Monday, November 16, 2009

Mailbox Monday!

Today is Mailbox Monday, where we share what books we've received in our mailboxes over the past week. Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

This week, I received three books, courtesy, primarily, of the Powell's gift card I won from the illustrious Jill during the Read-a-Thon! I am not one to let a gift card burn a hole in my pocket, so I ordered these books shortly after the RaT was over, and they arrived last Tuesday (I think).

First up is the last Mary Russell novel to complete my collection, O Jerusalem! I have all the others, but for some reason, I skipped over this one completely in my quest to have the entire series. Once I had my gift card in hand, I knew the first thing I wanted to spend it on was this book.

Next up, I snagged a used copy of T.S. Stribling's The Store. Stribling is a Southern author who wrote a trilogy of novels in the 1930's, the first of which was The Store. I already have the third in the series, The Unfinished Cathedral, which I Mooched a while back, but I have not been able to find an affordable copy of either The Store or The Forge (book two). You WOULD NOT BELIEVE how expensive these books are. I've seen them going for over $100. It seems as though the only copies left available are collectors' editions. I didn't want something that expensive, as I'm not sure these books will be keepers. The average going rate seems to be somewhere between $35 and $40. When I saw, however, that Powell's had a (gently) used copy for $20, I knew where the rest of my gift card was going. The edition I received is GORGEOUS...leather-bound, hard-backed, gilt-edged, in almost-new condition. I cannot praise Powell's enough for the wonderful quality of all three of my used books. You can hardly tell anyone else has read them, but they were all great bargains!

Finally, last but not least, I hadn't used QUITE all of my gift card (ummm, I think I had like 50 cents left on it), so, in order not to waste any of the card, I simply HAD to get a third book. I found Jim Shepard's Like You'd Understand, Anyway, a book of short stories, for about $6...hardback. Only my fellow bibliophiles will understand what a value that was...especially for another hard-to-find book, which I've been searching BookMooch for since FOREVER.

Really, I was so impressed with the quality of my Powell's books that I am thinking about ordering exclusively from them when I shop for books online. Their used books are such a great value, I love that I'm buying from an independent bookseller, and it just warms my heart to remember my time in Portland, OR, in the summer of 2004, wandering the aisles in Powell's until I had to catch the bus back home. The only drawback was that the shipping time was a leeeetle longer than predicted, but I can live with that for the value I'm getting.

What have y'all received in your mailboxes this week? Where do YOU shop for books online?


Staci said...

I haven't ever ordered from Powell's but I do use ABE Books a lot which also helps out Independent booksellers. Enjoy!

Literary Feline said...

Bookstore gift cards rarely last long in my hands either--although I sometimes will try and stretch them out just to test my willpower. I'm a masochist that way.

I haven't read a Mary Russell novel, but I have heard good things about her writing.

That's quite a deal you got on The Store, Lexi. It can be very discouraging when a book you want is only being sold at extremely high prices. I am glad you were able to find the book at such a good price--and in such good condition!

I've been very pleased with my past experiences with Powell's. I once had to call their customer service and the representative I spoke to was so friendly and helpful.

I hope you enjoy your new books!

Mary said...

I love book store gift cards!

Anonymous said...

Yay! I adore Powells (they're even better in person, if you're ever in Portland). But they always lag on shipping. Always. :-(

However, they buy books online for store credit...and they pay for the shipping. So if you have used books to sell, I highly recommend them.