Let Biblio Help Build Your Business (And Library)

For those of you who are writers and hang about this place looking for tips on writing, I say good for you. This is a smart move, for this is indeed what we do here. Excellent.

However, this week I wanted to tell you where to find other cool people’s writing advice. Specifically, people who put down their advice in book form.

Yes, I know we have ebooks and yes, they are thoroughly awesome. You can go buy one now if you’d like to see how awesome they are. However, my post is about book-books.

You know. The things with the pages. And the smell. And the feeling. And the happiness.

While the book industry is probably going to be around for years to come, independent bookstores are suffering lately. Which makes sense, being as I personally am sometimes too lazy to get up and walk the quarter-mile to one of the three independent bookstores around me to find the book I seek.

I’ve used Amazon. I have. I admit it. It’s true.

I used it until a couple of months ago, when I discovered that for books, there is something far superior to Amazon. It is called Biblio.com, and I’m going to tell you all about it.

Usually I am wooed to such romanticizing only by the promise of money, but since Biblio supplies me with books, and I like books, they have won my heart forever. The fact that I have to pay for these books is a minor thing indeed.

Basically, Biblio has a ton of independent booksellers on its payroll, and they sell books through them. Supporting independent bookstores AND being lazy is a win-win, I think. I like to be conscientious when it doesn’t require me to work hard. Or, you know. At all.

Biblio ships everywhere in the world, they tell you where the sellers are located so you don’t wind up paying huge shipping fees for a book from the UK when you were trying to save five cents on the price, and they even have a search engine that allows you to search for the edition you want, if you’re interested in such things.

I sometimes am interested in such things. I don’t care if Hemingway ever spat upon the edition I’m holding, but did you ever have an edition of a book you enjoyed when you were a child that you desperately wanted to find again? You could only find the latest new shiny version whose pictures were far inferior to your childhood memories.

Until now. Biblio saved me from this terrible fate. I have Peter Pan in the only correct edition now. I don’t care which edition you had when you were a kid, this one is the real one and I found it and it’s mine.

I will always love independent bookstores. Usually, I wander around acquiring books I had forgotten I wanted, or never knew existed. I hang out until the clean-up crew starts giving me dirty looks and the counter staff “accidentally” spills something on my shoe.

To get you going, I’m going to recommend some of my favorite writing books currently extant. You should go on Biblio.com right now and buy them:

Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
The Well-Fed Writer, Peter Bowerman
On Writing, Stephen King
The Copywriter’s Handbook, Robert Bly

If you are a poetry lover, Biblio.com is also one of the best places I’ve found to get poetry books. Usually it’s nigh impossible to find books from poets because even independent stores tend to stock only the most recognized names. That means if I want to find the newly crowned poet laureate of Britain, Carol Ann Duffy, or the wonderful Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Lizel Mueller, I used to have to go through Amazon.

No more.

Your books come to you smelling like bookstore, too. There’s something about a used book smell. It’s like the opposite of car-buying. For cars, you want the new-car smell. For books, you want that smell that says other people have read these pages before, that they have loved them, and that so will you.

Post by Taylor

Taylor Lindstrom (fondly known as Tei) is a twenty-something copywriter and journalist from Boulder, CO. She’s the team’s rogue woman who wowed us until our desire for her talents exceeded our desire for a good ol’ boys club. She loves the color green, micro-point Uniball pens, and medieval weaponry.

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  1. Second hand bookshops are the BEST! On our honeymoon my DH and I went hunting out as many second hand bookshops as we could find in the area. We came home with a huge box of books!

    I’m slowly building my collection of old/original Louisa M. Allcott books. My favourite is a copy of ‘Jo’s Boys’ with an inscription in the front cover “From Miss Wilson, to Ella, Picnic Prize, 1924″ That’s currently my oldest book, I’m still looking for older. I love to imagine what that picnic was like, what the book was a prize for. What was Ella like? Did she love the book as much as I do?

    I’ve never used Biblio, although I’ve used Biblioz which is part of it.

    I love books and reading, there will never be anything as good as curling up on a winters day with a book and mulled wine. Breathing in the smell of old paper (new books just don’t smell the same), turning thick, soft cardboard covers on old books. The smell, feel and look of old books, it takes me back to my childhood and beyond.

    And I have to admit to using Amazon, although the shipping charges are horrendous! Some books we just can’t buy over here so don’t have a lot of choice. Actually, I just bought Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ from Amazon!

  2. Hello everyone,

    First off, thanks for the heads up on Biblio.

    Second,, I know what a DH is in baseball. He’s the designated hitter. I wonder what Melinda had in mind when she mentioned her DH and she went on their honeymoon? Designated Husband, by any chance?

    Cheers,

    Lawrence

    Lawrence S. Miller´s last blog post…Governor Bobby Jindal on Christianity

  3. I love second hand books for dead authors, but when buying living writers I try to buy new so that they get at least a few more pennies. ;)

    I’m looking forward to checking out the site – not that I have any room for books, but it’s fun to browse at least.

