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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:41 PM
Original message
Where do you buy your books and how do you choose the books you buy?
I'll start.

I read both fiction and non-fiction. I am also cheap. I read the NYT Book review. I am sent catalogues by Daedelus, Bas Bleu and Edward R Hamilton Bargain books. Lately I buy most of my books from Deadelus - salesbooks.com. I like their catalogue, I like their website, I love their prices, and I can get a giant box of books both fiction and non-fiction, often in hardcover for just a ridiculously low price.

Bas Bleu seems to have me by demographic - Jane Austen, PBS type, perhaps a bit twee, though fighting it. IF they have unearthed a book that I know I would probably like, I do feel duty bound to order it through them rather than seeking out something cheaper on Amazon.

I'm much more an online buyer than physical bookstore buyer although if I do enter one, I am sure to leave with a purchase, usually from the "what's new in paperback" nonfiction section.
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virgogal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. Public library only-----Boston Globe book reviews and personal recommendations.
I occasionally get gift cards to a local bookstore----not a chain.
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Dyedinthewoolliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Second hand places
like Half Price Books or Third Place or any local used book store. I can spend all day and all my money in those places :)
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I love secondhand bookstores
But my only close local one pretty much only accepts paperbacks and is very heavy on romance novels. NOT what I am used to in terms of secondhand bookstores! Sad. I like the big musty ones filled with hardbacks and old books.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. I patronize local independent secondhand bookstores and even
Salvation Army stores have given me some real finds. And of course public libraries have book sales.
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JitterbugPerfume Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
28. I have found real treasures
at Salvation Army and Goodwill stores.I once found a whole set of Will and Ariel Durants Civilization at a Goodwill while on Vacation .It cost me more to ship them home than to buy them

but it was worth it!
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-04-10 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I found ORIGINAL PUBLICATIONS from the 1840s of Heinrich Heine
for 25 cents(!) APIECE at a college library book sale. All in terrific condition. They were the first American printing of his poetry.
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dhpgetsit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Powell's!
http://www.powells.com /

New and used.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I knew I forgot something! nt
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thotzRthingz Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. best price? I use ADDALL.COM (search the world: 2NDs, used, new, B&N, Amazon, etc., etc., etc.)
Edited on Sat Jan-02-10 10:53 PM by thotzRthingz
try if for yourself... http://www.addall.com /

(if not at a local book-swap or library... it has been my experience for several years that this site will find it for you at the cheapest price online!)

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lynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Fantastic spot for out-of-print books, I use them, too.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Ok, this is completely new to me - thanks! Glad I asked the question. nt
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. yep, my main source
if not there, eBay. I look for some pretty small press and limited edition stuff on occasions and ya have to take 'em where you find 'em.
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lynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
7. Specialty houses or Amazon -
- I read a lot of local history and genealogy related books and most of those I have to get at a specialty house or through the publisher. Fiction is usually something new that's caught my eye and I'll snag it through Amazon. I keep a running list with them and finalize my order when I qualify for free shipping.

