Even more loot and perils of living on the fringes of civilized world

I like to brag about my modest book collection way too much. But to big a part of my disposable income is spent this way and bragging gives me a little extra emotional gratification, so why not 😉 By a beautiful coincidence two Amazon Marketplace and one Amazon.co.uk orders arrived the same day, so I got this:


All that stuff is guaranteed to be good. Czajkowski consistently delivers, and I feel guilty about not finishing his Shadows of the Apt series yet, but I’m still stocking up on his books. Sci-fi and what seems to be the first part of a new series about a rivalry of two shapeshifting tribes (and how to end it?).

Fritz Leiber – one of the best sword & sorcery classics, less known and better written than Conan (personally I like both) – on this I agree with Moorcock.

The New Weird was mentioned (and quoted) in my post on Miéville. That was the theoretical part, short stories themselves I wanted to read in a paper version.

Chains of the Heretic by Jeff Salyards conclude an excellent trilogy and I expect it to be a feast, sadly, this one is bought on behalf of certain parties that wanted me to choose my own birthday present, so I will have to wait to get my hands on it.

And volume 4 of Pathfinder Comic. It’s a guilty pleasure. Not a great comic, but a very cool one and a part of Pathfinder universe, excellent tabletop RPG I wish I could play more. Unapologetic classical sword and sorcery, RPG clichés, nice art – something for me 🙂

Now, small rant.

Living in Poland – that is to say, nowhere (quote :P) is not always easy for a book enthusiast, especially if the books one is enthusiastic about are not available locally. That means earning in a funny little currency known as Polish zloty, and paying for your books in $ or £. My credit card bleeds each time 😉 But it’s the case only if you buy latest books directly from Amazon or similar places. Usually Amazon, since nothing beats their cheap shipping. But used books from Amazon Marketplace – usually in excellent condition – are often cheaper than Polish edition. And you don’t have to settle for, often sloppy, translation. Also, you kill Polish publishing industry. Sorry guys 😉

Shipping though… it’s always more expensive. Often outrageously expensive. Basically limits me to Amazon.co.uk, Book Depository, Better World Books and other shops selling through Amazon Marketplace. 4,02£ per book for standard shipping is acceptable, but sometimes you meet unexpected problems. Sellers have the option of not selling outside UK (or US). Best deals are thus not available for me. The rest? Theoretically is.

But sometimes orders got cancelled just because. With some vague explanation at best. When the seller is a small genre-oriented bookshop that writes me a polite letter explaining it would bankrupt them to sell at Amazon-imposed shipping fees, I’m sad but not angry. When a bigger company has a policy of offering books for international buyers and then cherry-picking some of them and cancelling orders from countries they’re less enthusiastic about… it is  very annoying. Like Wordery did recently with a book still listed as available for overseas delivery. But my orders they just repeatedly canceled. It’s even worse for Danes, more and more sellers add “we don’t ship to Denmark” to their description. But at least they inform about it up front.

And once I got a standard letter “sorry, too expensive to sell it to you” while Amazon was informed that the seller was out of stock. That is going too far.

Still, I manage to buy more books than I should, so life is good 🙂

2 thoughts on “Even more loot and perils of living on the fringes of civilized world

    1. piotrek

      I can get any book, one way or another. But it will be more expensive. And it’s a problem of no more than a couple $ each time, just with a hundred or more books a year, it adds up 😉

      Part of the problem is Amazon, they enforce one flat shipping rate and sellers… well, they want to make money. If they allowed sellers to choose from more shipping plans, maybe I’d have access to more deals. But – I’d pay more for books from sellers that are now willing to sell with current rates. So it’s no an easy problem to solve. The obvious solution is to turn away from material goods and go “e”, but I want my books to have substance 😉


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