14 May 2007

A bibliophile's plight

Well, my light at the end of the tunnel is rapidly going out. I heard back from that bookstore in Bogotá, and of the few books I requested, they only have one: The Raw Shark Texts. The problem? The quoted price is $92,000 pesos, which equates to $46 ($46!) US dollars (and this is before shipping costs). But I'm so desperate for a new novel, that I just might go for it. (Those of you who've read it--would it be worth it?)

Amazon doesn't even ship to Colombia, but Powell's does--if I'm willing to pay $14 for shipping and wait two months. [Correction: Just found out that they do ship here, but we're not mentioned on their country list.]

I've been thinking long and hard about getting an ebook reader, and learned a lot from this ebook reader review--including the fact that the iLiad comes with a stylus (great!) and a $700 price tag (not so great). The pros and cons of the Sony Reader (since it's priced at a more "modest" $350) seem to all cancel each other out. Or do they? Although they don't have many of the books on my overly-optimistic future reading list (and tons of bestseller crap), I did find 5 books out of a starter list of 20. And although they're all basically full price, I can have them immediately and not bother with shipping fees or waiting forever. The fine print scared me ("Use of companion CONNECT eBook Store limited to US residents"), but a user's review explains how this is due to billing purposes. It won't lock me out because of my ISP (as is now the case with Pandora--a tragic loss as far as I'm concerned, which doesn't help the situation).

Meanwhile, all this readerly angst is distracting me from what I do have: I'm really enjoying Laura Restrepo's Delirio and the narrative style, which seems to draw a lot from Faulkner and Woolf (more on this when I finish the book). I'm trying to keep things in perspective, read all I can here, and strategically plan a list of used books that my father can bring on his August visit.

If anything, I hope this situation helps many of you to never take interlibrary loan for granted again. Seriously.

But any advice you could give would be very welcome (even tips on helping me deal with my withdrawal symptoms)...

(ebook review via Conversational Reading)

UPDATE: More conversation over at lowebrow.

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