We've been talking about the demise of books (the traditional kind) and the demise of bookstores.  But here is an interesting article that kinda blurs the issue. 


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Blurs what issue? This isn't good for authors. It's also not good for publishers. However, if the bottom drops out of print book sales, e-books will become a better option.
I find myself buying more used books lately, but almost always when:
1. The book is out of print;
2. The author is dead.

The Internet is a good resource for this kind of thing, a book I know I want, but can't find new.
Anybody with print books on Amazon was probably already aware of this phenomenon.
Yes. I think the decent thing for Amazon to do would have been to have a simple button for used copies, without listing prices, on the new book page. Still, the used dealers generally charge a fortune for shipping and then put the books in media mail, which means you may not get them until 3 weeks later.
The used dealers don't charge a fortune. Amazon charges $3.99 per book for shipping, and takes about a dollar and a half cut of that, so the used dealer loses money on shipping by media mail (which is "standard shipping") if the book weighs over a pound. And bubble envelopes are 30 cents each in bulk.

Media mail generally takes a couple of days, but it's mail that's handled last, and the post office doesn't consider it overdue for a month. "Expedited shipping," aka priority mail, is $6.99.
I never buy used books through Amazon. Never. I distrust them, due to their "available new and used from $0.01" link that appears for books that were released ten minutes ago. I use ALibrus, which serves as a clearinghouse for many used book dealers. It's sometimes a pain when ordering multiple books, as I try to cluster then into as few sellers as possible to save on shipping, but there's a lot of stuff there, and I've always been treated fairly.
Alibris has pretty much the same set of used book dealers as Amazon but fewer of them because it has less traffic for almost the same monthly rent. Its shipping fee for a book is the same as Amazon's, and it also takes a cut of the shipping fee from sellers. Their advantage to buyers is reduced shipping fees for additional books from the same seller. Biblio and ABE allow sellers to set their own shipping fees, and you may (or may not) catch a break there.
This may be a temporary blip. Used books may take a big hit as e-readers become more popular and older books become available for just a couple of dollars.


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