The Re-Readable Collection Of SF&F Ready-To-Read From Amazon.com
Selected by noted sf/f professional Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Top Page|1993 | 1994|1995|1996|1997|1998|1999 |2000|2001|Star Trek Connection|
My Experiences With Amazon.com
Still valid in year 2000
And even better in 2004
Is Online Ordering Safe?
I have been a bookshopper since I got my first allowance money that was all my own. Books have always been my first priority, and in high school I regularly spent my lunch money on books rather than food.
Finding the books I know I want has always been a time-consuming part of my life. It seems the ones I want are always the ones that are hardest to find, so much gasoline and many hours have been spent going from store to store. amazon.com solved that problem.
Not missing out on books I have heard are coming soon -- or on another book by a given author I'm following -- has always been a problem. Amazon.com solved that -- you sign up and they send you an email when a new book you might want comes in.
But one problem amazon.com hasn't solved is how to be sure a given book is really worth the amount of money it costs. As long as there's no tax for online purchases, buying from amazon.com is about the same (for me in an expensive 8% tax county) price as to buy locally WITH the discount card you pay annually for.
So with an approximate parity in price, you still have the problem of whether you really want to read the book. Samples of many books are posted online by the publisher -- but not all books are supported like that by publishers.
Amazon.com lets readers post reviews -- and authors comment on their books -- and all that really helps you decide if you want to spend the money -- provided you ever NOTICE the title so you can read what others have posted about it. Amazon.com's search methods help a lot -- but they are very time consuming.
Now, they've come up with a program that lets people like me (professional writers and reviewers who know a field extensively and intensively) post a website recommending books we've read and liked.
But by monitoring this website, you can reduce the amount of time you spend looking for other books that have this set of attributes that these books have in common. I'm only one person -- I'm sure I miss many books of this type. If you find one you'd like to bring to my attention email me.
IS IT SAFE:
I don't know about how safe it is to use a credit card to order over the web yet, but amazon.com provides several methods of ordering so that you don't have to order by entering your own credit card information on any computer connected to the Internet. You can decide the risks for yourself -- they have screens explaining how their secure server works.
As you follow the links from this site to amazon.com -- you will NOT arrive at a place where you find that you have ordered something without intending to. Never be afraid to click on the next button in the amazon.com ordering process. You won't do anything irrevocable until you get to a screen that shows you exactly what the order costs and how much it costs for shipping. Only when they've told you exactly what they're going to charge and given you a choice of how you want it shipped do you come to a button that finalizes the order.
So if you've never ordered online, amazon.com is the place to start. It's got to be the easiest one I've seen -- and it's very hard to make a mistake you can't fix. And they email you a confirmation of your order.
Lastly -- every time I've ordered from them, the shipment arrived before I even expected it. If they say they ship in 24 hours -- they do. This thing REALLY WORKS. They actually deliver books - and so far anyway, the books have been the exact ones I ordered, and they came well packed and undamaged.
So, the reason I'm making this site attached to amazon.com instead of any of the other online bookstores is that they have created an easy, friendly, convenient and above all honest and accurate bookstore. It's taken all the uncertainty and arduous labor out of acquiring books.
In addition, many of the books mentioned in the earlier columns here are long out of print by 1998 -- but amazon.com lists almost the entire BOOKS IN PRINT back to I don't know what year. They will search for books for you -- but read the fine print on that deal closely before signing up for it. They charge a lot of extra money to do that search. I've never used that service myself so I can't vouch for whether it's worth the cost, but it is something you should investigate if you're after one of these older titles.
Even if you don't intend to buy an older or out-of-print book from amazon.com, it's worth your while to follow my links and look at the screen I've linked you to -- I choose links that will let you investigate the book, read an author's essay on the book or a general interview with that author, and/or readers' comments on the books. Even if you're not buying - even if you are just trying to decide if it's worth your while to go to your library and try to find the book, you should follow the link to amazon.com and read about the book (I don't get paid if you don't buy - but that's okay. I already got paid to write the column in the first place.)
I only get paid if you use one of my links to enter amazon.com and then buy something there.
The main point here is -- don't be afraid to explore amazon.com -- it's not just for people who want to buy online. It's for people who like to read books without wasting money!
Top Page|1993 | 1994|1995|1996|1997|1998|1999 |2000| 2001Star Trek Connection|