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26. The Library of the Future with robotic shelving system

Apparently the future is now and it's library is the University of Chicago’s new Joe and Rika Mansueto Library.  You enter into a 8,000 square foot dome called the Grand Reading Room, which is nicely lit and contains a vast number of tables with chairs and computer terminals.  The thing you won't find in this dome are bookshelves. 

The books themselves are housed in an underground storage facility located directly beneath the dome, and when you want to pull one of the 3.5 million books you just make a request on your computer terminal and a computer activated robotic crane pulls the book and sends it up to the circulation desk.  The whole process apparently takes about five minutes, which should give you enough time to get up and walk to the circulation desk.  The same crane system re-shelves the book when you are finished with it too.

There are a few more details as well as a neat video showing some of the underground storage in this article from Singularity Hub

 

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27. Happy 10th Birthday ChrisLands

One of our bookselling partners, ChrisLands, is having a birthday this month. It has been ten years since they opened up shop as tool for independent booksellers to set up their own e-commerce websites (ie: sites which can take credit card details and sell online).  James, the site's creator, just sent us a note mentioning that as part of their celebration they are having a special offer for booksellers

In their 10 years, ChrisLands established themselves as a well-respected member of the online bookselling community.  Well known for understanding the needs of independent booksellers, they continue developing their base product, updating old features, and adding new features based entirely on booksellers’ needs.

As their birthday gift to you and to celebrate 10 years in business, ChrisLands has a special birthday sign-up offer of 50% off the signup fee for new stores from now until June 30th, 2011. Don’t miss this opportunity to get your own online bookstore.  Visit ChrisLands.com to learn more about the features and benefits of this company and to see examples of great ChrisLands sites.

At BookFinder.com we think it's great because every time a bookseller opens a ChrisLands account it means that there are more interesting books available online for all of us to find when we need or want them, and remember this is another good way to make your books searchable by BookFinder.com if they are not already.

[Now Reading: Indignation by Philip Roth]

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28. American Library Association's most challenged books 2010

The American Library Association (ALA) once again released it's list of books which were most often challenged by the public to be banned from libraries in America.  As usual most of the books are children's or YA titles and are challanged by parents who believe they are targeted to an age group too young for the content. 

Top 10

1. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: Insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

4. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

6. Lush by Natasha Friend
Reasons: Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

7. What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
Reasons: Sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

8. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: Drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint

9. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: Homosexuality, sexually explicit

10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, violence

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29. Book Sale in Washington DC this weekend

I have a bit of a PSA today, one of our readers emailed us to let us know that they are involved with a school fundraising project this weekend just outside Washington D.C.   Bethesda–Chevy Chase High School is hosting an annual book sale over 20,000 used books to raise funds to support various programs run by the Parent-Teacher-Student Association which include Extracurricular clubs, after-school tutoring, student publications and other quality endevaours. 

All hardbacks are $3, paperbacks are $2 and on Sunday you can pick up a full bag of books for $10.  The sale runs Saturday March 26th from 10am-4pm and Sunday March 27th from 10am-2pm.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School is located at 4301 East-West Hwy. in Bethesda. Free parking is available at the school; it is also accessible by Metro Red line, Bethesda stop.

If anyone makes it to the sale drop us a comment and let us know how it went. 

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30. To self publish or not to self publish: an authors tale

If you have ever considered self publishing a book, or wondered how much money a self published author actually ends up pocketing from your average self published book I found an interesting read.  Most of the articles surrounding  self publishing either discuss an amazing success story, or the thousands of titles which never sell a single copy.  This may be why I found this article written by Keir Thomas very interesting.  Keir Thomas is a technical writer who has written a number of books, which were published by various major publishers, about the Linux operating system; and this is his experience with self publishing.

In 2008 he had the idea to write the Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference (Ubuntu is a Linux operating system) but he was unable to print though his usual publishers because, as a pocket guide, the book would naturally have a fairly low price point.  He understood where the publishers were coming from but still thought the book could be useful.  So he decided to try a self-publishing experiment. I encourage you all to read the article in full as it's quite interesting, but here are the nuts and bolts of how he did:

Aside from writing the actual text and editing (Do you love how I am glossing over this huge task?) the first thing he had to do differently was find a way to promote the book with essentially no budget.  To do this he gave the ebook version which did in fact net a bunch of publicity including reviews and recommendations from tech journalists and bloggers:

The eBook is hugely popular. I average around 400 visitors a day at http://ubuntupocketguide.com, peaking at 40-50,000 every now and again. The website advertises the print edition of the book, as does an advert within the PDF itself.

