Books in America are sold in bookstores, which have the greatest selection, and variety stores and supermarkets, which only sell the few most popular books, usually mass-market paperbacks. Compared to many other countries, prices for books in the United States are very reasonable. Used books are also for sale in special stores, and even by street peddlers. Books on compact disc or DVD are growing in popularity. Most American libraries allow people to borrow books, audio CDs and even video DVDs. On-line booksellers such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, which has also a large retail book chain, are grabbing large shares of the book market. On-line transmission of books electronically is the next promising frontier, led by Amazon’s Kindle book reading device, among others.
Book clubs are popular in America. These book clubs advertise special offers such as “Any five books on this page for $1.00.” These are legitimate bargains, but you must pay a substantial postage and handling charge and also usually agree to purchase a certain number of books from the club within a year or two. The book club will send you a small catalog every few weeks with an order form. If you don’t want the book the club has selected for any particular month, you must send back a special form and tell the club “no” or else they will send you the book and bill you for it. This practice makes it convenient to order books, but watch out that you don’t accidentally buy something you don’t want.
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