Sunday, April 27, 2008

Third Time's the Charm?

Amazon shipped me a third copy of the book that I've twice received damaged. The thing is, this one was packaged exactly the same way -- in one of those tear-open flat boxes, with no padding or wrap of any kind. This copy happened to arrive in decent condition, but I think it was just by accident; maybe it was thrown around less. Nothing in the packaging would have prevented it getting all chewed up in shipping.

Just by way of comparison -- every one of the dozens of dollar-plus-shipping used book I've ordered from a mom-and-pop bookstore via ABE has arrived more securely packaged against damage. Every one.

I was a bit shocked to browse through my orders and realized I've placed over eighty separate orders from Amazon since 1998. I haven't given up on them yet, but if my next box indicates that Amazon really has made it policy to no longer package books for shipment in any way other than throwing them loose in boxes, I'll have to stop ordering from Amazon. Which Grace would appreciate -- she's been reminding me for years that I should be supporting locally owned and managed stores, or at the least, unionized or cooperatively-owned businesses.

I would miss Amazon's selection and pricing, though; I have often taken advantage of their ability to get me some extremely obscure titles over the years.

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