6 March 2011

Books Going Cheap!

| taninaus
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Tuggeranong Angus and Robertson are clearing stock with 50% off everything in store. Sad to see them closing, along with other Canberra stores, but if you are a book aficionado you may be interested in. I expect the Canberra Centre A&R probably has similar deals if you are a northsider.

Be prepared to wait though – the line Saturday afternoon was about 15-20 minutes with only 1-2 staff on the till and 30+ people in line, let alone more than double that in store hunting for a bargin.

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While points about pricing issues in book stores are valid, you are also forgetting about the people and the experience within the store. While you can say you aren’t prepared to pay retail prices for books, you must then prepare yourself to miss out on the benefits of having a tangible bookstore in your area. You will miss out on actually looking at the books you are looking to buy, perusing the aisles and the experience of being surrounded by literature which you can ACTUALLY own. What a lot of people don’t know is that with SOME e-readers you do not actually own a copy of the book, what you are paying for is access to the book. So instead of owning something tangible, you own nothing, you pay for a privilaged look.
Australia has a closed book market, which means that there is a ban on parallel imports. Australian Publishers don’t want competition from overseas publishers or suppliers so the market remains closed and prices stay high on products. The reason why books are so cheap overseas is that they allow parallel importing which keeps prices competative. What really needs to happen is for the market to open up and allow competative pricing within stores. This will never be able to compare with the online business’ but may make things a little better within the world of book shopfronts for those people who do not wish to buy online. This is reliant on the publishers who are signing their own death warrent by choosing to keep the borders closed, surely they cannot go on for ever, eventually they will have no more bookstore to sell to and their revenue will go down enough for them to change their business strategy. As for the future of book retailing, I hope it stays alive. I have worked (and still do) in two australian owned bookstores, I love my job. I love reading books and recommending them, and unpacking the stacks of new release books, calling people to tell them that the book they have waited 5 years for the author to write has finally been released. I have never had the satisfaction of shopping online as I have when I physically go to a bookstore and find that literary gem. I pay that 3 dollars more for the experience and am happy to keep people in a job. I understand that prices on some books are high, but before you go straight online, consider other ways to solve the problem, garage sales, fetes, secondhand books stores- there are plenty of avenues to explore and plenty of books to find! I hope that shrewdness doesn’t replace the heart in people.

We get reamed on book prices in Australia, and now we have the opportunity to buy them at normal prices online, that’s what we’re doing. That said, I don’t think this is what drove them broke!

facet said :

Now that the rip off Australian book sellers have gone the way of the buggy whip makers, can we have a review of the restrictions on buying ebooks from overseas?
I love my Kindle but get annoyed when I can’t buy certain ebook titles because I live in Australia.

My guess is you have to take this up with the sources who probably arent in Australia. If you’re downloading books, just get it in pdf format with no messy digital rights add-ons, and you’ll be able to read it anywhere. It still amazes me that people support data distributed with rights restrictions, such as disney dvds, macrovision, encrypted books and single-region DVDs and players. (At least almost everyone has wised up to the last one now.)

Now that the rip off Australian book sellers have gone the way of the buggy whip makers, can we have a review of the restrictions on buying ebooks from overseas?
I love my Kindle but get annoyed when I can’t buy certain ebook titles because I live in Australia.
I can often go to the ACT Library and borrow the book for free but actually like reading on the Kindle because I can bookmark and annotate my favourite bits.
Those of you who just look at the pictures will have to keep buying hard covers, but then you probably need a paper page so that you can run your finger under the big words.

moneypenny261211:03 am 03 Apr 11

Last week Angus & Robertson’s administrators announced that the Belconnen bookshop will close down too (date TBA).

This means all A&R stores in the ACT – except for Woden – are slated for closure.

Also 3 April 2011 is the last day for redeeming A&R gift cards nationwide.

personally I think it is odd that A and R went into administration almost as soon as the US Borders did (yes I know no connection) but they are getting rid of A and Rs and not Borders. Sad to see a 200 year old company go. I love bookshops, I love walking around them, and for me Borders is so beyond annoying as they never have any of the books I actually need.

Also, for those looking for cheap books, the next lifeline book fair is only a few weeks away (25-27th I think)

Cheap books, and your money goes to a good cause

I went into the A&R civic store on Friday lunchtime, and even with 50% off most of the prices were still more expensive than what I can get online for the books I am interested in.

I recently bought a kindle (love it!) and I think e-books are the way to go for trashy sci-fi/fantasy fiction these days. Some books you would still obviously want in hardcopy, but for those that normally go straight into the lifeline bag for recycling it saves a fair bit of cash. (I actually feel guilty now that will be donating less books to lifeline in the future…)

I personally love browsing through a bookstore, iPhone in hand, and when I see a book I like I enter the ISBN into the iphone, and order off bookdepository.com. Helps when I don’t have a specific title in mind but I’m not prepared to pay retail and can wait for it to be posted to me.

Prices on bookdepository.com beat even those on my Amazon Kindle

Borders always seems to be a store in search of a marketing plan to me. They sell everything from kitchen utensils and baby products through to books and of course coffee. The few times I have wandered in the place has been crowded with people having a latte and reading all the books and magazines for free. Thus I am not surprised the chain is in receivership especially given the high prices as well.

Spoono – Borders is safe for now, it isn’t on the hit list so they must be doing OK.

Yes prices are an issue, that’s why I don’t usually buy from retail stores – beaky’s and fetes are good for pre-loved and cheaper versions. Online and places like booko are only good if you have a specific title in mind though. But, I do love wandering the aisles, seeing what takes my fancy and sometimes come home with something I wouldn’t have expected.

mikal said :

. Even with half off, that’s still 50% more than online.

^^ what he said

No sympathy here.

Meh. They’re going out of business because they were triple the price of their online competitors. Even with half off, that’s still 50% more than online.

What’s the future of Borders in the Canberra Centre?


Haven’t been to a bookstore (except the secondhand ones) since I discovered that site.

And probably still significantly more expensive than Amazon UK.

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