I have a bad habit of buying books when on vacation - books that are pertinent to the location and usually can't be purchased elsewhere. I've learned the hard way to watch that habit as I almost had to pay extra on the return flight due to weight. Had to reorganize all suitcases in middle of the airport to keep any one from going over in pounds. If I buy a lot, I have learned to ship them home via usps and they're there when I return.
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lordsummerisle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
11. Library
I usually read books from the King County Library here in Washington state. If it's a political book I decide to buy for myself or as a gift I get it from Buzzflash, http://www.buzzflash.com/, it's my way of supporting a great progressive website...
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StarfarerBill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. When I buy, I get my books from the local used bookstore, and occasionally online.
Otherwise, I get them from the library.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. I usually go to the local big box store. That way there will be lots of selection. And
I am picky. I want someone's reccomendation on the back if not on a sticker in the front. I read fiction and non fiction. For the last few years I have been into cultural histories.
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endless october Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
14. mostly Barnes and Noble.
i'm sort of working my way through books i should have read years ago. although i do occasionally pick up a new one.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
15. Rummage sales, ebay and BuzzFlash when I am looking for a good
Democrat book and have the money. I am a collector of books so I actually have some dating back to the 60-70s. Downsizing is very hard for me.
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
16. oy, lots of places.
I am a crazy bookworm. Here we go: for books I need right away-- Kindle or Barnes&Noble. Books I want used--Abebooks or I go across town to a secondhand bookstore. I have to be careful with the latter as it is huge and like a time vortex and I literally get a bit dizzy and weak kneed if I try to look at too much. Plus there is another used bookstore across the street from that one (which catalogues on Abe). I also order from Amazon.com, go to another local (closer) secondhand place that doesn't necessarily have a great selection. I do go to the library but it is usually much more expensive as I always return them late. We do have a big booksale there twice a year and I go to that too. I also make sure to browse the Salvation Army which keeps a better selection than the Rescue Mission.
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pansypoo53219 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 12:41 AM
Response to Original message
18. i find i prefer non-fiction and i LOVE estate sales
and at many at the end, books are free. or i just buy the most interesting books. up to E in my set of 1891 encyclopedias. then i have my set of casanova's memoirs after. also reading a set of famous orations. the decameron was a big surprise.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
19. Public Library when I can
Our library keeps abreast of the widely read current works. Bibliographies in non-fiction books provide leads. I check in here regularly and Dkos has excelllent readers diaries. Reviews at Amazon are useful for screening. There are book recommendations all over the net, if you keep your eyes open. I generally buy through Amazon or Alibris. I'm a history buff, but I'm also interested in politics, environment, economics. anthropology, astronomy and the history of ideas. I have the attention span of a flea.
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OffWithTheirHeads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:05 AM
Response to Original message
20. Depends. About 5 years ago I was elected president of
our HOA. 115 unit condo. One of the first things I did was get a bookshelf put in the lobby and started a book exchange. Read something you liked? Leave it. Need something to read? Take it. That first bookshelf is now four bookshelves on two floors and some truly amazing stuff shows up on them. The best part is that it's free. No membership, no cards, no nothing and the folks who use it kind of police it so that it always looks neat. I once went for an entire year just reading from our book exchange and I read on average a book or so a week.

After that, we have a great used bookstore within walking distance (one of the advantages of living downtown). The place is exactly what you think when you think used bookstore. Wooden floors, the place has to cover at least an acre and filled, floor to ceiling with everything you could possibly think of. I almost find it overwhelming. I could spend days there if they had better chairs.

I have some interests that require me to order new books from specialized sources like gun smithing techniques from the late 1700's-early 1800's. Stuff you won't find in the used bookstore but I rarely buy new books. I'm not cheap. I've just been out of work for about 6 months and can't afford to buy new books right now. I would love to get the new Dan Brown but I just can't afford it. I'd also like to get Julia Child's "The art of French Cooking" I figure, about a year from now when all those folks who saw Julie and Julia figure out just how much work and expense is involved in actually cooking this way, there should be a ton of them at the used book store.

As to how to choose them? Man, I'm open to anything but the New York Times which I think is rigged. At a book a week, I'll take any suggestions. I simply must have something to read. Hell, I'll read cereal boxes out of desperation.

Last, a recommendation. It's only fair.

One of the little known treasures in my library is a book called "Longitude" by David Sobel, 1995, Walker Publishing.

The story of the quest to determine Longitude for navigation. For centuries men had known how to determine Latitude. Longitude was a whole nuther matter and this book is really a treasure.
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cheri010353 Donating Member (49 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
21. online booktraders, etc.
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 03:38 AM
Response to Original message
22. Mostly B&N or Borders
I use my cash back from Discover to get Borders gift cards, so the books are free.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
23. At my favorite Goodwill store.
They cycle their entire stock at least once a week, and the remaining books go into a bin, where 3 books are 99 cents. Best-sellers show up on the shelves at this Goodwill about two months after they go on sale in bookstores, and sell for a flat $2.99. Older books are $1.99. The local used booksellers come to this Goodwill and buy stock for their shops, so you have to check daily if you want the latest stuff.

I love my local Goodwill. Everything is a fixed price. Chairs are $4.99. Recliners, even leather ones, are $14.99. Miscellaneous furniture is $4.99. I just bought a beautiful 1930s telephone table in solid mahogany for $4.99. Picked up a Yamaha keyboard, with touch-sensitive keys, with stand and pedal for $19.99. It's all good.