I’ve lost count how many people have downloaded the eBook but the last time I audited the figures, which was around six months after the book’s release, it’d seen around 500,000 downloads. I suspect that number has doubled since then. I encourage people to redistribute the PDF, including via BitTorrent, so auditing is practically impossible. (Redistribution is fine, but not modifying; the book uses a standard copyright.)

So his community knows about it, and it turns out people do find it quite useful, but how was the print edition selling?

Since going on sale at the start of 2009, the book has made me $9,000. Bearing in mind the book took three months to produce, that’s a salary of $3,000 per month, although costs such as hosting have to be deducted, and I also spent quite a few days marketing the book once published.

I’ve had worse salaries in my life, and I’m very grateful, but I know total royalties would probably have been higher had I gone through the traditional route of working with a mainstream publisher.

Thomas finishes by suggesting that self-publishing might not be the best option for you if you really want to make money, but it can be a great way to get your ideas out there if you only need to cover your costs

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31. What is the value of book?

How much do you think a good story is worth?  I don't mean a book necessarily since books can be collectible and that's not what I am getting at here, but how much do you think a novel length story is worth?

When deciding this you might compare the value of the read vs. other entertainments such as the cost of a movie rental? The price of a video game? The cost of a newspaper or magazine? The drop in fee for a local gym or that knitting class at the community center?  For me the value varies wildly depending on how much I enjoy (or expect to enjoy) the book. 

With that in mind I have been thinking about the current "race to the bottom" debate in e-publishing that has been raging on the blogosphere. For those of you who are unaware it essentially boils down (in an inelegant way) to publishers claiming that self published authors are going to ruin publishing by offering eBooks at rock bottom prices; while the self-published authors are claiming that large publishing houses are bloated profiteers.

From the publishers side: two years ago I posted a rough breakdown of what the costs of printing a book might be for a traditional publisher.  Based on these figures you get closer to understanding the $9.99 price point that publishers seem to be trying to stick with for an ebook.  Shave a little here and there and then knock off the additional costs associated with a physical book and you are close to that figure.  Everyone takes a bit of a hit in total values but I can see where they are coming from.

On the other hand it's now very common to see self published ebooks for sale for as little as $0.99-$2.99. You may also see these self published authors explaining that they are in fact making money at this price.  So why do the publishers need to charge more?

Now that authors can self publish without having to front the serious amounts of cash to physically print their books they are less likely to need a publisher to bankroll the project.  Couple this with the fact that an author can now act as or hire a publicist and designer on a piece meal basis to cover most of the basic marketing needed for a book launch and you can see why some mid and backlist authors choose to self publish.

I am making the suggestion that now a publishers greatest value is not to the average author but to the reader.  Publishers do help separate the wheat from the chaff. By helping readers find quality writers they can save them from that feeling of wanting those last few hours back.

I am willing to pay a bit more to know that the novel I am about to read is at least going to be well written and hopefully interesting but exactly how much more I am willing to pay for that is what publishers need to figure out.  I kind of wish I could tell them.

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32. HarperCollins to limit libraries on number of e-checkouts. Librarians boycott

HarperCollins has announced that its ebooks will only be able to be checked out by library patrons 26 times before a library would have to re-purchase the ebook title if they want to lend it again.  This has caused an outcry among librarians who have, in some cases, started boycotting Harper Collins ebooks.

I understand that in the publishers mind this is their way of trying to approximate for wear and tear on printed books which might require a library to repurchase copies which have been extremely well read but I thought 26 seemed to be a fairly low figure, even before watching this video by the Pioneer Library System of Oklahoma in which Swimming to Catalina by Stuart Woods was checked out 120 times and still going strong. 

You would think there would be a better way to do this.  Even if they just charged a dollar or two more for library version of the ebook which would offer unlimited lending, publishers would win on some longer tail titles and the libraries would continue to get their value for dollar on the popular titles.  Whatever the solution libraries and publishes are going to have to find a better one if we ever want to be able to borrow ebooks like we do their paper cousins.

[Now Reading: The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi ... in hardcover, which I checked out of my local library]

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33. Banned Books becoming available in North Africa

One of the side effects of the cultural revolutions occurring across the Middle East is that some of the censorship on literature is beginning to be lifted.  Many books that were once considered dangerous or offensive by local governments in Egypt and Tunisia are beginning to find their way to readers according to The Guardian (via Moby Lives). 

