Saturday, December 8, 2012

Best Idea for Saving Money on Books...@Amazon versus @Powells Online #PDX

Buying used books is one of the best idea's for saving money in a book store that I know. The question is which book seller should we use? I did a little research and compared Powell's Book of Portland in store and online store and Amazon online. Here is what I discovered.

You know I love books. That is why I am a book store addict. Yes, you heard it here first. I do NOT go to book stores without a purpose because I will leave with books I didn't know I needed. Books can be a very expensive addiction.
I even have Powell's book store picture on my iPhone cover!
Here in the Portland metro area we have a book store called Powell's Books. It is located downtown on Burnside and has been there since the beginning of time. The maze of stacks and gazillion titles lure bookies from around the world. But the wonderful thing is that Powell's also as put satellite stores throughout the metro area and has an online store. We have one that is close to our neighborhood so we can take a short drive and be in heaven.

Yesterday I went shopping for A Course in Miracles. I will be beginning the course with a group the first day of January. After a short stop a Barnes and Noble with no luck, I headed for Powell's.

Powell's book culture is unlike any other. I have never dealt with a Powell's book seller that did not know exactly what I was talking about. When I went to the information desk yesterday, the man knew where the book was and had actually use the course getting to lesson 110 in the book several years ago. He sat on the floor and discussed the course in detail. It was a comfort for me. Once in a while I need to look at the real book before I decide what I need.  In those cases I go to Powell's.

Plus, I can hold the book in my hand and see if it was in good condition. This is especially important if I plan to give the book as a gift.  It is very tempting to go to a real used book store all the time.

But online Amazon (Barbara's Amazon here) also has  great second hand book deals. The link I gave you above is to A Course in Miracle is a page that lists all the second hand books for that subject on Amazon. If you like ebooks, this can be your best option for a cheap ebook reader. Amazon will allow you to download the Kindle app. on you computer, pad or phone for free!

There are advantages to using both Powell's and Amazon. When I go to Powell's, I get the person help I like. When I order $25 or more from Amazon I get free shipping AND the prices are a lot less usually less. Powell's used online will give you free shipping for orders of $50 or more.  Or if I download the book for my Kindle, I am saving money like crazy over the new book prices! Plus I don't have to even think about shipping or go to the book store.

So lets compare Amazon to Powell's I have purchased recently:
  • A Course In Miracles: Amazon $13.00,  Powell's $16.95
  • Foreign Affairs: A Novel by Allison Lurie: Amazon $3..34, Powell's $9.50
  • John Adams by David McCullough: Amazon $.01-$1.90, Powell's $4.50 (used online)
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell: Amazon (new hardcover), $5.88-$15.88 Powell's (new paperback) $16.99 
  • The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler: Amazon $1.82 (used),  $12.99 (Kindle), Powell's $17.50 (used online)
  • Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Glynn: Amazon $12.99 (Kindle) to $13.93 (hardcover), Powell's $25.00 (hardcover online)
  • The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain: Amazon $1.99 (Kindle) to $24.00 (hardcover), Powell's $10.00 (online) [Note: you can get this free in a digital download or on kindle. I do not recommend doing that. I think you lose a lot by doing that. I regretted doing it that way.]
  • Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel Smith Amazon $9.99 (Kindle) to $15.97 (hardback online) Powell's $25.00
  • Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson:  Amazon $9.95- $8.47 (used online) Powell's $4.50 (used).
  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson: Amazon $8.87 (used), Powell's $21.00 (used online)
  • Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead: Amazon $3.95 (used) to $9.39 (Kindle), Powell's $6.95 (used online)
There really is no one perfect choice. I actually find that I need a different service for different reading needs. It is just good to make a comparison once in a while.


Can you lend Kindle ebooks? This is the Amazon policy:
Kindle books can be loaned to another reader for a period of 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle -- Kindle books can also be read using our free Kindle reading applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Not all books are lendable -- it is up to the publisher or rights holder to determine which titles are eligible for lending. The lender will not be able to read the book during the loan period. Books can only be loaned once, and subscription content is not currently available for lending. 
Disclosure (Barbara's Amazon): I am an Amazon Associate and if you click on the links above and purchase anything (do a search) on the website, I receive a commission. It is a score for both of us!

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