The Joy of Amazon Part II

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 10:20 PM

It is funny that David asked me if I buy used books in response to my last post on shopping at Amazon. As it turns out, I put my first used book order in to Amazon last night. Having been told about the St. Hereticus satires, of which I just quoted, by a friend of mine, I checked them out on Amazon, only to find book one and two selling for between $.79 and $2.50 for good condition used copies (the books are out of print). So, I ordered them — my first used book purchases over the Internet. I'll post how it turns out.

I have the twisted sense of humor that enjoys things like the Tillich satire I posted yesterday, so this should be a handy “reference” to have. Sometimes after reading the real works, it is nice to get a chuckle at the theologians expense. I never know when I could use a little humor to spice up something I am writing…

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6 comments posted so far.

Re: The Joy of Amazon Part II

If you’re looking for hard-to-find books you should try heading to - perhaps their used-book section at

Basically, the website does price comparisons of bookstores all over the place (and the second link is to their used-book search engine which unfortunately is separate).

A local pastor said he had been looking for years for a particular book (even online). I threw that title in there and it came up with about 90 copies.

Curious, Tim - given that you’re taking some English (& other) classes at the moment, do you tend to need to buy relatively commonly available books, or are you stuck with the more-expensive textbooks most of the time?

Posted by David - Mar 19, 2005 | 4:21 AM- Location: Western Canada

Re: The Joy of Amazon Part II

Thanks, David. I shall look into that, sounds handy!

Regarding class books — mostly, it requires the expensive text books. Most of the classes use anthologies if they are lit classes. Although some Shakespeare from last semester could be acquired in any form you wanted (I opted for the reasonably cheap and very nice Folger Editions, which Amazon carries.

The higher level religion classes use scholarly books not necessarily tied as much to a given course, and those are cheaper. The English books are relatively cheap too, at least when you compare them to what they could be. A business law text will set you back $130, whereas the average English text is $50-$60.

How about yourself?

Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Mar 19, 2005 | 6:55 AM- Location: Missouri

Well, I’m doing a mix of history and computing.

Computing can be a little difficult to find used copies of textbooks (although one of my classes used a book published back in the 80’s, so that was fairly easy to find). The whole new edition thing is definitely a scam though (I’ve gone and grabbed international editions before … exact same contents, but perhaps hardcover versus soft and somewhat better binding. The North American version ran for $150 … The international edition worked out to be about $10 for the book plus $30 for shipping.

Thankfully, there are some texts that I’ve been able to use for multiple classes (calculus text, an algorithms text … perhaps other that I can’t think of)

History usually isn’t as bad, although they have a tendency to require quite a few different books at times.

Posted by David - Mar 20, 2005 | 6:59 AM- Location: Western Canada

Re: The Joy of Amazon Part II

My first time through college, I made the mistake of only buying books I absolutely had to and then selling them back at the end of the semester. Some books weren’t worth keeping, but I kick myself at least once a month because I want to reference a book I read, but can’t find it on the shelf.

Now, I use school as an excuse to build my library, purchasing the recommended books alongside the required texts.

Posted by kevin - Mar 20, 2005 | 7:41 AM- Location: Milwaukie, OR

Re: The Joy of Amazon Part II

David: You are right about edition changes. Personally, I think the only one that comes out ahead in that is the publisher… I guess professors like to see updates made, but they have to transfer all of their notes out of the old books. Multiple classes in which you can use a calculus text — ack! ;-)

Kevin: I’m glad I’m not the only one who saves books. I find I go back and refer to old texts too often to sell them. I too have been trying to buy up recommended texts as well. You never know when they might come in handy. I sort of feel like my books are friends; I’ve spent too much time with them to just part with ‘em. :-)

Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Mar 20, 2005 | 5:40 PM- Location: MO

Re: The Joy of Amazon Part II

I tend to purchase all the required books plus the occasional reccomended text. Unfortunately, often the books you want to get rid of (the bad ones) you can’t, whereas of course there’s demand for anything good.

(I also purchase enough additional books, that my library keeps growing at a pace that I can barely keep up with)

I’ve also been maintaining a subscription with lately … good stuff for listening to on a commute.

Posted by David - Mar 20, 2005 | 10:08 PM- Location: Western Canada

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