Reading has always been a passion. So much to learn, so little time.
Nothing like the smell of a bookshop and especially a newly opened book.
But books are really expensive in Australia due to Parallel Import Restrictions (PIR's).
Under the PIRs, if a novel or textbook is published in Australia within a certain time limit of it being published elsewhere in the world, booksellers cannot import and sell stocks of the same book from UK, the US or Asia. This enables rights holders to charge prices (or obtain royalties) in the Australian market with the certainty that they cannot be undercut by commercial quantities of imports of the same titles.
This means in the USA, the same book can be 50% or more cheaper than in Australia. Needless to say when we are in the USA, we stock up to our airline baggage allowance limit.
Then there is Amazon.com
Both the co driver and I keep a running list of books that we are interested in. These are usually gleaned from reviews, references in other books, author interviews on TV, web sites and word of mouth.
When we have a sufficient amount, we order from Amazon. Ten or more books including airfreight costs are still around 50% cheaper than we can get here. The near parity $A/$US exchange rate is also a help.
The government is not interested in collecting tax on such small value imports (they have a $1000 limit) so that saves us another 10%.
Our last shipment arrived yesterday. It is always like Christmas opening the box.
And that smell!
Can't wait to get started on them!