Lauren In Tokyo

Monday, March 12, 2007

Books!

I just received the first of two packages of books from Amazon.com. I ordered from the American Amazon.com this time because the price difference, even with shipping charges taken into account, made the overseas option more attractive than ordering it directly from Amazon.co.jp.

If there's anything that I feel is a weakness in Amazon.co.jp's business, it is the lack of substantial discounts that has come to separate Amazon.com from the rest of the brick and mortar bookselling industry. While the prices listed by Amazon.co.jp are generally lower than the same book at Maruzen, it is not sufficiently low enough to make buying online the more attractive option. Going to the bookstore and holding the book in your hand is still a very pleasant psychic experience. Having the books delivered to your door is perhaps the primary selling point for Amazon.co.jp.

The other problem with Amazon.co.jp is that they simply don't have the inventory of foreign (American, for me) books that I would like. A book that may be out of stock on Amazon.com will probably not even be listed on Amazon.co.jp. The selection is limited to what is currently selling well, and anything outside the mainstream may be left out altogether.

So buying from Amazon.com this time (my first time) I got 6 books. The savings more than make up for the shipping fees, and now that I have a purchase on record with them, I can participate more fully in the Amazon.com website.

The only trouble I have now is that I need to figure out which of these books to read first!

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