I recently discovered that the Brotherhood of St Laurence has an online book store! At a time when charities are having to fight harder for donation dollars and sites like Book Depository are growing in popularity, launching a online book store seems to me like a very sensible move.
As far as I can tell Brotherhood Books has been in operation since about 2009. Their well designed online shop is easy to navigate and offers a wide range of books including rare and antique publications, priced anywhere from $4.50 up to a few hundred for the more collectable items. Most of the books I searched for were under or close to $10. Overall the prices are a little higher than you would find in the book section of a regular op-shop, but in comparison to other online second hand book dealers the prices are very competitive and a fair reflection of their value in the second hand book market. especially considering that free postage is offered for the purchase of three books or more. Yes, that’s right, free postage! The condition of the books is rated on the site and any damage is mentioned in the book descriptions.
Having raided my local op-shops of their best books since moving here ten months ago, I was feeling in desperate need of a book fix. While nothing can beat the pleasure of browsing books in an “offline” store, it was still fun to discover some great finds in this online shop. I purchased six books for a total of $47 including free postage (and could have bought so many more if not for my budget!) I managed to find a few titles relevant to one of my areas of research interest (sexuality, self and identity), and few others about subjects I’m keen on learning about at the moment – Chopin (pianist/composer), communism and all things German. I like it eclectic, baby!
Chopin (Good) $6.50
Handbook of Human Sexuality (Good) $12.50
A Short History of Communism (Excellent) $8.00
A Concise History of Germany (Good) $7.50
Apprenticeship in Liberty (Good) $5.50
Reclaiming the Authentic Self (Excellent) $7.00
I received my order via courier within one day of placing it (this morning! I’m a bit over-excited! I simply love my books!). All books were in the condition as advertised (or better!) and I received a free fabric book cover as well. I was most pleased with finding the Handbook of Human Sexuality (1980) (a key text in the history of my field of study), it was in perfect condition (better than ‘good’ as advertised!) and very reasonably priced.
The only quibble I have is with the search engine on the website which was occasionally a little temperamental. Sometimes I had to try a search for a keyword twice before it provided any results. Just something to keep in mind when using it yourself. Otherwise, I wouldn’t hesitate to shop with Brotherhood Books again – great books in excellent condition delivered fast, you can’t ask for more than that! If you’re an avid reader and book collector like myself, you’ll be sure to find some gems in store at Brotherhood Books. And if you have some books to donate you can do that any any BSL community store.
Secondhand Books Online Store
PS. One of the more interesting books I came across on the site was The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (1928) $50 . If anyone was considering buying me an Xmas gift… this would do very nicely…