Thursday, March 08, 2012

Bibliophobia

"Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results." ~ Albert Einstein
Lord knows I'm not a fussy person. When it comes to books, I don't mind if they've been read, even "well-read." Lately, however, I've had a "streak" of bad luck with books ordered through Amazon. Those stains are probably NOTHING BUT TEA, but the dog-ears, broken bindings and writing (in ink!) have caused me to deactivate my Amazon account. All of the offending books were listed as "very good" or "clean." I'm beginning to think that Amazon booksellers are just an outlet for damaged books that have been returned.

Is it just me? Over the last five years I've ordered about twenty books through Amazon and about ten through ABE. The Amazon books have been misrepresented about half the time- including the above offenses, but also mis-cut books, indelible stickers on dust jackets, rolled, wet or otherwise damaged. The ABE books I have received were generally better than their descriptions.

Of course, in a bookstore you can see what you are buying.

Did I just hear someone whisper "Kindle?"

By Professor Batty



10 Comments:

Blogger Jono said...

From my experience with Amazon I would say it's just you, but maybe I've been lucky.


Blogger Cellar Door said...

I do half.com which is part of ebay. They have always been good to me.

I prefer the local bookstore, though, for browsing.


Blogger Mary said...

I have always received books in their advertised condition from both Amazon and ABE. Mysterious stains are always worrisome. OTOH I love finding personal notes and even letters in used books. I guess that I am nosy.

Speaking of used books, I saw Laxness' Independent People at our local library sale for 25 cents and decided that was a sign that I should read it. It's in the to read pile.

We saw the Icelandic movie Rokland tonight at a film festival and had mixed feelings about it.


Blogger Professor Batty said...

Maybe it is the kind of books that I buy? I've never found personal notes, but I did find a vintage Icelandair boarding pass from the 70's in one of my Laxness books.


Blogger heida said...

the whisper you think you might be hearing is definately not coming from me. I have never had a used book that was ,,too used" for my taste, but once I took out a book in the library, one of the Momin-elv books, that I had to stop reading. When I was well into it, I turned a page only to discover the next two pages covered in blood.... It's a children's book so I figured somebone got a bloody nose, and didn't wanna tell anyone, and just left it it. I told the library about it when I gave it back. Fortunately they had another copy so I could finish the story....Please don't stop reading ,,real" books. Kindle is not a real book, it's a machine...


Blogger Professor Batty said...

I'll be back in Reykjavík in October to tackle the pile books in the picture, Don't worry, I won't get a Kindle.


Blogger oroboros said...

I've had excellent luck with amazon; also, ABE, but couldn't rate one over the other.

For some books Kindle has its advantages, especially if you're travelling. Also, 5-pounder books (e.g., Neal Stephenson), can really reinforce an appreciation for reading on the iPad/Kindle.


Blogger Professor Batty said...

After thinking it over, I realized that NONE of the damaged books I received would ever have been put on the shelf in a reputable bookstore. Not one. That's what prompted me to post this article.


Blogger Cellar Door said...

I think I would put up with a lot of strange stuff if I found a vintage Icelandair boarding pass from the 70's in a book, actually. I think my husband found some sort of court order in a suit he bought at the thrift store once. I like the connections to other people I don't know.


Blogger Professor Batty said...

That was found in one of the ABE books (which was perfect!)

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