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Forester


Member

Posted Wed Dec 7th, 2011 12:10pm Post subject: Secondhand Books

I don't know whether I'm posting this in the right place - but I have only just joined this forum and can't work out how to use it properly. Anyway, I hope Stephen gets to see this. As a secondhand bookdealer in Uppingham, I am concerned with the way in which the public is being hoodwinked into thinking that e-"books" are in some way a replacement for real books. Because most secondhand bookdealers are pretty poor and penniless, there is no national publlicity for the convenience, economics and sheer pleasure of buying secondhand books - and I reckon that this is a wonderful subject for a BBC 4 documentary that Stephen would be ideal for as a presenter.


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Inada


Member

Posted Thu Dec 8th, 2011 5:34pm Post subject: Secondhand Books

That's sounds very interesting. I love the idea of Stephen Fry discussing the pros and cons of the recent e-book craze.
Although, I have to disagree with your opinion concerning the public's views on e-books. As a sixth-form student, who owns a kindle but actually prefers to read books the traditional way (like so many of my colleagues), I believe the latter is unlikely to be seen as an out-of-date method of reading anytime soon... It's especially the case with secondhand books, as I'm sure you know, the selling of good old secondhand books is a profession that has lasted centuries and is still very active in most of the shops I visit in London today. As I work in a charity shop in Harrow, that sells secondhand books I have noticed they are incredibly popular and on average I would sell around 40-60 books during my shift alone (around 3-4 hours). I think many people fear the rapid chances that technology may have on existing businesses but I think there is an infinitesimally small chance of e-books replacing normal (erm... non-digital?) books in the foreseeable future, nor do I believe that the companies promoting products like the Kindle think they're capable of doing so.
Anyway, I wish you luck with your business and hope that there's a chance of booksellers, like yourself receiving more publicity in the near future. Like you, I would also love to see this topic discussed further and I think it should be talked about more on television.


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honoriaplum


Member

Posted Sat Dec 10th, 2011 1:24pm Post subject: Secondhand Books

I quite agree. Long live the second hand book-seller. There is such comfort in the physical presence of a book.

Having said that, I'm all for saving a few trees and publishing the latest tripe in e-book form (high-school vampire romances spring to mind).

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Ciggiey


Member

Posted Wed Jan 4th, 2012 12:45am Post subject: Secondhand Books

I just have to disagree with you and say that ebooks are a truly great thing. I have have owned a Kindle for a bit over a year now and I've never read as much. Especially for people like me, living outside the UK, ebooks have multiplied the availability of books for me by a huge factor. Ofcourse I adore the small bookshop just as much as the next guy, and sure nothing beats the experince of a "real" book, but try coming to Finland and find a book from Fry in english from a second-hand bookstore in Helsinki. So all in all I have nothing but love for the local vendor of books, but in a global perspective I think ebooks are the logical next step.


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pitterpatter


Member

Posted Thu Jan 5th, 2012 6:35pm Post subject: Secondhand Books

As I see it, part of the charm of a secondhand bookshop is that you can't be sure what you might stumble upon. As a fellow Finn i can certainly understand Ciggiey's opinion, as it often is difficult to find certain books here(without ordering them online).

I cannot say I have much experience with e-books and i personally prefer the physicality of real book. That said, e-books seem like a cool idea!

Of to the bookstore...again...


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TomHRXi


Member

Posted Fri Jan 27th, 2012 6:51am Post subject: Secondhand Books

no one buys second hand books these days
brand new books are so cheap nowadays
btw i am rich


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chrisprobert


Member

Posted Tue Feb 14th, 2012 10:56pm Post subject: Secondhand Books

honoriaplum said:
I quite agree. Long live the second hand book-seller. There is such comfort in the physical presence of a book.

Having said that, I'm all for saving a few trees and publishing the latest tripe in e-book form (high-school vampire romances spring to mind).


