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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member tammyhart's Avatar
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    Online Library: Good Idea, or already done?

    Does anyone know of a website that is similar to netflix, but instead of movies, delivers books. I personally hate re-runs, and I don't think I have ever read a book twice, especially since 99% of my reading over the course of my nearly 25 years has been fiction. So for me to shell out the money for a book, no matter how good or invaluable it might be, is a rare thing.

    It would be great to be able to hunt down the book I want from my computer, put it in a queue, and have it shipped straight to me door. Read it, send it back, get the next one. It could even be community driven, like.. profit sharing for loaning your own books. There would be risk in it, but I dunno.. maybe it could be worked out by some genius mind out there.

  2. #2
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    Mittineague's Avatar
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    online books

    "Gutenberg" has online books. It's a large project with many titles. As for getting hard copies delivered, I know there are "stores" where you can buy them but I do not know of an online delivery site (would they come fetch them back too?) that does this. Good idea? It may be that the cost of shipping and insurance would make it unfeasable. Would you pay more (or even almost as much) to borrow a book instead of buying it?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member tammyhart's Avatar
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    yeah, probably right. *shrug*

  4. #4
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    Mittineague's Avatar
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    expense

    I just checked a few mailing costs. For a 1 pound book to be shipped to my same town, $2.17, for 2 pounds, $2.47, for a 2 pound book across the state (about 80 miles), still $2.47
    So it seems that mailing costs would be about $5.00 for both ways. I don't know about how "normal wear and tear" would affect the life expectency of a book before it needed to be replaced. 20 readings, 40, more? I guess it would depend on the individual and circumstances (dogs, children, etc.).
    But it seems that say for a $40 dollar book, charging something like $10 per loaning should, at 20 readings, make $100 dollars above mailing costs - replacement cost plus $3 dollars to cover handling expense each time.
    So it doesn't seem that impossible to me. It might even be worth a try if you're industrious enough and in a populous area with a large enough target market. I think some would be willing to pay $10 for the convenience of not having to go to the library.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member tammyhart's Avatar
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    numbers don't look too bad. Not something I could ever undertake though.

    But when the book becomes too worn to lend anymore, you can sell it at a discounted price. That'll bring in a whole new Amazonite type audience.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist dalt's Avatar
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    Don't you open up a can of worms. Hiring books will incur royalties. You may have to do this under the guise of selling/rebuying.

    Dalt

  7. #7
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I think this one might work well in an area where the books are expensive and there is a good following in the niche, such as college text books or computer books.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member tammyhart's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was just thinking, what if you started out with some kind of book reselling program where you buy a box of books to resell to kick start, but instead of selling them, you "rented" them. I know there are several Christian bookstores and publishers that offer those kinds of things, and probably secular ones too.

  9. #9
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
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    Some Universities do for both regular books and e-books

  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict sparkdigital's Avatar
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    It would be nice if the existing local libraries would start to offer such a service - they could simply deliver once a week doing a trip around town or something like that - it would be an extension of an already existing service so not too far fetched. I know I would certainly use my library more if they offered this and would be willing to pay a premium for this.

    But that doesn't really help you with your idea, I know...


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