The newspaper explains that several books critical of the ousted regimes are now finding their way into bookstores. Finding books like La Regente de Carthage by Nicolas Beau and Habib Bourguiba: La Trace et l'Heritage by Michel Camau are a good sign of things to come and we hope that Egypt and Tunisia can continue their march towards a more progressive government.

In other good news, Cairo's Tahrir Square will host a book fair later this month as a way to partially make up for the cancellation of the Cairo Book Fair which was abandoned in January.

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34. City of Boston to sell entire contents of print shop

I just found out via Boing Boing that the city of Boston has shut down it's 78 year old print shop in a cost cutting effort and is now auctioning off its equipment in 200 lots.  The auction is being held on Feb 24 at 11AM estern and will be simultaneously conducted in the factory at 174 North St. as well as digitally.

There is all sorts of great old printing gear so I suggest any pamphleteers, zinesters, and print shops take a gander at the wares on offer.  In the Boston Globe they described an old-fashioned platen press with a hand lever and foot pedal and a Linotype machines that stand 6 1/2 feet tall as two of the pieces.

[Now Reading: Old Mans War by John Scalzi]

 

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35. Secondhand Bookstores

 

As you well know we at BookFinder.com are HUGE fans of secondhand books, they're cheap, green, and they often have cooler covers (if you are into the retro thing which admittedly I am).  However today it's not the books that I am talking about, I am talking about places that have been converted into bookstores from other types of structures. 

I saw a link this morning to the WebEcoist blog where they have put together a list of 10 cool old buildings that have been converted into bookstores.  They have Theatres, a church, boats, trains, castles, and even a cigarette machine that have been re-purposed into bookstores.

News-stand-bookstore-Houston               Converted-bookstores-cigarette-vending-machine  
Newsstand in a Houston Movie Theatre                 Cigarette machine becomes a German bookstore

 

All of these neat conversions made me think of a very cool bookstore we have in my home town of Victoria BC, Canada called Munro's Books (and yes it is connected to Alice Munro).  The store is located in a beautiful 100 year old bank building and is my favourite bookstore, for new books, in the city because the staff are amazing and because it's just so elegant walking in the doors.  If you ever find yourself in Victoria be sure to check out Munro's as it's a great converted bookstore.  Of course if you want a store that sells secondhand books in Victoria Russell Books takes that title.

Munros-books-victoria

[Now Reading: Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle]

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36. In the stacks

Book-Stacks

A great photo of a Boston area book store that made it's rounds on Boing Boing yesterday!

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37. Buying banned books in Jordan

The LA Times Jacket Copy Blog did a neat little story about Al Taliya Books in Amman, Jordan; known as THE place to go when you are in the market for a banned book in the Middle East.

But his shop is known as the place in Amman to get forbidden fruits of knowledge. Even the government official in charge of restricting them recently announced in a newspaper article that "stopping books from reaching the people is a page we've turned."

Most requested book? Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses."

 

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38. Edward Tufte's library going up for auction

It appears that Edward Tufte's personal library is going to be going under the hammer on December 2nd via Christie's.  The auction catalogue is available online and viewings have been arranged for the week prior to the sale.  There will be some amazing items in this auction and a must see for any serious science and maths collectors.

 

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39. BookFinder.com en Español

BookFinder.com está ahora disponible en español. Para ver la traducción al español, simplemente haga clic en "Ver BookFinder.com en: Español" en nuestro sitio web, tal como se muestra en la imagen siguiente.

We are very happy to announce that we have now launched a complete Spanish translation of our website.  We have long search the Spanish catalogues of various booksellers but until now users had to navigate our website in Dutch, English, French, or German.

If you are most comfortable with Spanish, just to “View BookFinder.com in: Español” on our homepage below the search box (seen below)

BookFinder Spanish Homepage

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40. BookFinder.com en Espanol

BookFinder.com está ahora disponible en español. Para ver la traducción al español, simplemente haga clic en "Ver BookFinder.com en: Español" en nuestro sitio web, tal como se muestra en la imagen siguiente.

We are very happy to announce that we have now launched a complete Spanish translation of our website.  We have long search the Spanish catalogues of various booksellers but until now users had to navigate our website in Dutch, English, French, or German.

