Lauren In Tokyo

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Amazon.co.jp takes a long time to deliver

There are plenty of bookstores in Tokyo. However only a handful have extensive foreign language sections. The two most notable are Kinokuniya on the Shinjuku Southern Terrace and Maruzen located in Otemachi's Oazo building. Both, unfortunately are too far out of the way for me as to be inconvenient. Additionally, the prices for foreign books is far higher than cover price.

I found that one of the best ways to save money on books here in Japan is to order them from Amazon.co.jp. The convenience is unparalleled and the selection is much better than any bricks and mortar bookshop can provide. The prices are not that special, but with the various discounts that Amazon is always running, books are at least affordable.

My main complaint with them is that it sometimes takes an extraordinarily long time to receive a shipment. For example, I am currently waiting for an order of three books that I ordered about 3 weeks ago. David McCullough's 1776, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and The Intellectual Devotional.

Estimated delivery: 11/11 - 11/26

That's over a month of waiting!

Until the books arrive, I'm back to reading some of my old books. Currently I'm reading the National Geographic Photography Field Guide. When I bought it just a few years ago it was one of my first photography books and I learned a lot about the topic. Now that I am going back over it again in 2006, a lot of the information seems out of date. The authors barely foresaw the massive digital photography revolution and the upheaval amongst the film industry. While the general concepts behind photography haven't changed very much, the tools with which great photographs are made has changed significantly. There is a NatGeo field guide for digital photography, but with the pace of change in the digicam market, I doubt that they can keep up.

Just the other day I saw a pocket Casio Exilim (I never thought in my wildest dreams that Casio would become a major camera maker) that boasted 10.1 megapixels. That was back in April! It makes my 3 megapixel Nikon Coolpix 3100 seem like a relic.

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