My good friend Jennifer came to visit last weekend. Along with Kyle and Vanessa. The four of us were nearly inseparable in high school. And now we're all living thousands of miles apart! Having them visit was a wonderful time to catch up. And for me to show my awesome skills at Apples to Apples. :o)
Anyways, Jennifer works in publishing in NYC (doesn't that sound so sophisticated?!?). On one of our hikes we discussed the publishing business for a bit. Books and book gadgets like the kindle and such. Jennifer told us that Amazon is like the Wal-Mart of the publishing world. It is a huge behemoth that is poised to push the smaller, independent bookstores out of business. I'm sure the economy of the whole situation is more complex than what I just described but that is the gist of it as I understand it.
I'm really not a fan of big corporations that can afford to bully all the little guys. I don't want the world to turn into one huge Wal-Mart/McDonalds/Starbucks combo. In Texas I used to buy books at 1/2 priced books or check them out from the library. But 1/2 priced books really only works if you're not picky at all about what you're going to read. When I wanted to buy a specific title I usually bought online from Amazon. I really didn't know where else to buy used books online. But Jennifer recommended some sites that I think I will try to use from now on.
One is Better World Books. It is a company that collects books that would otherwise be thrown away and sells them online. They donate a portion of their profits to various global literacy organizations. And here's something really awesome: They ship FREE in the U.S.! I bought three used books from the site today- books that were not even in the SLC library system. So they seem to have a good selection.
The other site we discussed is Powell's Books. Powell's is one of the largest independent bookstore in the world. It's in Portland, Oregon. I visited it several years ago when I was in Portland. It is a paradise for readers. I considered moving in. I didn't realize that they also sold online. I didn't find what I was looking for when I was searching for today. But I'll keep looking because I think they have a good selection. I just couldn't find what I wanted used.
Perhaps you can check out these sights when you're Christmas shopping for that book lover in your life.