Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Love Affair with

Happiness is coming home and discovering a box full of books from sitting on my study table. My love affair with started many years ago when they first started as an online bookstore. These were wonderful days of passion because they only sell books and nothing else. I would spent hours browsing her stocks, looking at the covers and aching to read the contents between them. Then come the selecting, the buying, and then the waiting. After months, the books will arrive in pristine condition, clean and well protected in bubble wrappers in their distinctive boxes. appreciated me then. Not the logarithm automatic type of appreciation that appears when I log in nowadays. Those days, they send me Christmas cards and coffee mugs with the logos. Ah, the honeymoon period was wonderful.

Then became successful and famous for making it as an online bookstore. began selling other stuff aside from their books. Initially one or two DVD will slip into the catalogue. Then whole new departments started appearing. The book department began to shrink. It has become an online shopping mall rather than a bookstore. Oh, how it hurts when left her first love, books.

No longer do I get the lingering attention I longed for. The interface become more user friendly but not lover friendly. It takes longer for books to arrive nowadays. Books arrive dirty and tattered, wrapped in plastic over a cardboard.

Like a jaded lover, I have been discarded for a bigger market and reduced to a line of code. Ah, the online bookstore. How have I loved thee and I love thee still.


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Blogger Bob K said...

I have another "lover" now, it's

Cheap 2nd hand books with very low shipping rates plus a portion of your purchase price goes towards eradicating illiteracy. How can you beat that!

Probably one of the best examples of social entrepreneurship that I've seen to date. Been able to get stuff by Leonardo Boff, Soren Kierkegard, Richard J Foster et al from them.

5:16 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Thanks, Bob.

I shall look into this. I have been looking for an online second bookstore for out of print books.

Unfortunately most of the online bookstores do not accept online credit card transactions with Malaysia for some strange reason :)

Others that do, I received books that are in terrible conditions, different from what have been advertised. And it is such a hassle to send back the books.

How is your experience with ?

7:07 PM  
Blogger Bob K said...

The books I have received to date are not too bad. Some wear and tear but that's to be expected. Pretty much close to how they describe it on their site.

I haven't done any returns yet, so I'm not sure how messy that can be.

There's another more conventional 2nd hand bookstore I have purchased from :

So far so good :)

2:47 AM  
Blogger Bob K said...

Re: the issue about Malaysian credit cards. The primary concern is fraud. Malaysia still has proportionately one of the higher incidences of credit card fraud although this has reduced quite substantially over the last few years. Many merchant gateways, however, may have yet to update their fraud prevention database and thus block Malaysian credit cards by default.

Two ways that I've used to get around this problem :

1) Get a debit card for the purpose of online transactions

2) Get a PayPal account and shop with merchants that accept PayPal payments. I started by only using PayPal to make remittance and payments as they accept Malaysian credit cards. Only when I recently got a US bank account did I start using PayPal for receipt as well.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Thanks Bob,

For the new online bookstore to explore and your comments about credit cards. I find both useful. Appreciate that.

1:31 PM  

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