Friday, August 05, 2005

Books

...and why we like to get them for free rather than through Amazon.

Well firstly, obviously cause of the whole 'free' thing always being super-appealing. As we have a book review section on our website at http://www.gothicrevue.com I have become a book snatcher. Thanks to wonderful PR folks like the ones at Time Warner, and Bantam Dell, and lots of small independents, I've been somewhat spoiled. These folks give me lists of upcoming books, with accompanying blurbs and snippets, and invite me to choose which ones we'd like to review. Ah yes. Such a chore it is. *sigh*. So I amble through the offerings and point out my choices, and request that they be culled from the herd and dispatched to the office at all speed.

And lo...does it come to pass. And it is good.

And since I have to be extremely attached to a book/movie/videogame/cd - or conversely, think that it's complete and utter shite - in order to write a review, I am often in the lucky position of getting to read a book and THEN send it on to a reviewer so that they can use their skill and brilliance and craft a well-reasoned and thoughtful review. It's a bit like droit de seigneur or prima nocte without the virgins.

But sometimes I find myself in a position of seeing a book I want which is either no longer hip enough that the publisher wants to push it, or the property of a book publisher who doesn't believe that a website with 130,000 hits a month is trafficky enough for them to send out a review copy. Or they want a guaranteed perky little review. Which I don't ever guarantee.

And in those events, I am left with no alternative but to....gasp....BUY A BOOK!! *lays back in chair and fans herself with the top of the laptop* My poison of choice is Amazon.com, just because they're from Washington originally and have a huge distribution center here, and you get your books at lightning speed without even having to pay 2 day shipping charges. Always a big plus. Patience has never been one of my virtues.

The problem with this is that now I have something invested in this book. When I'm getting promos from publishers, there's no expenditure beyond the postage necessary to send it on to a reviewer. Amazon.com makes you PAY for their books. (Unless you get one of the *second hand* books...more on that later.) And lately I've been making some really crappy choices. I just finished reading Sarah Wise's "The Italian Boy" - a true crime tale of bodysnatching and murder in pre-Victorian London. It received some decent reviews. The little sneak peek at the first two or three pages looked promising. And I am hideously attracted to true crime stories, particularly those which are a little unusual. It should have been a WINNER.

Actually it was boring as hell. She went into some nice detail about Victorian England and poverty and crime...but not enough. She delved into bodysnatching....but not deep enough. It felt like skating over a lake where you could see rotten things below the surface, but the ice was too thick to make out any real details. I fell asleep on it. I have NEVER been known to fall asleep on a good book.

Oh, and by the way, what's UP with Amazon's used book thing? Time was, a person could make quite a profit by selling their used books there. Those days seem to be LONG gone. Amazon's obviously done deals with large second hand book sellers, who are pricing their books at ridiculous rates. Considering at Amazon owns the first 99 cents you make on a sale, how can anyone compete with people selling books at 90 cents? Unless you have an 'in' with Amazon, you're paying them 9 cents to get rid of your book!.

A pox on those people.

Unless they have a book I want and can deliver it in less than 2 days.

I am SUCH the book slut.

7 Comments:

Blogger 'Lema said...

That's okay... I still want my Charlaine Harris book!!! *cry*

~Lema

1:30 AM  
Blogger Rachie said...

Someone has a birthday coming up in 11 days...so somebody should quit WHINING about Charlaine Harris and her smartipants spiffified Vampire books!

So there.

1:49 AM  
Blogger Ashlee said...

you got a striking title there huh?you got me reading your article..and its goo!..drop me a kiss here baby..

2:19 AM  
Blogger Jensgalore said...

I love Amazon. I can get what I want and their free shipping policy gives me the perfect excuse to buy one or two more books as well! "But honey, it's basically free ..." :)

4:10 AM  
Blogger Rachie said...

Ahem...Jen, are we related? LOL. What I didn't mention was that I got two other books along with the one I blogged about...um...cause the shipping was free if I did it that way! :)

11:44 AM  
Blogger Azrael said...

books, book, let's see who has got the looks..*looks around, with not a single rachie to be found*...*pouts*

7:18 PM  
Blogger 'Lema said...

Mummy... mums... dear... when you posted that, it was 9 days. Are you stuck in the past or do you not recall the date that you birthed me? *sniffle* 8 days now.

~Lema

3:50 AM  

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