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05.05.2001 (15.05.2001)

Very cheap books


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Ever since the printed word was invented, people have loved to read. Fact or fiction, educative or not, we have swarmed by the millions to buy more and more. It has mattered not a jot that we are now in a digital age and can download huge chunks of text not to say whole books from the Internet. We still prefer a nice crisp new book to a screen or pages of A4 paper.

It is not so many years ago that the only place, apart from a public library, that we could get out hands on a book was in the high street. Here the dedicated bookshop reigned supreme. I still love to browse through these Aladdin’s caves. There is an atmosphere and smell that simply cant be put into words. The only drawback with bookshops was that for years that they were forced to charge the price that publishers printed on the flyleaf. This put the owning of books beyond many peoples reach and forced them into the public library.

Another alternative appeared on the scene, the book club. These were generally owned or financed by the publishers themselves and were a way of clearing books that were not selling quite as expected. The method was quite simple. One signed up and bought six or so books at a knockdown price. This however often turned into a pact with the devil, as it was necessary to purchase a further number of books from the club to fulfil your part of the bargain. Every month you would be offered an “editors choice” and woe betide you if you forgot to cancel the order, because it was sent to you by default anyway. Who on earth wants to read a book chosen by a stranger anyway?

With the advent of the Internet, many booksellers have sprung up such as Amazon. Most give excellent service and the convenience of shopping for a book this way has a lot to offer, the price of the books however is always at the top end, but you can more or less get any book online now that your heart desires.

There is however another alternative for those of us who like a real bargain. It is called “The Book People” ( They have been around for some time now and you may have come across them at school functions, where they have been selling books with the commission going to the school.

The bargains to be had here are quite spectacular in some instances, and while the selection of books is not that of Amazon, it is large and growing all the time. Their speciality is children’s books from first read to GCSE, but they have a large selection of books for adults catering for all tastes.

Let me give you a couple of examples of the savings to be made, 10 children’s books which are priced at £41.43 for £8.99. These are all well known books that are in the shops at the full price now. My favourite saver this month is 10 beautiful war books, both fiction and non-fiction priced at £70 for an incredible £9.99

The home page has the categories down the left hand side. These are:
Famous Face
For Cooks
For Toddlers
For Kids
Audio Books
Each Category breaks down into sub-headings giving the customer access to a comprehensive database. There is also the mandatory search engine that can be called upon also to search for a book by title, author or book code from the catalogue.

The home page also explains about its link with schools and also how it is possible to arrange a visit by them to your workplace, where a representative from them can allow you and your colleagues to examine the books at first hand.

A novel method of contacting them is also explained. Apart from the usual which are:

Post… Hallwood Avenue, Haydock, WA119UR
Telephone… 0870 6077740
Fax…0870 6077720

They have introduced a “Phone Me” Service. Clicking on the logo at the bottom of the home page, it is possible to request a callback from a telephone order line. (Open 8am - 8pm, seven days a week). In addition they are experimenting with a “chat” facility, which is available from 9.30am to 5.15pm Monday to Friday. Here it is possible to actually talk to a member of staff about any problem. Can you imagine the likes of Amazon doing this?

Buying books on the site simply could not be easier. It uses the now familiar “shopping basket” and “checkout” that we have all become customised to. The postage and delivery are as I explained earlier.

Ordering online is covered by a secure server and they appear to take this very seriously as they have a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) which encrypts the data stream between your browser and their server.

The site also explains in detail, the method of collecting book points and your total can now be checked online. At the moment it appears they are having technical difficulties and the redemption of book points online are delayed for a month or two.

Link and earn is a method of earning commission by linking your web site to The Book People. They are currently paying 10% commission, which is double that of Amazon and an offer that I will certainly be taking up.

The gift centre page is a novel way of finding a book/present for any member of the family.

They are running a simple competition on a weekly basis, at the moment looking for feedback on the site. The prizes are…. books. LOL. More books can be won by reviewing the books you purchase. (a doddle for ciao’ers)

It is possible to ask for a “Book Bulletin” which is a dedicated email list, sending out regular bulletins. It is also possible to request a catalogue by snail mail (my personal method of browsing)

Go and look at this site. The savings are absolutely unbelievable.

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Comments about this review »

danielse 08.12.2003 15:52

Why say 'educative' instead of 'educational'? It's just a website, not the holy grail. You can get better bargains elsewhere and the collections are clearly made up of books that they cannot sell individually. When I was in the States I found a second-hand bookshop that sold old books by the yard for people who wanted to furnish a room. reminds me of that.

tally2000 20.05.2001 22:01

great op. do you mind if i add you to my circle of trust?

Udo1 18.05.2001 22:55

Thanks for your op. We get books of The Book People in work and they are really great.

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