It is raining here in India - a cloudburst of books and best-sellers at bargain offers! Book lovers have never had it so good. If you want a share of it, don't sit and gaze. As Dolly Parton said: 'To catch the rainbow, you gotta get wet in the rain!'
I am talking about online shopping sites, some of which are 'push-selling' books in a big way. The discounts offered are hefty, sometimes as much as 50 percent! You can use credit cards, net banking or even opt for COD (Cash on Delivery) to pay up. The books are couriered within 4 to 5 days of your order. Experience how easy, inexpensive and convenient it is to 'shop from the comfort of your home'!
The spurt in choice however throws up a few challenges too! Which books do we buy, from where, and at what price? A search brings up hundreds of recommendations, reviews and offers. Not only daunting, but also confusing! Hence, after several trials and errors, I devised a fool-proof method. Let me share it here.
Buying a book is easy, but buying a good book isn't. The key is knowing about the current trends and tastes. Here are two sites to begin with:
Unarguably, the most authentic and comprehensive source. It will help you graduate from being a random to a planned reader.
Awesome site. You are in the company of readers, writers, reviewers, critics and book lovers. If you have been neglecting reading, GoodReads is the place where you can 'kick-start' that habit again!
Once you catch up with the latest, the next step is to zero in on the book that you must read. For tips on this, check out these two sites:
Enter a title or author. The site will come up with reader recommendations from its huge database. Click on, to know more about your choice.
Here, you not only get information on any book of your choice, but also get to read its preview. A must for anyone waiting to begin his next read.
The last step before you purchase. Visit one of the following sites and enter the name of the book that you wish to buy. Within seconds, the sites will show up a list of online portals where the book is available, with their offer prices and mode of payment.
For the sake of brevity, I am limiting my recommendations to just two of the numerous online shopping sites. I have tried out and found them to be reliable and satisfactory.
I don't know why I didn't try out Flipcart earlier. When it finally happened, I was pleasantly surprised. And here they are right at the top of my recommendations.
My favourite. Huge collection of books; attractive discounts; prompt execution. If your book is stocked out, enable the SMS/Email alert.Great site. A welcome feature here, is the multilevel reward points that you can earn and redeem as you purchase.
5. Save More
If you are happy buying used books, here is a site. Try out any title; you will get to know about the condition of the book and the discount offered. In select locations, you can also use their library facility. My favourite.
6. Not Yet Over
After reading, if you want to dispose of the book, there are a few sites, where you can list your books for free, wait for a prospective buyer to turn up, and close the deal directly. The sites generally do not charge you for for this service. Search for more info.
"You never know which book, at which time in your life might be the one
that inspires you to grow in many ways you thought was never possible."
- Burke Hedges
The websites referred above are based on personal experience and are solely indicative of the growing online shopping opportunities in India. A missing reference does not in anyway imply a rating of a particular site's status, reputation or reliability.