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Old 08-30-2018, 08:29 AM   #61
fjtorres
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Poetry... is (one of) the least useful art forms ever invented.

IMHO, of course.
...by modern standards.
The problem is modern culture values transparency, simplicity, and accessibility whereas poetry often is about style and elliptical communication. It can be very economical but it requires some work to extract its content. Rather like encryption.

Poetry, especially modern poetry, is an acquired taste and most people just never acquire it.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:56 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Poetry... is (one of) the least useful art forms ever invented.

IMHO, of course.
Considering the eons of verse compared to the centuries of prose, I suspect otherwise. At the very least the older styles of poetry are easier to memorize and recite then straight prose.

Now I'd much rather read a modspell edition of Shakespeare or Chaucer than a randomly selected bit of modern literary poetry but I feel that way about modern literary works in prose as well. I happen to like a bit of catering to vulgar(common) tastes.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:26 PM   #63
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No - it was the internet. You can get used copies of just about any book and at a low price, so why go to a store?
Yes, that is what I do, except for the dollar stores where I will pick up books that I have never heard of because I can do a quick browse to see if they have any promise.

And of course the library and the book fairs.

I will buy a used paper book from Amazon if it is something I really want. A favorite author, or a series or something I have waited for.

I miss the old days when you could get any number of used books from Amazon for $5.00 including shipping.

I seldom buy a new fiction book. I am not in a hurry.
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:48 PM   #64
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The internet. The last used book store in our town was selling more on the internet than via store traffic, and it finally closed. I think used book sales remain robust on the internet (probably at amazon.com), but smaller sellers cannot compete (‘like new’ books can sell for as little as $0.01 plus shipping, not sure how that works).
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:07 PM   #65
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The internet. The last used book store in our town was selling more on the internet than via store traffic, and it finally closed. I think used book sales remain robust on the internet (probably at amazon.com), but smaller sellers cannot compete (‘like new’ books can sell for as little as $0.01 plus shipping, not sure how that works).
Just as an example from another sales category, the coffee store that I've been using for the last 20 years or so closed it's store front about 15 years ago and has been operating purely as an internet store since then. You can actually order and drive down to the warehouse and pick your order up, but I always just have it delivered. The three main expenses for a store is real estate, labor and inventory. If you don't have to worry about customers stopping by, then real estate and labor go down a lot.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:57 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
Just as an example from another sales category, the coffee store that I've been using for the last 20 years or so closed it's store front about 15 years ago and has been operating purely as an internet store since then. You can actually order and drive down to the warehouse and pick your order up, but I always just have it delivered. The three main expenses for a store is real estate, labor and inventory. If you don't have to worry about customers stopping by, then real estate and labor go down a lot.
The problem with having no store front for used books is that it makes it a lot harder to get books to sell. People aren't going to drive out to the boonies to see if you will buy a few of their used books, and it's not like there are wholesalers for used books.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:35 PM   #67
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The problem with having no store front for used books is that it makes it a lot harder to get books to sell. People aren't going to drive out to the boonies to see if you will buy a few of their used books, and it's not like there are wholesalers for used books.
In some countries there are.
Or something equivalent. In the UK they have Charity Shops and in the US there are Goodwill stores.

https://www.charityretail.org.uk/charity-shops-faq/

Reports are that UK Charity stores are flooded with used books and often can't accept more.

There is no shortage of used pbooks floating around in at least some countries. More than ever in this, the ebook era, as people replace their print collections with digital. Most end up at penny book operations:

https://bookriot.com/2017/01/24/why-...s-for-a-penny/

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/m...our-books.html

Contrary to what some like to pretend, a lot of people (maybe a majority) don't particularly value books. In the olden days, many would trade them two for one for more reads--turning four books into seven reads--or donate them to libraries or to charities. Many ended up and still end up in landfills.