If you are most comfortable with Spanish, just to “View BookFinder.com in: Español” on our homepage below the search box (seen below)

BookFinder Spanish Homepage

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41. Libraries without librarians

So many aspects of life are becoming self service.  Yesterday I checked out my own groceries at a self-service till and received new eye glasses, that I picked out online after measuring my own pupil distance, in the mail and even in my job I work for a website that helps people search for their own books. What about a self service library?

This morning on the Brave New World blog I see that some cities are playing with this concept.  In Seoul they have an automated library book dispenser and in St. Paul they have opened a branch where members collect books they have pre-ordered from book lockers.

       Book dispenser             Library express

I think these are both innovative ways for libraries to stretch their budgets, extend hours, and make their books available to more people.  However I am sure you will agree that a self service library can NOT replace one with a skilled librarian for a patrons needs.  Just like in the grocery store, I love the self-service tills when I want to quickly escape with milk and a loaf of bread but I learned the hard way to never try and self-check out a full cart.

[Now Reading: Second Foundation by Issac Asimov]

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42. Are Books Only A Commodity?

There was a really interesting article in Slate this week.  In it a used bookseller explains how he uses a barcode scanner to assess the value of books, and how he really doesn’t feel very good about it despite making a decent living. 

I've had just one confrontation while doing my job, with an elderly man in a suburb. We were in the library's book-sale room when I overheard him telling his friend that the two of them were surrounded by a-------—that is, the people scanning. "It's a business," I said, but I felt all locked up and couldn't bear to turn and say it to his face. "This is a library!" he spat. "You don't work here—you don't work at the library!" He told me that he had 10,000 books in his house, and that he'd read them all. A dozen other people kept scanning silently. Later on, in the parking lot, I got some empathy from my comrades, but they quickly started to speak about their work with the same hunching defensiveness I had put on with my challenger.

The bibliophile bookseller, and the various other species of pickers and flippers of secondhand merchandise, would never be reproached like this and could never be made to feel bad in this way. Record geeks are, obviously, crazy music fans. The dealer in used designer clothes or antique housewares, when he considers a piece, can evaluate its craftsmanship and beauty with the same gaze he uses to appraise it. But the aesthetic value of a book—its literary merit—doesn't have anything to do with its physical condition.

It's very interesting to me to see how the business of culture plays out. If someone were selling bags of potatoes, digital PDAs, or blank t-shirts and was using a scanner to determine the going price for each item no one would pay them any attention but because that is just how business is run.  But anything that could have cultural significance seems to be subject to a different set of rules.

For many years I was quite involved in my cities local music scene, I helped put together concerts and got to know many local promoters.  There seemed to be this feeling that when someone got particularly successful or only operated in genres which were widely popular they were somehow evil or were stealing from the community in some way.  It was almost as if a promoter would use a loss as a badge of honour, or a way to say "see I still care about the music too."

Are books a commodity like a sack of potatoes or are books a culturally valuable vessel worth more than the sum of their parts?  The answer is that it is both.  The kind of books which this seller is offering would have no place on the shelves of an ILAB bookstore, and the volume seller wouldn’t have the time to properly describe a rare out-of-print cookbook so that an enthusiast would find use in the listing.  Broad based margin sellers and niche specialists can both survive.  Both serve a purpose and we shouldn’t look down at either of them.

 

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43. BookFinder.com Report 2010: 100 most sought after out-of-print books

The eighth edition of the BookFinder.com report is now available for your reading enjoyment.

We changed up this year’s format ever so slightly, and have provided a list of the top 100 most sought after out-of-print books, regardless of category.   Among some of the usual suspects (Madonna’s Sex is, not surprisingly, once again on the top of the heap) we have some very interesting newcomers, including:

It also brought a smile to my face seeing Fly Fishing by J.R. Hartley show up in the list. This, of course, is the book that anyone who lived in the UK in the 1980s would remember from the now classic Yellow Pages advert which featured an man traipsing around London's used book shops looking for an old book, only finding success with the telephone directory. 

Neither the book, nor the author, existed at the time of the when Yellow Pages created this commercial.  So why, you may ask, is this book found in the BookFinder.com report? 

The beauty of this whole scenario is that in 1991 a spoof memoir by the fictional Mr. Hartley was published due to the popularity of the ad, and now the spoof is the out-of-print book which is sought after.  It kind of reminds me of the time paradox in Terminator, only with used books instead of cyborgs.

See the whole list in the 2010 BookFinder.com Report

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44. How to sign an ebook

Not one week after my post about signing eBooks I see this on the Baltimore Sun Read Street blog...