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post…Stop Self-Destructing Your Dreams

  4. Thanks so much for this, Tei. I hadn’t heard of it, but I know I’ll use it a lot!

    Dot´s last blog post…April Showers and May Flowers

  5. Anlina Sheng says:

    Oh no, this is terrible. Just terrible :(

    I’m in the process of purging my book collection; just getting into the right mind set to get rid of lots and lots of books and cut the library down to just the essentials. I do not need this kind of temptation, no I definitely do not.

    Now, to navigate away from Biblio and try not to think of all the hard cover John Bellairs books they have for $1, in the editions I so badly want to own. (I will bookmark it for later though – what a great alternative to Amazon.)

    Anlina Sheng´s last blog post…Bed cats

  6. I love used bookstores.

    However, my favorite resource for older editions/used books is the thrift store. Some of these have extensive collections of used books and they are quite cheap.

    Occasionally they have a bag sale — perhaps three bucks for all the books you fit in a paper shopping bag.

    Also try local libraries. They typically sell used books as a way to raise funds.

  7. I’m lucky enough to live near the biggest second-hand bookshop in Britain (and one of the world’s biggest) – it’s literally two warehouses full of shelves, with FIVE MILLION books to look through!

  8. Hmm…let’s go check out Biblio…

    *goes in*

    *types in name of author I liked in high school, and the series of hers that I want to reread*

    *blinks in shock*

    $1? A single dollar? For pretty much any one of her books?

    Oh, they automatically show the books ranked from lowest price? That’s damned genius. My fingers twitched with the effort it took not to grab my purse and start filling the shopping cart with paperbacks.

    Here in Tulsa, the best used bookstore is Gardner’s. They have an entire section for used comic books, DVDs, and VHS tapes in addition to rows and rows and rooms and rooms of used books. I love that place, so very, very much.

  9. @ Taylor:

    You say,

    “While the book industry is probably going to be around for years to come”

    You know… I’m not convinced of this… I’m not sure how much longer the book industry will be around, at least of the paper kind.

    As technology continues to evolve and the kindle becomes more and more mainstream… I wouldn’t be surprised at all if brick and mortar bookstores became something of a rarity as well as paper books themselves.

    Bamboo Forest – PunIntended´s last blog post…Tipping Makes no Sense

  10. Jesse Hines says:

    That’s a solid list of writing books you recommend.

    I’ll add one, perhaps the most influential one for me:

    Style: Toward Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams

    I checked and, yes, Biblio carries that title–Biblio also looks like a really good site. Bookmarked it.

  11. @ Lawrence LOL! DH means Dear Husband. Although when I first used it on my personal blog all my in-laws were upset because they thought I was calling him D%^& Head! LOLOL! I had my brother in law phoning to see if everything was ok between us!

    Melinda´s last blog post…How to Make Lots of Money Online – Fast

  12. Thanks for the info, and the wonderful list of books recommended!

    While I love books so much, I regret for not reading them after purchasing,
    and taking severe raps from my wife for not reading them. However, possessing some of them makes me seem intelligent. :-) I take a hard look at them on the little rack and be contended. :-)

    My time is taken up now by my full time internet connection which glares me in my face each day! And, start reading MwPs….

    Thanks for the nice post!
    Solomon

    Solomon´s last blog post…Ride the crest of the writer’s learning curve!

  13. T

    Thanks for discovering another money drain for me. I love books and I’m an indie kind of guy.

    And I *luv* the smell of books!

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post…The Flash Fiction e-book is published

  14. Nothing beats old books!

    Old books are the only way you can read Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, the Dana Girls etc. as they were meant to be read – from the 1920s!

    And Albert Payson Terhune! Lad of Sunnybank! You can still visit the original Sunnybank location and see the gravestones of all those famouse dogs from the 1910s etc. Ernest Thompson Seton (or Ernest Seton Thompson, depending upon the year it was written) – Wild Animals I have Known! The original writer for outdoors adventures!

    And and and (oh you got me on a roll) books by Lillian Moller Gilbreth (the real mom from Cheaper by the Dozen – she was the first woman who graduated from the University of Berkeley back in 1902(?) … she and her husband, Frank Butler Gilbreth, are widely considered the Parents of Motion Study (you can get the original videos off of the Wayback machine too!).

    Great great stuff.

    Enjoy, Barbara

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog post…Thursday Coffee coffee coffee and more coffee

  15. Love it! I’ve only heard of this now, a treasured find! I, for one, am a definite lover of books. I love the crinkly, old smell of those pages. Somehow it makes me feel like there’s so much more to the book than the story it holds. That there are other stories to be told, those of its previous owners. I especially love finding books with little dedications in them, really adds to the character and charm of the book. I’m definitely checking the site out! Thanks a bunch!

  16. I adore Bird by BIrd, and On Writing. Popping over to biblio to have a look now. Cheers :)

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