I just received some very bad news from the USA. My bookseller friend, who sends me a three parcels of magazines and books every few months, tells me that "book rate" and all international surface mail is finished.
He used to be able to send me three boxes (in an "M-bag") for around $40 and, now, ONE parcel is nearly $100. I love to read and, for me, this is a tragedy. In my many years as an expat, I have not pined for certain foods, or clothing, or toiletries (though my friend did toss vitamins into the boxes sometimes) but I HAD to have my books. Many may think me spoiled or fail to understand how important my books were to me, but, well, this was my single self-indulgence as an expat.
Does ANYONE have ANY idea as to alternative ways of getting books here? My friend checked UPS and it was even more expensive. Might a shipping company--a boat, as in what used to be called 'sea mail'--be a possibility? How about airlines? Freighters?
ANY ideas will be most gratefully received. Things aren't going so well for me now (Immigration AND health problems) and THIS....this just feels like that straw on the camel's back...
"Book rate" was one of the few decent, civilized things left in the US....
Are you in Bangkok? There are quite a few used book stores around. I like the one at the end of Khao San Rd across the street.
If you want new ones, the Kinokuniya Books in Siam Paragon is huge!
download them and print them out.
all the big torrent sites have loads of books
We've already been down this road before:
There are no alternatives for international surface mail, you're stuck paying several times as much with Global Priority or Global Express. Economy M-bags have gone away but are replaced with airmail M-Bags.
According to the USPS:
Yeah right, three to four times the price is economical. Sometimes price is more important than speed, but those rat raced Americans just can't see that. What is fckuing wrong with the US this time????What international products are eliminated at retail locations?
The product simplification eliminates Economy (surface) products offered at retail locations including economy Parcel Post, economy Letter Post, Publishers’ Periodicals, Books and Sheet Music, and economy M-Bags . All of these services will have comparable airmail alternatives that provide faster delivery times at economical prices. In addition, Aerogrammes and Recorded Delivery service will be eliminated.
Are you actually reading this? Do you think I care?
I think USPS is just plain losing money thanks to the weaker US$. Book rate in Canada has been eliminated decades ago.
You beat me too it Whitey, that was a good rant you had!!!
Too long in Exile, too long not singing my song.
Too long like a rolling stone, Too long in exile
Too long in Exile, baby you just arent my friend.
Too long in Exile my friend, Baby you can never go home again.
A good thread that went oh so bad.
Interesting responses all. WHITEY's rant has nothing on what my friends have been enduring all day today. I felt that "book rate" was one of the few--if not the only--good things about the US. There was something "civilized," decent about that. I will check that link, WHITEY, and thanks for the information from the USPS....god DAMN them.
But time to move beyond rage and rant, or at least the rants...I'll keep the rage for a while... ZEHNER, am interested in the possibility of downloading and printing..if you know any good sites, would be happy to hear about them.
NATALIE8...I've found some gems over on Khao San, yes. There's an excellent used bookshop over here on Sukhumvit a bit beyond Soi 26 (where that angry rich kid ran down the bus passengers cause he had a beef with the driver)..it's called "Dasa" and it has much better stuff than the "beach reading" left behind by vavationers on Khao San Road...and reasonable prices, too.
But I STILL want to find a way to BEAT the greedy vulgarians at the USPS... Anyone ever use international freight shipping. ..a box sent on a boat? Would that be reasonably priced or over the top same as UPS? Any Americans found some creative way around this horror?
Any ideas appreciated. Thanks for your responses thus far.
I just checked USPS and it seems like you can send up to 20 pounds with Priority Mail® Flat Rate Box for $37.00 (35.15 if you pay online).
I think that's a pretty good price considering that in Canada it would cost me more to ship from Montreal to Vancouver and delivery time would probably be longer.
The flat rate box is small. Very small, something like 8 x 11 x 5 inches, you'd be hard pressed to put a share of shoes in the box.
I assume Library Rate will still be around? Maybe you can make a deal with a library so your friend can ship the books to you there, thus qualifying for Library Rate?
This really sucks...
I'm tired of looking at the TV news,
I'm tired of driving hard and being used,
I tell you, baby, I've got nothing to lose,
You know my plane is due....
Aziz, I find your avatar very disturbing.
I am sorry if my avatar "disturbs" someone. I like it. My choice and it meets the guidelines for avatars here.
I hope you will be able to work through your feelings.