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45. BookFinder.com saves students 60% on Textbooks

It's back to school time for college students, they've registered for classes, figured out their housing and now it's time to think about their textbooks.  This is often a huge expense for students, the Student Public Interest Research Group's Make textbooks affordable campaign reports that students spend an average of $900 each year on textbooks, but much of this cost is avoidable.  Students can use BookFinder.com to help reduce their textbook costs.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Jennie Kushner from the University of Alabama newspaper (The Crimson White), she was asking what students should do to help shave down their textbook costs. 

I explained that buying their books early, inquiring about old editions, and buying used textbooks were the three easiest things that a student could do to save money but in the end they should compare prices and shop around.  She obviously took my advice to heart because she picked a bundle of books and compared prices on BookFinder.com to her college bookstore and found that BookFinder.com would save 60% over the college bookstore.

Five books covering a wide variety of subjects from the SUPe Store’s Tutwiler location totaled $469.30 without taxes. Using BookFinder.com the same books totaled $184.09, including shipping. That is a total savings of $285.21. - Crimson White

The one thing that Ms. Kushner forgot to mention in her article was that while textbook rentals can be a very powerful savings tool, and that we highly recommend considering them, when you compare the price of a textbook rental to the price of buying the textbook you need to factor in the resale price you will receive when you sell the textbook at the end of your semester.

Many people forget about this because college bookstores are famous for paying pennies on the dollar for used textbooks but now that selling textbooks online, or textbook buyback, has become commonplace online students are able to get a good chunk of their money back.  I will do the math on this in a post next week and show how to make the most of our textbook buyback marketplace, where you compare offers from several textbook merchants who are all competing to buy your textbook back from you.

Search BookFinder.com to find your Textbooks.

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46. Selling textbooks, the great price equalizer

When I was a university student I was price conscious about everything I did, from entertainment to food to (obviously) my textbooks.  This is one of the great constants, we know that price is the number one most important issue for students when buying their textbooks.

If you want to ensure you are paying the lowest possible amount for your textbooks you need to decide if you plan on keeping that textbook.  If the book is in one of your core subjects and doesn't change a huge amount from year to year you might want to keep the book to reference once you get into the job market (ie: Statistics or Calculus) but if it's for an elective you are probably going to sell it at at the end of the semester.  Once you decide this you can chose what your options are and students essentially have three options: 

  • Buy their book and keep it for reference
  • Buy their book and sell it at the end of the semester
  • Rent their book

Buying the book and keeping it is easy, search BookFinder.com and pick the lowest price.  Follow these tips and you are golden.

If you are not keeping the book you need to consider the total cost of buying and selling your textbook and compare that final price to the rental cost. Because really a rental book is just the same as one that you bought and sold, the rental company just wraps the whole final cost into one transaction for you.

For example lets look at Chemistry: The Central Science by Bruce Bursten.

Today I could buy this book used from Alibris for $72.00 or New from AbeBooks for $75.47 or to rent the book for a semester it would cost $75.33.  So even with just this information, you would buy.

Now if you include the buyback price for this book (AbeBooks will give $80.25), you find that buying the book you MAKE $4.78 and if you rent it will COST you $75.33.

This is a fairly extreme example, and the buyback price will probably shift between now and the end of the semester but it shows that you have to compare apples to apples when looking at textbook rental.  And even if the buyback price goes down by $20 you are still saving. 

This is NOT to say that rentals are bad, there are many instances that a textbook rental will save you money and is a great option but if you want to save the money you have to do the math.

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47. Selling textbooks, the great price equalizer

When I was a university student I was price conscious about everything I did, from entertainment to food to (obviously) my textbooks.  This is one of the great constants, we know that price is the number one most important issue for students when buying their textbooks.

If you want to ensure you are paying the lowest possible amount for your textbooks you need to decide if you plan on keeping that textbook.  If the book is in one of your core subjects and doesn't change a huge amount from year to year you might want to keep the book to reference once you get into the job market (ie: Statistics or Calculus) but if it's for an elective you are probably going to sell it at at the end of the semester.  Once you decide this you can chose what your options are and students essentially have three options: 

  • Buy their book and keep it for reference
  • Buy their book and sell it at the end of the semester
  • Rent their book

Buying the book and keeping it is easy, search BookFinder.com and pick the lowest price.  Follow these tips and you are golden.

