Sun, 25 Nov 2001

Online bookstores: A new way to browse for books

Kenny Santana, Contributor, Jakarta

Books have become so important to most of our lives. They provide us with entertainment, serve as reference tools and generally help us to get along in the world.

Most book-lovers look forward to taking a trip down to the bookstore to browse through the new releases and the shelves and shelves of books covering all imaginable subjects.

Unfortunately, given our busy lives, getting down to the bookstore is often an impossibility. However, that does not mean giving up the pleasure of purchasing a book, thanks to the Internet.

While cyber-bookstores may not offer the same pleasures of traditional bookstores, what with not being able to pick up and feel the books in your hands, they more than make up for it with their convenience.

This is the largest online bookstore; in fact this is the one that began the online bookstore boom.

Provides a 40 percent discount for New York Times bestsellers. They also have a user's review, so you can see if you are likely to enjoy the book before you buy it. They also sometimes have special promotions, e.g. one day I ran across a 1 cent book sale, and some of the books were actually good.

In Jakarta, you can expect delivery in between two and 12 weeks.

The site is user-friendly, and it is not just a bookstore anymore, with just about everything being sold here.

Has almost the same features as, but they also sell e-books. They also have their own online university, which you can sit in on for free.

You are advised to check the and sites at the same time to compare prices.

Offers better deals than the two sites already discussed. Everything is at least 50 percent off the cover price, whether the book is a bestseller or not. These discounts can even reach up to 80 percent.

But the site is not user-friendly. It can be difficult to find titles and there aren't any reviews either.

Mostly selling used books for more than half off the cover price (thus the name). Check the description of the book's condition before you buy it.

The bad thing is that they don't deliver outside the U.S. So if you want to buy something from this site, you have to have it delivered to a friend in the U.S., who can then deliver it to you.

If you love magazines but have trouble finding your favorites here, try this site. They deliver magazines overseas, even if you only order one copy. But the shipping costs are not cheap, so the best thing to do is order a lot of magazines at once.

They also have back issues, though their collections are not complete. Some of their promotions are worth a look.

And don't even think about ordering adult magazines, because the customs officers do not hesitate to check the deliveries arriving in the country.

The first online Indonesian bookstore, offering customers not only books but also magazines and VCDs, though their collections are not extensive.

The site is nice looking and helpful. Offers discounts on all items of up to 45 percent. The site also has a 14-day money back guarantee.

Cheesy design, but very helpful for a local site. Allows you to buy the books on their shelves in just one click.

They provide free delivery for purchases of over Rp 100,000, and the books will arrive at your doorstep in no more than one day.

Good selection of reasonably priced imported books. A site that Jakartans will surely appreciate.

This local online bookstore provides an alternative for people who want to buy local books and magazines. The online bookstore has the same collection that you would find in the brick-and- mortar store. Worth a look. and

Both sites have the same collections as in their bookstores in Jakarta, so if you want to avoid the traffic just log on here.

They accept credit cards, or you can pay with a bank transfer or cash on delivery.