07 August, 2009

Bona Fide: My Amazon gift coupon and me

On Tuesday the 4th of August, I returned to work after a very agreeable holiday. My colleagues surprised me with an Amazon gift coupon (a birthday gift). Now I can spend an additional 50 Euros (around 72 USD) on books! Normally it would take me about a minute to spend this much. Beside, I keep several book list. Let's start with the never ending book list. This one contains all the books I want to buy and read in my life - number of books today: 1058 - and it is still growing. Don't laugh, this is really serious. The next list contains books which I want to buy in the next 12 to 16 months. And finally I have monthly order lists for the next 12 months which contain books I definitely want to buy, including pre-ordered books. Obviously, these lists change due to postponed releases, new discoveries, or changes in my taste. Now, with all these carefully ordered resources, you think it should be easily for me to select a couple books. No, No, No, you could not be more wrong.
Shall I buy books earlier than planned?
Shall I buy a trade paperback instead of a mass market paperback?
Shall I buy stand-alone books or trilogies?
Shall I buy whole series or only the first book of a series?
Shall I buy German books or English books?
The are just a couple of the questions that plague me when trying to make a decision. My first idea was to narrow down the choice and then ask you for recommendations. But after after two days of looking up and down my lists, calculating of prices, I just couldn't wait any longer. I spent 51.58 EUR for seven books. That means I have to pay 1.58 EUR on my own, a noble sacrifice if I have ever seen one. Now, let me present you with the books I ordered and try to explain why I ordered them.

Some days ago OnlyTheBestSciFi/Fantasy asked me whether I knew of the Coldfire trilogy by C. S. Friedman. My answer was: "No, but it is on one of my lists." I checked prices for paperbacks (19.10 EUR) and then I ordered the whole trilogy. On the right you can see cover of book one.
"The Coldfire trilogy tells a story of discovery and battle against evil on a planet where a force of nature exists that is capable of reshaping the world in response to psychic stimulus. This terrifying force, much like magic, has the power to prey upon the human mind, drawing forth a person's worst nightmare images or most treasured dreams and indiscriminately giving them life. This is the story of two men: one, a warrior priest ready to sacrifice anything and everything for the cause of humanity's progress; the other, a sorcerer who has survived for countless centuries by a total submission to evil. They are absolute enemies who must unite to conquer an evil greater than anything their world has ever known." [Source]
Book one: Black Sun Rising by C. S Friedman [US] [UK].
Book two: When True Night Falls by C. S. Friedman [US] [UK].
Book three: Crown of Shadows by C. S. Friedman [US] [UK].
UPDATE: I ordered the books before I noticed and read Re-read: The Coldfire Trilogy post.
Now I know why we talked about it :)

The next book has been recommended by several bloggers. Unfortunately I don't remember exactly by whom. It is the omnibus named The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon [US] [UK].
"The Deed of Paksenarrion revolves around the life of Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter, known as Paks. It takes place in a fictional medieval world comprised of kingdoms of humans, dwarves, and elves. The story begins by introducing Paks as a headstrong girl of 18, who leaves her home (fleeing a marriage arranged by her father) to join a mercenary company. Through her journeys and hardships she comes to realize that she has been gifted as a paladin. The novel was originally published in three volumes in 1988 and 1989 and as a single trade edition of that name in 1992. The three books included are The Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance and Oath of Gold." [Source]

The next book I discovered during one of my web tours over at SciFiGuy.ca. It will hit the stores soon (US: 25th August and UK, DE: 3rd September). I am speaking about The Drowning City by Amanda Downum [US] [UK]. It is her debut novel and the first book in the Necromancer Chronicles series (book two: The Bone Palace (forthcoming 2010), book three: Kingdoms of Dust (forthcoming 2011)).
"Symir -- the Drowning City. home to exiles and expatriates, pirates and smugglers. And violent revolutionaries who will stop at nothing to overthrow the corrupt Imperial government. For Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and spy, the brewing revolution is a chance to prove herself to her crown. All she has to do is find and finance the revolutionaries, and help topple the palaces of Symir. But she is torn between her new friends and her duties, and the longer she stays in this monsoon-drenched city, the more intrigue she uncovers -- even the dead are plotting. As the waters rise and the dams crack, Isyllt must choose between her mission and the city she came to save." [Source]

