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Friday, February 13, 2009

Update : Books in English

I think I should write an update for my entry The problem of Books in May of 2007. Can you imagine almost 2 years ago?
I still read ferociously but not anything like when I first arrived here and I would hide in the house and read - read- read for weeks at a time.
I still prefer a good book to a movie for entertainment and finding a selection of books here is really a problem. The prices had fallen when the dollar was so low (the only advantage was lower import prices) BUT we're still talking on a conversion to dollars - US$17.00 instead of US$27.00 for a US$7.99 new paperpack. This is not any real improvement. As you can imagine, I buy books in English in Brasil only when desperate.
My sorce for used books dried up about a year ago. http://www.1stchoiceusedbooks.com/index.htm is still in business and I still order books by the boxfull from them, but the US postal service discontinued the 'land' shipment and to send a box 'air' all of a sudden was US$100.00 - so now when I know someone is coming from the states I make an order and ask a friend to put the books in their suitcase. It leaves me owing a favor but HEY what are friends for?


  1. What kinds of novels do you like GingerV. I have many, many, many and would like to send you one has a bloggy friend greeting. ;=)
    Happy Valentines Day

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  2. Reggie, how nice of you, but arn't you coming to have coffee on my veranda you can bring books when you come. I like mysteries, spy, books without sex scenes....stories about strong smart women and strong smart men. I have read all of Child's jack Reacher stories... am sad that there arn't any more. will have to wait a year then read them all again. MY HERO! if I had your email I would send you my reading list... all the book I alread have here. gingerv@gigalink.com.br

  3. Ginger --I know it's not as cozy as a soft chair or lounging on the patio, but if you don't mind "classics" that are in the public domain you can read thousands of books online. Check out: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

    There are books & short stories by Fitzgerald, Twain, Austen, Conan Doyle, Dickens, Mauham, Ferber, the Brontes, and a zillion people I never heard of, also a lot of non-fiction. They are free ---so if you don't like them, you can try something else. Some of them are available in audio format for iTunes, MP3 or other formats. You could, of course, print them if you wanted to carry a book wiih you, but a long novel might use a ream of paper and a gallon of ink.

    I don't know much about it but you can buy a portable electronic reader called Kindle (now there is a Kindle 2) and download books from Amazon. The Kindle 2 is $359 (ouch). I thought books were downloaded to your computer, then to the device, but it looks like it might use a wireless technology. It says it works "anywhere" but that might be anywhere in the U.S., not the world. I checked and most Lee Child books, for example, are about $6.40/ea. New best sellers are $10.

    Find Kindle info: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00154JDAI/ref=sv_kinc_0

    Maybe you can contact other expats and trade what you each have.

    Jack Reacher is one of my favorites, too. It's just too bad authors can't write as fast as we can read ----after I read everything from an author, I have to wait about a year for the next one. I get most of my books from the library, but I do have older novels lying about. If I hear of anyone traveling your way, I'll check to see what you haven't read and send some.

  4. More info, from Amazon about Kindle:
    If you have a computer with an internet connection and a USB port, you can buy and download content from anywhere in the world.

    ...unable to offer the Amazon Kindle 2 ... to ...international customers.... When you place your order for an Amazon Kindle, the shipping address for the delivery must be ... valid U.S. address.

    To...purchase digital content... payment method... must be a credit or debit card issued by a U.S. Bank with a U.S. billing address. We... hope to make Kindle available internationally in the future.

  5. Carolina thank for the suggenstion, I will try one and then if I can read it I will go for more. My internet is so unreliable - even posting a blog may take 3 tries, so I can't imagine reading or downloading a book. thank you

  6. Hi Ginger - I sent you an email with a few titles I have you might like. Let me know.

    Regarding the Kindle - I'm suprised and delighted to hear new book files are available here in Brazil. I sent Amazon a message about a year ago asking if I could use the device here and they replied that content was only available within the US.

    Perhaps that is strictly for the wireless downloads directly to the Kindle from Amazon's wireless network. Downloading to one's computer via a USB connection would seem to go around that restriction.

    Everyone I know with a Kindle LOVES it. If I can confirm the usability here maybe I will begin a campaign to get my family back in the States to chip in for a big Birthday/Xmas gift. =:-)

  7. Sorry for the double posting. I just checked on the Amazon.com site in the eBook Community forum and found this discussion thread about getting content outside the US.


    Seems what is required is a US credit card and a US address associated with it. This seems to be their minimal check on residency.

    As stated many times in the thread, the Kindle was designed with the US international traveler in mind, so getting content while abroad is a part of the package.

    Thank you Carolina for putting this option back in my mind.

  8. what a great exchange of information....
    I have run into this problem with international sales for internet downloads before, I get around it by have one c-card that has my daughters USA address as the billing address and I also have a AT&T Yahoo email adress. I have AVG virus program that still did not want me to buy from them because I gave all the USA information but they knew I was downloading in Brasil. For them I finally had to use a Brasilian card - go figure.

  9. Hi Ginger,

    Books have become scared to me since moving to Brazil nearly 4 years ago. I'm a total bookworm and torture myself by reading the NY Times book reviews and the Paris Review etc. online. I schlep back a load of books in my suitcase each time!

    Recently another ex-pat in Brazil informed me of something called an M-bag. It's for print only materials being shipped from the US to Brazil. Apparently it's a lot cheaper. The trick might be that you'll need to buy books (Amazon for example) and have them sent to someone in the US who can then package them in the M-bag and send them here.

    I was also informed about this site here in Brazil that has some English titles.


    Personally I'm the classic dog-eared BOOK person, so I'm not too jazzed about dropping nearly $400 bucks on a Kindle. lol... I'd probably drop it and break it like my ipod!


  10. Roby, thank you for the information. when I first arrived here this is how I was getting my shipments every 90 days, I think this is what has been eliminated by the US postal service. anyway it is too expensive now to ship books.... Camillo brought me 4 now, so I will survive until May. I listened for quite a while to your husbands music - I am not a fan.

  11. Ginger --- The Kindle is now available to purchase in lots of places internationally including Brazil. (Import duties apply.) Go to Amazon.com. Search for Kindle. On any Kindle page it will tell you it is available now internationally and gives you a link to search for a country. Pull the dropdown box to Brazil. Click on the link to coverage areas for wireless downloads, and type in a city & country. Looks like Nova Friburgo is within the hi-speed area, certainly Rio is.

    Kindle comes with a U.S. electric adaptor, but international ones are available for an extra charge. Kindle isn't lighted like a computer screen, but a light is available to attach to it.

    Apparently 350,000 titles. plus newspapers and magazines are now available in English. Not all can be downloaded everywhere due to copyright laws. Some titles cost $0.00 (older books in the public domain ---Jane Austin, Conan-Doyle ---or some by writers I never heard of.) Most others range from about $3.00 to $12.00. New books on best seller lists are less expensive on Kindle than in book form ---no printing costs ---but probably cost more than used paperbacks.

    I understand Amazon's goal is to have every title ever published available on Kindle eventually.