USPS Woes!

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Mofmog
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USPS Woes!

Post by Mofmog » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:30 pm

I ordered Plato's Apology off of the Walmart website (I had a gift card) on August 13th. On thier website they claimed that I'd have my package Wednesday the 23rd.

This WOULD be the case, but USPS goofed up and sent my package to the wrong city! But what's worse, they said they've ALREADY DELIVERED IT INTO THE WRONG CITY! And now its lost somewhere in that city, my city or the crevice of a mailman's truck.

I'm leaving tommorow for a long trip and now I'll be without Plato :(

William
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Post by William » Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:44 pm

Bummer. It sounds like they owe you TWO apologies.

WB

Carola
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Post by Carola » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:29 pm

I order most of my books through Amazon - either from USA or UK - and they ALWAYS get here (to Australia) within a week, undamaged and exactly what I ordered. The university book shop can't even get in the set text books in on time for the start of the semester, so it is very welcome to have a good, reliable supplier. And the cost is about the same as my so-called government subsidised book price from the university.
I might add we did once have a thriving book publishing industry in Australia, wonder what happened to that?
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richc
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Post by richc » Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:46 pm

I pretty much buy all my books online, however I've been mostly lucky. A few late
deliveries, and one Libanius (loeb) that looked like it was half off the bottom of the
pallett. Kept it tho, still readable.
I"m about to buy a book from Byzantina Australiensia, cant get it from the big
distributors, so I think I'll buy it from the publisher. Wonder how long that'll take
to cross the pacific?
I think the long wait, and the probablility of delivery problems is still worth it, given
the difficulty of buying such books before there was a world wide web.

Rich

GlottalGreekGeek
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:24 pm

I almost never buy books online. Even though Amazon's "look inside" feature is nice, it still doesn't replace having a book in your hands to inspect before purchase. Besides, I like buying books in a leisurely manner - going to a bookstore 2-5 times before finally deciding to buy the book (unless it's a book I want really badly, I never buy a book the first time I see it in a bookstore). But when I finally do make up my mind, I like to take possesion of the book immediately, and deliver it home personally.

And yeah, that is a bummer. Can you get some type of refund?

Carola
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Post by Carola » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:40 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:I almost never buy books online. Even though Amazon's "look inside" feature is nice, it still doesn't replace having a book in your hands to inspect before purchase. Besides, I like buying books in a leisurely manner - going to a bookstore 2-5 times before finally deciding to buy the book (unless it's a book I want really badly, I never buy a book the first time I see it in a bookstore). But when I finally do make up my mind, I like to take possesion of the book immediately, and deliver it home personally.

And yeah, that is a bummer. Can you get some type of refund?
Lucky you that you can see the book in a book store. I can't figure out why in a town with so many universities it is so hard to find a really good bookstore, selling textbooks, not coffee table light-weight trash.
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richc
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Post by richc » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:47 pm

I've got the same situation. While there's a Barnes and Noble here, and some other
larger stores. They're (arguably) in business to make money, not sell books. I do like
to go there and see what's around, occaisonally making a purchase, but most of my
books I get are online. How else would I get any books with greek text, or, for that
matter, history books in english that are a decade or two old.
There's defiinitely a trade off here. At the bookstore, however limited the selection,
I know what I'm getting, and when. While online the selection's unlimited, but without
opening the book. There's a bit of a risk.
I have to say I've hit the jackpot twice with authors like Aubrey de Selincourt and
Steven Runciman, while other times I've not done so well. Once I bought a book by
Agathias online, pretty sure it would have the greek text and it was only in english. I
could have sworn it said "bilingual" Oh well


Rich

tjnor
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USPS Woes

Post by tjnor » Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:53 pm

I used to run a trade bookstore, and although we used to keep in a goodly number of Loebs and Cambridge Greek and Latin texts we never really sold any. Once a customer came in who ordered the entire Loeb library (at a pretty good discount!) but he only wanted it as a backdrop for his office.