Last edited by fjtorres; 08-31-2018 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:10 PM   #68
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Many ended up and still end up in landfills.
But surely, hopefully, most books get pulped (recycled)? Or is that practice mainly reserved for brand new books that nobody managed to buy and discarding used books goes in the trash?
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:53 AM   #69
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But surely, hopefully, most books get pulped (recycled)? Or is that practice mainly reserved for brand new books that nobody managed to buy and discarding used books goes in the trash?
Pretty much.
Pulping is a commercial operation reserved for brand new unsold books.
Some used books excessed by the charities end up getting pulped but it's not common. In communities that recycle, books trashed by consumers might get rolled into the paper recycling side but not all paper recyclers like books.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:24 AM   #70
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But surely, hopefully, most books get pulped (recycled)? Or is that practice mainly reserved for brand new books that nobody managed to buy and discarding used books goes in the trash?
I generally don't throw out books. I have donated quite a few hard back books to libraries over the years. I think that the donation thing is a common way to getting rid of books. Most paperback books are typically just tossed in the trash bins, even by book sellers.
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:00 PM   #71
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The internet. The last used book store in our town was selling more on the internet than via store traffic, and it finally closed. I think used book sales remain robust on the internet (probably at amazon.com), but smaller sellers cannot compete (‘like new’ books can sell for as little as $0.01 plus shipping, not sure how that works).
That is what I look for but it is harder to find these days.

Actually the book rate mailing cost is very cheap. That is a legacy thing. Just hasn't changed.

Quote:
Postage is determined by package weight. A typical paperback (weighing between 4 ounces and up to one pound) costs $2.66 to send by MediaMail postal rate. A heavier book (a large hardcover) weighing between 1 and 2 pounds will cost $3.17 to send by Media mail.

Last edited by frahse; 09-01-2018 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 09-01-2018, 03:06 PM   #72
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What I would like to see is a breakdown of used book sales by release date. I suspect recent releases are a bigger share of the market than, say, a decade ago.
That's what Half Price Books told me. Except for certain authors, a large proportion of sales are for books released within the last 2 years. I still buy the occasional paper book, nearly always online, but it's because it is not available in ebook form. I have it scanned and convert it so that I can read it given that I can no longer read ordinary paper books.
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Old 09-01-2018, 06:01 PM   #73
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That's what Half Price Books told me. Except for certain authors, a large proportion of sales are for books released within the last 2 years. I still buy the occasional paper book, nearly always online, but it's because it is not available in ebook form. I have it scanned and convert it so that I can read it given that I can no longer read ordinary paper books.
Yeah, I think that is the law of unintended consequences at work.

People aren't half as impulsive (or stupid) as some corporate types believe.
Raise the price of ebooks? Shift a series from mass market to trade or hardcover? People know to wait for the used pbook market to fill up. And anybody capable of buying an ebook knows how to find used books online.

Increasing the price not only encourages people to buy used but it also encourages early buyers to try to recoup some of the price hike by moving it once read. So it provides both the demand and the supply.

The Law of unintended consequences is a lot like quicksand: the more you fight it the faster you sink.

Publishing is a weird business.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:18 PM   #74
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I'm down to mostly ebooks, and haven't read a real paper book in years. I still have about 200 or so keepers but have been weeding out those I don't really need in paper. And it's been a long process.

I think the internet helped put some of the used bookstores out, but the ones that are open seem to be doing well, as long as they expanded to other items as well. Used games, DVD's, CD's, comics... as well as some new but nostalgic items. (records and record players) They're great places to browse and have enough variety to feel new every visit. Sometimes I come away with stuff I didn't go in to buy.

The other UBS by me only took books, priced them only a couple of dollars under new, and took in some trashed ones they wanted to sell and gave poor store credit. Ah... no. Not when I can get a new copy for a couple dollars more, and in better shape. Why take my old stuff there when the other store gives better credit?

Plus, the other store has more scifi and fantasy. I don't seem to be in a high scifi-fant area, so people don't trade them in. The other store can switch up with their other locations, and spread the wealth, while the single store owner was stuck with whatever genres were local favorites. Sometimes that might work well, other times not.

Then you have the bookstores online selling used, including Amazon, and the online website that used to let you trade used paperbacks for the cost of media mail. (They later changed to a paid membership and I left.) But since 2004 their site lists that they've help people trade over 19,600,000 used books.

Browsing a used bookstore can be fun and frustrating at the same time. When you're looking for a certain author or a certain copy, I found I'd rather browse online. And since I don't by paper much anymore, I don't even go to the UBS I enjoy much anymore.

So, I think it was a lot of things happening at once. Some rolled with it, some got wiped out.
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Old 09-02-2018, 04:01 PM   #75
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