Every Goodwill is different, so visit all the ones in your area. I highly recommend the ones in high-end suburban areas.
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abluelady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
24. I Try to Buy Very Few Books
I read a lot and cannot afford all the books I read. I generally use the library. I tend to buy non-fiction more because I use them as reference books. I love used bookstores and never enter one without buying. I also use B&N and Borders' coupons when I "need a fix."
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
25. Mixed.
I keep a running list of books and authors that I want to read, and try to pick those up from my favorite used book store whenever I'm in the neighborhood.

Occasionally, I'll buy a new release at Costco or another store if something catches my eye. Very rarely, if none of the above have a particular book I'm looking for, I'll go into a Borders, or order it via Amazon or Powell's.

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azmouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
26. I buy from Amazon, B&N, and a local secondhand store Bookman's.
I get a lot of reccommendations from other DUers.
Sometimes I just scan the bookstore shelves and see what looks interesting.
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JitterbugPerfume Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
27. mostly Amazon
because we don't have a good bookstore here any more. I would really much rather buy locally but our bookstore really sucks.
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gratefultobelib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-05-10 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
30. I'm a library person. Occasionally I'll ask for a book for my birthday and/or Christmas, tho.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-05-10 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
31. I will buy most of my books on Amazon, but sometimes at B&M Barnes & Noble.
Sometimes on secondhand sites like half.com

Typically, I buy books without reading the back cover or without reading reviews, because almost always, they give away plot twists and I hate that. Instead, I buy books by familiar authors whose prior books I enjoyed, perhaps books on published lists like the BBC's 100 Great Books, or maybe books that make headlines because, for example, the RCC has put it on the Index of Forbidden Books (like The Da Vinci Code). Sometimes, I buy books that are on current bestseller lists that also are in categories of fiction/nonfiction I enjoy, like thrillers or fantasy books.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-06-10 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
32. I don't really buy many books anymore
as I don't have the space for them so I read a lot of library books. I get my ideas from various NPR programs and from this forum, usually.
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-07-10 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
33. Used book stores first, then local used and/or new, then chain bookstores, THEN (last resort)
online ordering. I use Amazon if I have to, but I will use it every couple of years or so.

I use my own wide variety of personal interests and sometimes word of mouth book recs to choose my books.
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rantormusing Donating Member (210 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-10-10 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
34. I don't have much against Border.
They've begun to have a decent collection of graphic novels, especially more obscure comics, but i don't shop there anymore.

If i'm intent on buying a book, there's a nice used bookstore up in Chicago on Belmont that i love to go to, not far from Chicago Comics, a twofer for me. I like to say I'm the only gay person who goes to boystown to buy books.
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Hayabusa Donating Member (561 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-10-10 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
35. I read Sci-Fi and Fantasy
I get my books from primarily three places other than yard sales: Barnes & Noble and my town's two used book stores. I mainly read D&D books and Star Wars, and I just get what I don't have and have heard to be good.
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vixengrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-10-10 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
36. I've sold my soul to the Amazon store.
They get me anything I want--within reason. If I want a first edition Kenneth Grant occult book, I might find it there, though; I won't be able to afford it, but I'll find it. I buy both used and new. I pre-order stuff I have to have, both nonfiction and fiction.

The scariest thing Amazon has is an (I do believe the basis is from Oracle) astonishing software that is excellent at figuring out what kind of books or goods you will want based on the last thing you added to your cart. If you bought a collection of essays from Orwell, and the last book you bought was about atheism, it'll recommend you buy Hitchens' book on Orwell for example. (And if you were me, you probably would buy it, too. I also got his Love, Poverty, and War And it was between Hitchens and Clive James, whose Cultural Amnesia I also just read recently, that I decided I needed to read Proust. Which I got from Amazon at a reasonable price because a) that's where I would go and b) I am not finding it at a brick and mortar store even if there were any in NE Philadelphia and c) like I could get it at a better price elsewhere--meh.)

