The longest river, and bookshop in the world. Amazon

Kate Hoolu

This short article arose from a couple of emails recently between Dave and a friend of this site, Willy F, who does the French translations of materials that appear here [hopefully to be updated for the new site - Ed], and in light of Dave's article about the net and electronic research sources.

Readers of the various articles by Francis, Dave or myself on this site would have noticed that there are often links to buy a product at Amazon (either in the UK or the USA). This is done particularly where we have reviewed a film or a book. The assumption behind this act is manifold. One, that readers may be unaware of the content of the review- for example, if you've not seen a film and are reading because you want to know more. The next logical step from this may be that you like the review, and for whatever reason are prone to trust the comment of whichever author, and perhaps from previous reviews of theirs you find that you have some convergence of 'taste' or opinion in what you enjoy in films or books. Two, from this convergence you think you'd like to own the item reviewed, to watch or read it yourself. Three, since we don't know where you live, we can't know whether you have a shop nearby that will stock the item. Four, and a very internet-based assumption, if you are going to buy the thing, the impulse is best fed very quickly, while at its most hungry- if you can order the item while still reading the review this might make it more likely that you will do so, rather than try to remember to physically look for it the next time you are in a particular town and a particular shop- an event which may be some time ahead, and in that time you may forget the item you were interested in. Five, and one you may already suspect, Occult e-books does get a miniscule commission from Amazon for any orders placed through the links on our pages... and it has been about enough money to buy a book of stamps lately : ) Well-fed corporate whores we are not...

This is not an ideal situation- Amazon has an image of being some faceless lumbering Lovecraftian industrial monster, swamping small booksellers out of business as it expands over the globe. Possibly true, and a source of some karmic debt for us all, I guess, whenever we buy from Amazon some family business suffers another body blow, but OEB gets a couple of pennies towards the running costs for the site... Many booksellers are immensely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful people, and, as has been urged in several articles- use them! If you have one.

For occult bibliophiles there is a link to the very wonderful Caduceus books below, and Ben Fernee, the owner, runs several web pages devoted to the sale of secondhand, rare and new esoteric books, to customers all over the world. We're hoping to do an interview with him sometime soon. Try him first for any of your needs, and do use your local shop whenever you can. Personally I use Amazon for a few things a year, but really do object to their pricing policy on shipping charges, and if I was somewhere geographically that had a good bookshop I wouldn't use them. At all.

KH

Caduceus books: www.caduceusbooks.com