[OPE-L:5345] 21st Century Bookworming

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Mon Apr 16 2001 - 08:33:52 EDT

(The following post is dedicated to Claus G)

A  joke from a few years ago:

Q:  Where do you find the Marxist when s/he is
      not at a demonstration or at a political meeting?

A:  At a used bookstore, of course.

Living in New York City, a favorite pastime of mine
has been scrounging through dusty old bookstores.
I often had the feeling that I was in search of
buried treasure. When members of this list come
to NYC, they invariably want to go to used book
stores -- which are often unknown or very rare in 
the area of the world that they come from.

This is beginning to change, thanks to the Internet.

To begin with, many long out-of-print books are
now being published on the Net and one can 
download those books for FREE. (Of course,
if one wants "hard copy" then there is a cost to
print the book).  Sometimes, with "shareware",
the authors ask for a nominal contribution. This
has already changed the publishing industry and
can be expected to continue to change the way
in which scholars conduct research.  Instead of
going to university and public libraries, scholars
will increasingly be doing research through their 
own computers and the Internet. Small publishers 
of scholarly journals could very well be adversely 
affected by these developments -- especially given 
the cost of those journals. Yet, many scholarly 
journals are now being published on-line.  And, 
of course, forums such as OPE-L, accessible
through our WWW archives,  provide a source for 
research for students and scholars that was 
unavailable not so long ago.

Most of us, though, are still "old dogs" who like
to collect (old-style) books.  Who among us does
not have a considerable part of their living space
devoted to bookcases?

Here, again, the Internet is changing how we 
do things. 

One can be able to look for used books or in-print
books on sale at sites such as:







Does anyone else have any good sites for 
locating books which are used or on-sale?

Of course, locating books on the Net isn't the 
same thing, is it?  On the one hand, it is more
socially isolating than the social event of going to
a bookstore (this social side of book collecting is
well known to the booksellers themselves and in
the US at B&N there are often coffee shops
attached to the bookstore).  On the other hand, 
it does take less time to shop on-line, especially
since it eliminates transportation time to the 
bookstore, and it is available to people world-wide.
If you look hard enough you can even find some
bargains. Indeed, I recently bought some books 
on-line that in years of searching I had never been
able to locate before.  Bookworms of the 21st
Century rejoice!

In solidarity, Jerry

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