stuff in the "Ten Reasons" link describes 95% of fortune-500 companies. Doesn't make it less evil, but I see no particular reason to shun Amazon while still buying from the likes of ADM or GM or PG.


One peeve, though... "Amazon’s Business Model Is Monopolistic" - No. The article wants the word "monopsonistic". Not quite the same thing.


Oh, and I can't resist:
"Amazon Dodges Taxes and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Doesn’t Contribute to Local Economies Through Charity"... And passes the savings on to you!
Seriously, they should make that into a friggin' advertisement.

posted by pla at 4:44 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Amazon has resigned to losing its tax-free-sales loophole in CA this September.

In other news, I, uh, need a few more months to get my boycott warmed up and ready to start...
posted by -harlequin- at 5:20 PM on June 1, 2012


They just threw in the sales tax bit here in TN, too. They built distribution centers here (including one not far from where I live) and needed to cut a deal with the state. To aid in this transition, they helpfully sent a note to us telling us how much we had bought from them in the past year, and that while they had no duty to report that number to the state, we might be on the hook for a use tax liability.
posted by jquinby at 5:41 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


AbeBooks Inc. is a subsidiary of Amazon.com since 2008.

Speaking of being aware, I missed that. That's about when I started not liking Abe so much and switched to Alibris, though.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:09 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Doesn't make it less evil, but I see no particular reason to shun Amazon while still buying from the likes of ADM or GM or PG.

Yeah, which is why I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon. The solution is to change the laws which govern all corporations, not to single out Amazon for stuff that is legal and ubiquitous.
posted by Justinian at 7:24 PM on June 1, 2012


There were whole cities... or possibly even states... without easy access to a good bookstore.

No, I find that extremely hard to believe, unless there's some level of "good" I'm not aware of. Maybe my tastes are blisteringly pedestrian, but it seems like unless you know what to look for you get the exact same heavily promoted BrandNovel(TM) at Amazon, otherwise you just get the book store, including an apparently awful chain books store, to order you whatever it was you wanted.

So in theory if you lived in an extremely rural area with good internet coverage, Amazon is a good deal. Maybe it's a Canadian thing? I don't even find them cheap after shipping.
posted by Phalene at 9:38 PM on June 1, 2012


I can't speak to what wizardry happens in the accounting offices of amazon, but I do think its time to have a national conversation about internet sales tax.
posted by dejah420 at 10:39 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those doubting the lack of bookshops in some places - I'm in the UK, but I grew up in a large town without a bookshop. Not a single one. There was a single aisle of paperbacks in the WHSmiths (mainly a stationery-magazine shop), and they would order you books. Other than that, it was a trip to the next city.
posted by Coobeastie at 2:33 AM on June 2, 2012


"There were whole cities... or possibly even states... without easy access to a good bookstore."

No, I find that extremely hard to believe, unless there's some level of "good" I'm not aware of


I live in Peoria, which isn't huge but is a city. We have a Barnes and Noble. We have a used bookstore open weird, short hours. And we have a Christian bookstore. That's it. Not even a university-serving used book store for the four colleges right on hand (and the bookstores at the colleges sell required textbooks and sports paraphernalia, no books to just read). I do shop at Barnes and Noble in the actual store from time to time, but they don't carry much of what interests me, have hardly any staff to help you anymore, and amazon ships free and fast.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:56 AM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Search Gets Lost" is about more than losing statistically improbable phrases, or the laziness of user-generated tags. Once upon a time, if you plugged a phrase or your favorite author's or poet's name into an Amazon book search, you could see results for all the appearances of that phrase from all the books with the Search Inside or Look Inside option. If there was a chapter on the person I was interested in — or even a long section with several mentions — I might buy that book. If they appeared in a bibliography, I might search out the referenced title. But now all you get is the default title/author relevance result, with no way to discover new and relevant works based on content.
posted by steef at 5:21 AM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since I started reading about Amazon's practices I've been trying to buy more from other sources and making efforts to order through bookstores especially as most of the time saving a dollar or two doesn't make a huge difference to me. For others I know that's not the case.

Their recommendation service is lunatic though. If you so much as check out one crazy vampire romance Amazon decides this is the only thing you are interested in forever and ever - the ten books on Latin literature you order, however, make no impact at all. I shall be 90 and they'll still be recommending manly, screwed up vampires and busty ladies to me. I personally have found the book reviews for genre fiction useless: almost every romance, for example, gets nearly all five stars. Either they're all the best, or people who really like Sherlyl (sp?) Kenyon have a lot of time on their hands.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 5:59 AM on June 2, 2012


As a possibly related anecdote, I live in Germany and recently tied to use their "order a book and get it in a day through any bookstore" thing. So I went down to my local Thalia armed with four ISBNs to see what would happen. Two turned out to be out of print, so one was unavailable and one I could have gotten used but for a ridiculous price. But, out if print is out of print, so that is what it is. The other two they told me they could happily get for me ... in four weeks. But they were both English language titles, at least one pretty obscure, and checking Amazon I found out I wasn't going to get them any faster that way anyhow, so I said sure.