Most of these texts are net books, meaning the bookstore only gets a 10% discount. Once you pay shipping you are at a break-even point. Once you pay rent, utilities, and employees you have a loss. We kept these as a perverse sort of loss-leader. Their presence proclaimed our intellectual bona fides. In the same period in which I could move twenty copies of say, How the Irish Saved Civilization, I might be able to sell one example of that civilization to the general public.

Thank God for Textkit

richc
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Post by richc » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:37 pm

Ok. Makes sense.
tjnor said:
Most of these texts are net books, meaning the bookstore only gets a 10% discount. Once you pay shipping you are at a break-even point. Once you pay rent, utilities, and employees you have a loss. We kept these as a perverse sort of loss-leader. Their presence proclaimed our intellectual bona fides. In the same period in which I could move twenty copies of say, How the Irish Saved Civilization, I might be able to sell one example of that civilization to the general public.
I dont think I can complain about the scarcity of these books in bookstores.
Well, rather than trips to the bookstore, I'll just browse the web for books on
those civilizations saved by the irish for us. :wink:

Carola
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Post by Carola » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:32 pm

A "print on demand" system would be good - then a small retailer could buy the equipment to do the printing and pay a fee to the original publisher for the use of their digitised version. This could be protected by software which counts the number of times a book is printed and bills accordingly if the book is copyright. The printer could make some extra money by selling fancy covers and bookbinding or doing big runs of school and college textbooks.
I already do this to some extent for myself, printing out some of Textkit's books (like White's Greek Grammar) and having them put into binders at my local stationers. This also means I can print double sided to an A4 page and then be able to read the typeface with my rather wobbly eyesight! Even the White ( a very chunky book!) will probably only end up costing me about $Aus15 ($US12) , mainly because I split it into several "volumes" to make it easier to handle.
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Bert
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Post by Bert » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:32 am

Carola wrote: Even the White ( a very chunky book!) ....
Is that the same White that I have? Ie. First Greek Book?
Mine is not "chunky" at all.

GlottalGreekGeek
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Re: USPS Woes

Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:22 am

tjnor wrote:I used to run a trade bookstore, and although we used to keep in a goodly number of Loebs and Cambridge Greek and Latin texts we never really sold any. Once a customer came in who ordered the entire Loeb library (at a pretty good discount!) but he only wanted it as a backdrop for his office.
There is one local bookstore which is paticularly good at supplying Classics books. I suspect that this is not entirely on account of profit, since I once caught one of the employees reading the Hesiod Loeb, though I never tried to talk to him about it (now that I think of it, I wonder if it was his own personal copy, or whether he was borrowing the store copy). Most of the books have been sitting there ever since I first got interested in classics - on the other hand, many of them are out of print and have a hefty price tag. I do not want to pay 70$ for a commentary on Pindar's Pythian odes which does not even have the Greek text, though it refers to the Greek and not a translation. I don't think many people do. However, the bookstore might find it worthwhile to wait a few years for a buyer who would pay $70 out of desperation rather than selling it quickly to me for $7.

On the other hand, there is a small group of Classics books which has a high turnover rate. Paticularly Homer and Homerica, though a few other types as well. The Loeb for Galen has been there forever, but Homer Loebs don't last more than a month. Commentaries on Homer which cost less than 15$ also have a relatively short shelf life, though pricing one at 30$ guarantees a long shelf life. I only saw Cunliffe's lexicon once - the next time I was at the store, a week later, it had disappeared (and I, for once, was not the one who spirited it away). I also sometimes see people perusing the classics alongside me, though I never have tried to strike up a conversation. Maybe I should some time :wink:

Carola
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Post by Carola » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:47 pm

Bert wrote:
Carola wrote: Even the White ( a very chunky book!) ....
Is that the same White that I have? Ie. First Greek Book?
Mine is not "chunky" at all.
Well, it is 362 pages and if you print that on normal A4 copy paper, even double sided it stacks up to a fairly hefty book to carry around. On the very high quality thin paper in some of my old text books it is probably much lighter. I did manage to get an old copy of Goodwin's Greek Grammar, a reasonably thick book but on much lighter paper it is manageable! But this is why "print on demand" would be good because you could get the book printed on better paper if you wanted.
(And good to see you are still posting, Bert :D )
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