Sooo, I love a good deal. I really do. When Amazon first began gaining traction, it was my greatest delight to find something I wanted on Amazon for a fraction of the price that I could find it elsewhere.
Then, I read about them being the Walmart of the internet: not much concern for anything (or anyone) but the profit statement. I heard about the Hachette debacle. I read that in the UK, Amazon uses a tax evasion practice that enables them to pay less than 0.1% in taxes. And, as my husband was helping to promote & sell a water-purification product, I learned first-hand about Amazon’s aggressively predatory pricing. That is, they constantly scour the internet marketplace for other stores selling the same products, and inch their prices a little bit lower, and lower, and lower. Amazon can still thrive as a business, even with very low margins (selling for just a tiny bit more than the price for which they bought it), because their volume of sales is so high. Small businesses cannot.
It was time. The discounts could no longer sweet talk me. I needed to break up with “the Web’s biggest bully”.
I had mostly been borrowing books from the library, buying used, and shopping for other items at more traditional stores (I can buy running shoes from a local running store – who knew?!). But I’ve always got my eyes open for alternatives to Amazon.
Cue the trumpet fanfare: only last week, I was DELIGHTED to discover Better World Books.
A dozen years ago, three guys in college started selling textbooks online to make some extra cash. They quickly observed two interesting cultural problems: 1) loads of unwanted books, destined for the landfill; & 2) people around the world, hungry for books & literacy.
Better World Books is essentially a business with a mission to promote literacy: selling books here at a reasonable price, giving books elsewhere to people who want & need them, and all the while, caring for the earth in which this is all happening.
If you’re looking for book-buying alternatives to Amazon, here’s what is awesome about Better World Books:
Shop good (better?) by searching BWB for your favourite titles or your next book club selection, and know that your cash is headed to an enterprise that is interested in more than profit. Happy reading!
I was inspired by a goal that Elise Joy (goal-setter extraordinaire) set for herself for 2020: "Get dressed (in an outfit I feel good in) every day."
In Bangladesh, there are some cultural “rules” about what to wear that is appropriate. This amounts, basically, to covering your curves: two layers over your chest and rear. When I was there for a week, I essentially wore the same thing every day (a long, plain navy, cotton tunic, as well as a scarf). That had its own benefits (the ease of a "uniform"!), but I was also thrilled to come home and wear what I wanted to again.
But, with the freedom to wear whatever I wanted, the question came: what did I want to wear?
One subject I find really interesting is learning some behind-the-scenes of business and marketing. I've written before about how online brands use email subscriptions, discounts, and scarcity tactics to sell and grow. Some elements can be manipulative, but overall, I am just fascinated by how all of these hidden intricacies work.
In e-commerce businesses (retail stores that are all online) like mine, it is common to grow for the sake of growing. More sales, more staff, more products… isn’t that the definition of success?
Listen, I know that there are book lists for DAYS out there. This is another one, and I'm not pretending otherwise! It is completely biased and based on nothing other than what I have read recently. I love to read, I love to receive recommendations, and I love to share the books that I've enjoyed with others.
Every one of these books is my recommendation to YOU, but there are also ideas of other people in your life who might enjoy them. 😉 Comment below or fire me an email with your own best, recent reads!