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chrisprobert


Member

Posted Tue Feb 14th, 2012 11:04pm Post subject: Secondhand Books

Kindles, e-books, t'internet phoeey!! There is nothing nicer ( apart from a Pendleton's twicer, ask your Dad), than sniffing, feeling,fondling and old prosti, sorry I drifted there for a bit, book. The tracking down of a book , a childhood favourite, a first adition, a gift old uncle Barry with his gammy eye and greenhouse hobby might like for xmas, it is purely wonderful. I'm in no doubt when one wishes to put their paws on something quick,slick and shiny be it students, business folk or asI like soaks in the bath with Belloc( i really must try reading some of his books)there'sno comparrison.But ask yourself this when little ben, kate or however you name your progeny turn to you and say" What was a second -hand book store"? your veins will freeze


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SahirneeSSilvermane


Member

Posted Mon Feb 20th, 2012 5:44pm Post subject: Secondhand Books

A good second-hand bookshop is just about my favorite place to be, especially if it's crammed into a seemingly too-small space in an old downtown building. When I first enter such a shop, I always have to stand in the entry for a moment, breathe deep, give the place an optical sweep, then greet the proprietor and head for the shelves. My pulse rate speeds up, and the treasure hunt is on! I can easily spend 3-4 hours in such a shop, just hunting about, sitting on the floor reading, and deciding which ones I'll buy. Books are my best friends, and I love the feel of them in my hands...I'll not mess about with a Kindle, or whatever trendy technology rears its head concerning books. The real thing is always better than anything digital, and that's not going to change for me. I love books, real books, and cannot get enough of them. The wonderful Terry Pratchett well knows the kind of magic that is present in a good second-hand bookshop, and understands those of us addicted to them! What better way to spend a rainy Saturday?

SahirneeSSilvermane, The Tiger's Eye Studio, Tacoma, WA, USA

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Nitro


Member

Posted Tue Feb 21st, 2012 6:29am Post subject: Secondhand Books

Sadly, a local 2nd hander near me closed down. Just not enough business.

The e-book debate rages but the statistics show that Kindle sales this year were up 6% and climbing. Consumer research shows that a heckuva lot of parents are buying these devices for their children.

It has pushed writing into a new direction as well. For example, the 'interactive book' which kind of winds up being a hybrid sort of video game. And readers can change the endings of stories sometimes.

It's also changed publishing enormously. I adore regular books, but it's hard to argue with someone who's facing production costs, shipping costs ( books are heavy ), materials costs etc etc. With an e-reader, one person can carry many books in one device. There's no paper involved and transportation/distribution of the story is done digitally. No trucks, no gas, no long inventory tasks etc. The upsides, while discombobulating, that I've listed are very attractive to publishing companies now.

So, regular books may very soon become a thing of the near-Past. I guess that's why so many antiquarian book groups are forming and those books that are like rare coins are fetching hefty prices.

I think used book stores are facing the same problems that public libraries are and the first problem they face is expenses not being as easily paid ( like rent ). Having a few loyal customers is just not enough financial input to pay the bills.

OTOH, maybe a new trend will start where coffeeshops go back to combining the best of various worlds...books, newspapers, coffee/tea and biscuit/cookie noshies, comfy furniture, etc etc. That was a huge thing in the 90's till Starbucks and Barnes and Noble showed up for the yuppie herds lol Toss in high speed internet and mobile devices and just a lot of the shops couldn't compete.

sux 4 us

Really? Wow.

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Steffers


Member

Posted Mon Feb 27th, 2012 1:09am Post subject: Secondhand Books

I know you will not agree with me but having been a lifelong reader and having also moved house dozens of times I recently reached a point where I could not face lugging all my boxes of books around one more time. In my last move I had about 15 unliftable boxes of books to pack, move and unpack and I suddenly saw what ebooks were all about. I sold half of my books having reluctantly realised that many of my old university books would never be opened again and got the kindle app. The idea of being able to fit all 15 unliftable boxes into my handbag was just too tempting to resist. I was very sad to find that even the auctioneers would not sell my books as they say that nobody is buying old school books any more. Sorry to be the fly in the ointment in the debate but I took ages to convert but now wouldn't go back


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duckfeet


Member

Posted Wed Jun 27th, 2012 5:39pm Post subject: Secondhand Books

Well, the curse of it, is that modernity--particularly of the digital kind--has brought us so much good, like this site, for example, and the ability to email friends, to find out information about any thing we want.

But it has also, brought difficulties for many. Bicycles and books will stay with us, but they go thru many changes. I love old books. I'm here pretty much because I read a lot when I was young, and stumbling upon Stephen Fry recently, I found he is some sort of link--to me--to those old books which gave me so much joy when growing up: think Wodehouse, Maugham, LeCarre...and then Stephen

So I never want booksellers to go out of business. But when I travel, I can now take a kindle with me, and I'm glad of it, as no book bag was ever big enough. But yes, in the U.S. anyway, outside of wealthy enclaves, booksellers are a thing of the past.


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michael_walshe01@yahoo.com


Member

Posted Tue Jul 10th, 2012 7:04pm Post subject: Secondhand Books

Ha Ha Ha
Good one!


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