A month later, when I hadn't heard anything from them, I dropped by the store and found that branch had without notice permanently closed.

Oh, well.
posted by kyrademon at 7:24 AM on June 2, 2012


"There were whole cities... or possibly even states... without easy access to a good bookstore."

US and Canada Independent bookstores. Some will ship.

UK independents and a service.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:25 AM on June 2, 2012


A "behind the covers" reason as to why recommendations and search at Amazon aren't as good as they once were; Amazon now charges publishers to be include in many of those results. So, if the publisher of busty vampire romance novel pays more "co-op" than the publisher of Latin literature, they are going to show up in your results more often. This co-op money Amazon has begun to demand of publishers is what is skewing your recommendations. See also the IPG case, were Amazon refused to sell IPG titles unless IPG began paying co-op fees to Amazon. In the old days, co-op was money a publisher offered a retailer to pay for local promotion costs: ads, book event announcements, signage, etc. When the chains first got powerful, they began to demand it for special title placement in the store: right up front, on the end-cap, in the window. Amazon wanted a cut so they began to demand it, too and at first it paid for things like "Buy these two books together and save $10". Then it started affecting "customers who bought x also bought y" and other recommendation schemes. Now it changes search results.
posted by Toekneesan at 9:16 AM on June 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


I do shop at Barnes and Noble in the actual store from time to time, but they don't carry much of what interests me, have hardly any staff to help you anymore, and amazon ships free and fast.

That's what I mean- if you know what you're looking for, usually even these chains can get you books. That's also what I grew up with, Coles/Chapters/Indigo versus United Books and the inevitable pastel decorated bible store (why these always look stunningly like new age gift shops I'll never be able to tell), plus luckily a comics/gaming store that later folded, a market to be picked up by the local United books.

Amazon, in Canada at least, did not have better prices, had terrible shipping time (including paying extra for Christmas time shipping and having half the order arrive in January, the rest with an apology it was out of stock) and was no more useful that finding the name and title of the book you wanted and getting the book store to order it in.
posted by Phalene at 2:20 PM on June 2, 2012


Well, to reiterate, Amazon ships to me for free in two days (I started with "amazon mom" free two-day shipping and then moved to Prime partly so I could stream video). If I ask B&N to special-order something, the tell me to go to their website and order it from bn.com, which costs more to ship and is slower than amazon. And I'm just not really clear why B&N is morally superior to Amazon, other than that it's not so big ... but it'd totally be that big if it could and it's not like B&N didn't destroy local bookstores.

Also buying at the B&N bricks-and-mortar outlet is like 30-40% more expensive than buying online. And seriously half the store is now toys (although some really good toys!) and tchotchkies for adults.

So given that Amazon in the U.S. apparently functions differently than in Canada and ships fast and free if you have prime (and slow and free if you don't), what makes a Barnes & Noble superior, since it is not superior on shipping or price and the bricks-and-mortar store just tells me to go order it myself online? And how is that a "good" local bookshop, if it's just a delivery point for shipping books I special order and offers no further services? I'm not really sure what you think a "good" bookstore is, if it's just a less-convenient, more-expensive place to have books delivered than my house is.

(I mean, the morally superior choice is obviously to interlibrary loan things my library doesn't have and have them delivered to the Bookmobile that stops in my neighborhood every other week and I can walk to pick it up. Which, even though it takes between 4 and 9 days for interlibrary loan to arrive at the library depot and then I have to wait until the every-other-week Bookmobile stop, still is frequently faster than special ordering to have it delivered to B&N and managing to drive out there with many children in tow. Also the library is a lot nicer about my kids pulling books off the shelves if they wrestled out of my grasp.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:40 PM on June 2, 2012


Amazon, in Canada at least, did not have better prices, had terrible shipping time (including paying extra for Christmas time shipping and having half the order arrive in January, the rest with an apology it was out of stock) and was no more useful that finding the name and title of the book you wanted and getting the book store to order it in.

This is completely different than my experience of Amazon in Canada. Better prices then Chapters/Indigo, quick shipping time and free (I usually get it the next day anyway), and never any problems with stock. Far better, particularly around Christmas, than going to a store, braving the crowd, and paying more.
posted by juiceCake at 7:10 AM on June 3, 2012




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