I remember fifteen years ago, when I was doing my senior thesis, I was able to order Pound's Cantos from a store called Encore--they aren't around anymore. There was a rare book store in West Philly from which I got my then-boyfriend an edition of Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet and a complete Keats from Everyman's Library (I don't think there was a Penguin version, then--or I just didn't know of it). But those searches took legwork and phone calls. And I don't know that a Barnes and Noble in the mall would order you your pet project--even if it was close enough for you to bother wanting to pick it up, there. Getting any book I want now is just so....decadently convenient. I might have mostly used Amazon to get trade paperbacks from DC since I don't have the attention-span to read comics any other way or to get whatever sf writer I'm currently hooked on--but still, Amazon plausibly keeps me well-read. Local bookstores are mostly commercially-oriented and you'll get like, recipe books or romance novels or whatever glurge is out there--

Although Farley's Bookstore in New Hope is a really decent brick and mortar--where I got acquainted with William Gibson, David Sedaris, and Terry Pratchet, and Neil Gaiman--all authors I don't know I would have read if I didn't take the time to browse the way maybe nature intended book-folk do.

I dunno. I think real bibliophiles always find a way. Amazon just makes it obscenely easy. (Yeah, I know of the Borders and B&N sites--they are not as user-friendly. They don't have the 3rd party sellers. They don't have the weirdly-prescient "you would also like" software.)
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Enoch1981 Donating Member (52 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 05:51 AM
Response to Original message
37. I read all sorts of stuff
I read rather voraciously and usually I try to buy more then one book at a time. I gravitate towards books on psychotherapy, medicine, horror, true crime, and works on Christian theology. Lately, I've been reading a lot of Christian inspiration/self-help like Max Lucado or Joel Osteen, and Young Adult horror/sci-fi (e.g. Wings by Aprilynn Pike). I don't have much of a system for chosing what I read aside from interest at the time. For example, I've been on something of a Christopher Pike spree lately.

I go to the same stores usually-Borders, Half-Price, Green Apple, or Aardvark (east bay, SF CA). I have a Borders card and I make full use of the coupons and such. Needless to say, I don't buy any clinical psychotherapy or medical books new. I can only use my credit card for emergencies so I don't buy anything online except for birthdays and Christmas.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. oh a shout out to you-- green apple a WONDERFUl used book store!
i was afraid that my hubby would NEVER go home after he discovered the wonderful used book stores of san francisco

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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
38. because i'm low income and read a LOT i have multiple ways of getting books
Edited on Wed Jan-13-10 08:52 PM by pitohui
the public library will always be a "core" -- for fiction, for the most part, i need to read the book first and then decide if i want to take on the expense of adding it to my library -- i want to support writers but because my income is limited i do have to make choices

for airplane books (i travel a lot and when jet lagged there is nothing wrong w. reading undemanding crap just for fun) i check the used book store, the 25 cent or freebie shelf at the library, flea market, goodwill, and so on -- i've actually discovered some new authors that way that i like (and also some that are amazing bad -- ted bell, you out there?)

also while traveling i always take advantage of "take a book, leave a book" if they have this option at the hotel or hostel...when i finish my book i leave it for the next reader and i only take as many books as i leave, sometimes i'll leave 2 or 3 books in exchange for 1 to lighten my suitcase for the trip home, heh heh

of course...there are certain books for which there is simply no substitute for owning the book, no one needs "parrots of the world" to read over the weekend, it's a lifelong reference that you will study again and again when you venture into diff. areas looking for the diff. species -- for such books, there's a combination of searching used book stores (rarely works, since used book store owners are aware of the value of bird books), buying from re-sellers on the internet, and getting coupons for large discounts when buying from a huge bricks and mortars place -- there is no locally owned bookstore that would carry an expensive new bird book

oh, and sometimes you can't get a good new reference book for much if any discount at all, but here is why i apply for the latest amazon.com credit card for $25 or $50 off, i buy the book, take the discount, and after awhile cxl the card -- the author gets credit for the book selling at full price, visa or mastercard or discover takes the hit and i feel no guilt about THAT whatso-effing-ever

eventually they'll figure it out and stop issuing me bookstore-themed credit cards but i've kept that gag going for much of a decade so i have nothing to complain about when they do cut me off
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