If you are not keeping the book you need to consider the total cost of buying and selling your textbook and compare that final price to the rental cost. Because really a rental book is just the same as one that you bought and sold, the rental company just wraps the whole final cost into one transaction for you.

For example lets look at Chemistry: The Central Science by Bruce Bursten.

Today I could buy this book used from Alibris for $72.00 or New from AbeBooks for $75.47 or to rent the book for a semester it would cost $75.33.  So even with just this information, you would buy.

Now if you include the buyback price for this book (AbeBooks will give $80.25), you find that buying the book you MAKE $4.78 and if you rent it will COST you $75.33.

This is a fairly extreme example, and the buyback price will probably shift between now and the end of the semester but it shows that you have to compare apples to apples when looking at textbook rental.  And even if the buyback price goes down by $20 you are still saving. 

This is NOT to say that rentals are bad, there are many instances that a textbook rental will save you money and is a great option but if you want to save the money you have to do the math.

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48. BookFinder.com saves students 60% on Textbooks

It's back to school time for college students, they've registered for classes, figured out their housing and now it's time to think about their textbooks.  This is often a huge expense for students, the Student Public Interest Research Group's Make textbooks affordable campaign reports that students spend an average of $900 each year on textbooks, but much of this cost is avoidable.  Students can use BookFinder.com to help reduce their textbook costs.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Jennie Kushner from the University of Alabama newspaper (The Crimson White), she was asking what students should do to help shave down their textbook costs. 

I explained that buying their books early, inquiring about old editions, and buying used textbooks were the three easiest things that a student could do to save money but in the end they should compare prices and shop around.  She obviously took my advice to heart because she picked a bundle of books and compared prices on BookFinder.com to her college bookstore and found that BookFinder.com would save 60% over the college bookstore.

Five books covering a wide variety of subjects from the SUPe Store’s Tutwiler location totaled $469.30 without taxes. Using BookFinder.com the same books totaled $184.09, including shipping. That is a total savings of $285.21. - Crimson White

The one thing that Ms. Kushner forgot to mention in her article was that while textbook rentals can be a very powerful savings tool, and that we highly recommend considering them, when you compare the price of a textbook rental to the price of buying the textbook you need to factor in the resale price you will receive when you sell the textbook at the end of your semester.

Many people forget about this because college bookstores are famous for paying pennies on the dollar for used textbooks but now that selling textbooks online, or textbook buyback, has become commonplace online students are able to get a good chunk of their money back.  I will do the math on this in a post next week and show how to make the most of our textbook buyback marketplace, where you compare offers from several textbook merchants who are all competing to buy your textbook back from you.

Search BookFinder.com to find your Textbooks.

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49. How to sign an ebook

Not one week after my post about signing eBooks I see this on the Baltimore Sun Read Street blog...


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50. Banned Books Week: Top 10 most challenged titles

The American Library Association (ALA) has issued their annual list of the 10 most frequently challenged books from US libraries.  There's a number of the usual suspects on the list, and while I'm still flabbergasted that there are people out there who are so concerned about the content in these books that they are requesting that they be removed from libraries (To Kill a Mockingbird? Really?) I do take some comfort in the fact that these books are still readily available for those who want them.

What I do want to know is how you can cite nudity as a reason for banning a book?  Unless these books have lift up flaps, and I am fairly certain they don't, an anatomy description shouldn't be grounds for a banning; especially when "offensive language" gets its own category.

To me the most offensive book in this list still got the top spot, just not for the reason I would have slotted it in.  Lauren Myracle's TTYL series is written entirely text message shorthand (Pls no, I h8 it), and for that alone I think it should be banned.

1. The TTYL series by Lauren Myracle for Nudity, sexually explicit, drugs, offensive language,and being unsuited to the age group.
2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson for homosexuality.
3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit content, anti-family, offensive language, religious viewpoints, being unsuited to age group, drugs, suicide.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee for racism, offensive language, and being unsuited to age group.
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer for sexually explicit scenes, religious viewpoints, and being unsuited to age group.
6. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger for sexually explicit scenes, offensive language, and being unsuited to age group
7. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult for sexism, homosexuality, being sexually explicit, having offensive language, religious viewpoints, drugs, suicide, violence, and being unsuited to age group.
8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler for being Sexually explicit, having offensive language,and being unsuited to age group.
9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker for being Sexually explicit, having offensive language,and being unsuited to age group.
10. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier for nudity, being Sexually explicit, having offensive language,and being unsuited to age group.

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