Hi, my name is Danielle and I’m addicted to poetry books.
But really. We have a problem here. My TBR list is stacked, I hardly have time to read the books I already have and here I go buying more. I can’t help myself, I just love books. Especially books that I feel are important in my field that I haven’t yet tackled. Take our new Poet Laureate, for example, I’ve spent more time reading Franz Wright than Charles Wright and now I feel compelled to get to know the new #PLOTUS, (who really has won almost every award for poetry Americanly possible!) In comes my favorite new book-buying website, BookOutlet.com.
Book Outlet is based in Canada. The poetry section is modest, and mostly reserved to books published by big publishers (Penguin), acclaimed series (National Poetry Series), and canon poets (Ashbery, Frost, etc). BUT! That’s not all they offer. Yes, the selection is limited, it’s nothing like the Everything of Amazon or the Indie Love of SPD (Small Press Distribution), however, there are hidden gems. I’m not trying to sound like an advertisement for this website, it’s just that when I discover something rad I like to pass it on. So.
Here are a few things I’ve noticed about the site over the past few weeks:
- Inventory changes often. Quite a few titles have come and gone since I’ve been ordering. Though, for the most part, the options are still racketed to the kinds of books I listed above there are worthy titles. Try check in every two to three weeks to see what’s in.
- Books are overstock. You’ll notice when you add a book to your wishlist or chart that it tells you how many copies of the book are available. This does a few things. One) It shows why the book is at outlet (250 copies of Amy Gerstler’s Dearest Creature, anyone?) Two) It gives you an idea of what to buy first. Like I said, the inventory does turn over fairly quickly. If there are only 2 copies of Charles Wright’s Sestets left then you better jump on that!
- Oh, Canada! Canadians are nice. The books are delivered on time, packaged together, good condition. It makes me happy. Vancouver is a great city. Maples leaves and shit. Woo!
- The price is right. Some of these books are a steal. For someone who is just looking to expand their collection, maybe pick up a copy of something they’ve been waiting to buy (D.A. Powell’s Useless Landscape, Jame Tate’s The Ghost Soldiers) $2.99 a book is awesome! Prices range between $2.99 to $7.99, on average you’ll paying $5.49 per book, and unlike Amazon, shipping isn’t a flat rate per item. You start at a base of about $4.99 and add $0.50 per item. And this isn’t a used book either, so no highlighting and Freshmen Comp notes in the margin!
- Retail me not. Before you checkout be sure to search the internet for a coupon. (You should always do this for anything you shop for online, duh!) Book Outlet offers coupons for $5 off on $35, $10 on $65, and free shipping on a regular basis.
I know many prefer the “freeness” of the library, and some others prefer the accessibility of the e-reader, but for me it’s all about the physical. The book in my hands. The book on my shelf. The most prized boxes in any move are filled to the lip with my book collection. The majority of my poetry books are signed, some of them are first edition hardcovers. Some of them actually have appreciated in value to the point where I could make a few hundred dollars on them (no, I’ll never sell!).
Pictured: my first shipment. I paid about $40 (including shipping) for these. That’s Adam Zagajewski, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, Alice Notley, James Tate, D.A. Powell, Stephen Dobyns, and William Matthews.
My next order has books from Charles Wright, John Ashbery, Adrian Matejka, Terrance Hayes, and Cornelius Eady. (I know it’s a little dude-heavy, and that may be a sad reflection of the publishing industry today. What’s Penguin’s VIDA count? But there are books by women on the site–like Jane Hirshfield, Kristin Naca, Ann Lauterbach, and Nikki Giovanni–and the authors I listed can’t help that they are men. I mean, they are skilled poets and their work is worth my time.
Now that’s enough confessing for today.