I like books.
Always have, and probably will never change – basically I’m a reading man.
And while I spend quite a lot of time reading serious stuff about nineteenth century history and archaeology (my core interests these days), I also like nothing better than to curl up with a cup of tea and a decent detective novel on a wet afternoon.
Some of my more difficult, hard to find, history books come from overseas via AbeBooks (sometimes I find them on AbeBooks and then buy them direct from the bookshop’s website), but, because I am a kindle devotee I’ve tended to buy most of my leisure reading from Amazon.
Some might claim that ebooks are greener than paper books, but I'm not totally convinced that the cost of running the distribution server network is significantly less than that of a print works, and given that paper books can be resold and recycled, that the lifecycle cost of a paper book is more than that of an ebook which cannot easily be shared or resold.
However the real problem with eboks is that a lot of the older, and we’re only talking ten or so years older, novels have not been digitised.
Buying books that you will probably only read once from overseas seems madness, but if you live in a small country town (admittedly with a decent second hand charity bookshop), your choice is limited.
Basically it’s about scale. They only have so much stock and if you want second hand American crime novels your choice is limited.
Recently, however, I’ve taken to buying second hand books from Brotherhood Books, an online initiative of the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
They don’t always have everything you might want, but with a stock of over 50,000 books they have way more stock than most second hand stores, and are big enough to reliably have some of the more obscure novels, and it’s not that difficult to spend enough to get free shipping. And, of course, it's in a good cause - I feel better about helping the disadvantaged while indulging one of my vices than making Jeff Bezos even more obscenely rich than he is.
So, if you’re a bookworm like me, give them a go …