The joys of buying books on line

I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a copy of Bentley Layton’s A Coptic Grammar with Cherstomathy and Glossary- Sahidic Dialect. I have been resisting this for a long time because I am not keen on spending in the vicinity of AUD150 plus postage on a paperback book, but it never seems to be available second hand and I needed it, so in late April I ordered a copy from the place that had the best price at the time, bücher-galerie-ac, a bookseller in Aachen, Germany, for 78 Euro. Cost me around AUD 178 posted. It took an incredibly long time to get here – they posted it on 11 May and it arrived on 17 July.  This surprised me because I have bought items from Germany before and had them arrive much faster – 3-4 weeks. It surprised the bookseller, too, and it arrived 10 days after the bookshop and I both filled in Deutsche Post lost mail forms.  I needed to consult LEO several times in order to do this – my German vocab doesn’t contain many words related to mail.

Today, just out of interest, I looked at Amazon to see what price they were charging. I was fascinated to find that they have the same (revised second edition) listed twice.  If you buy a copy of the item that doesn’t have an image on the website, it’s USD 105. If you buy a copy of the item that does have an image on the website (same description and it’s the book I bought), it costs USD 117.  Or you could buy it from another seller in the US listed on Amazon and pay USD 229 for it. Since USD 105 is the cheapest I’ve seen this book listed in a couple of years of sporadic looking, if you’ve been looking for one too, now might be the time to buy it.

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