Only two books left to choose, and I know someone who will read this pick with pleasure because I ordered it based on this post: Review: Hyperion, by Dan Simmons. And now you should know which book I ordered: Hyperion by Dan Simmons [US] [UK].
"On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope - and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands." [Source]

So far I have spent 46.08 EUR. What to do with the remaining 3.92 EUR? It is difficult and time consuming to search a book for this price. Instead I will pay 1.58 EUR on my own. So I could order one more book. I decided to go for The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons [US] [UK]. This is the second book of the Hyperion series.
"In the continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, the far future is resplendent with drama and invention. On the world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening. And the secrets they contain mean that nothing--nothing anywhere in the universe--will ever be the same." [Source]

I expect to receive these beauties on Saturday. And then I will start, again, thinking about needed changes to my summer reading list......


bloggeratf said...

Haha, that's great. I am glad you decided to pick up 2 great series. Pretty funny how we both bought the same series in the same week. I really hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

As for Hyperion, it has enough Fantasy type things in it that even if you don't like SF you will like the book. At least, I really hope so, since it is one of my favorites.

Also, your coworkers must know you pretty well to get you a Amazon gift certificate! I wish mine would buy me things...

ediFanoB said...

I think its good to share the same taste for books.
Yeah, my colleagues are great. With some of them I work together for more than 18 years. So we know each other well.

Today I received my paperback copy of The Angel's Game. another awesome book I waited for.

So many good books.... Need more time.

Unknown said...

You said not to laugh but I could not help myself. Your goodreads list is huge and you still have more lists... and your process for choosing your books... amazing. lol!

bloggeratf said...

Heh, it is a pretty intense process.

I kind of just go to the book store and pick up anything I remember wanting to read. We could not be more different in our book selection process Michael.

ediFanoB said...

Shellie, there are reasons behind why my book list is that huge:
- I didn't read much fantasy in my youth.
- I started to read books in English only a few years ago.
So I have a huge backlog.

ediFanoB said...

Alec, of course our book selection process is different. For example I can't go to a book store and look for books because you can't buy English books in most of German book stores. And in case you find a book you won't buy it because it would be expensive. Therefore I have to buy my books online.

Dave said...

@ediFanoB, you are German I take it? I am in Munich... aber bin Amerikaner, seit vier Jahren hier. It's interesting to write in English while living in Germany.

It's frustrating to have to order books for high-€ from Amazon .de or .co.uk when they are so much cheaper in the US, eh?

ediFanoB said...

@Dave, yes I'm German and I live in Germany near Frankfurt on the Main.

I must be strange for you to write in English while living in Germany.

For me it is normal :-)
There is no way out to use English when you want to communicate with people from foreign countries.

Book pricing is a topic for an evening talk.
In Germany UK and US books are a lot cheaper than German books due to price fixing for German books.
But I think that there is a small price spread for an US book bought in US or bought in Germany.

I paid 6 EUR for Hyperion by Dan Simmons. 6 EUR = 8.49 USD.
Price on back cover = 7.99 USD which is the same price at amazon.com.
That means a price spread of 0.50 USD = 0.35 EUR.

Maybe it is an exception.

I must admit that in Germany amazon.de offers the best price for US and UK books.

But when you don't mind to order in Europe then The Book Depository UK is a good option. And they delivery free.

At Book Depository price for Hyperion = 5.65 EUR = 7.99 USD. That means I would get the book for same price as at amazon.com.

In case you would like to contact me you will find my mail address at my blogger profile. Just click on the profile.

Dave said...

Interesting... looking at Terry Brooks and Joe Abercrombie I don't see much difference. Probably it improved in the past 4-5 years; I remember having a hard time finding a few books that I wanted (5y ago) at a decent price. Since then I just bought everything on trips back home ;).