Amazon, you hit like a bitch.

It’s taken me a bit of time to write this post, but I figured it’s about time to share the utter nonsense that’s happened between me and Amazon, and how a company that I once highly respected, has now become one that I have zero respect for.

I’ve thought about writing this post for weeks, what I would say and how I would capture everything that’s happened, and I’ll be honest with the fact that this post has taken on many forms, but finally I decided that it would just be easiest to state the facts.

So here it goes…

IMG_0376

This is the first email I got from Amazon.

As some of you know, on February 24th I was sent an email from Amazon letting me know that I could no longer post reviews on their website, and that all of my previous reviews had been suppressed or removed. In case you’re wondering, that was well over 300 reviews that I had written in my over 2 years of book blogging.

All gone in an instant because Amazon decided that I was “manipulating product reviews.”

I don’t even know what that means for Amazon. I have no idea why my reviews were deemed manipulating or misleading, and when I asked for clarification on this, you know what I got? I got an email from them saying they weren’t going to give me any information or “evidence” as to why this all happened.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here, so let me backtrack a bit.

About 2 minutes after I opened my email and found out I was no longer able to review on Amazon, I called customer service because I wanted an answer. Really, I wanted someone to tell me what the hell was going on, why they were doing this, and what they even meant by “manipulating product reviews” since I was sure that I had never done that.

I was so frustrated, so upset, and I will admit that I was near tears because of all of this.

That customer service representative I talked to had no idea what to do with me and my issue, and as it was also 7 o’clock in the morning, she couldn’t talk to anyone who worked in the online communities department because they weren’t there yet. She told me she would forward what was going on to them, and that they would call me back within 24 hours.

Well funnily enough, 24 hours came and went, and I got no phone call. Can’t say I’m shocked about that one.

So that’s when round 2 of calling customer service came, and over 48 hours after I first called Amazon about this, I tried again. That customer service representative also had no idea what to do with me, but after about 10 minutes on hold, they informed me that they had submitted a form to the online communities department about my inquiry as to why I was banned and why my reviews were removed. This representative informed me that I should get a reply within 2 days.

And he wasn’t lying. I got a response alright, and that response is by far one of the worst displays of customer service I’ve ever seen. (And this is coming from a girl who worked in retail for many years.)

Amazon sent me a *lovely* email telling me they found my reviews to be manipulating or misleading, yet I still had no clarification on what that actually meant, and that they were not going to give me any other information about this. They also added that they were probably not going to respond back to further emails about this issue, and then added that they could only respond via email to questions about reviews.

The second, even more *helpful* email I received from Amazon.

The second, even more *helpful* email I received from Amazon.

That’s when I started scratching my head a bit.

So Amazon can only respond to my questions about my reviews, why there were removed, and why this was all happening via email, but as they say “we may not reply to further emails about this issue.”

That seems a bit like an oxymoron to me, but what do I know? I’m just a school teacher who’s passionate about book blogging.

Basically what I got from that is that I can only email them about this whole thing, but they’re probably not actually going to respond to me.

Super helpful Amazon. For a multibillion dollar company, their customer service with this was horrendous in my opinion, and I really don’t think it was too much to ask for to speak to a human being on this issue.

If you’re going to remove my reviews and ban me forever, the least you can do is talk to me in person.

Right? Apparently not though, since all I got was that email.

So where did that leave me?

Well that left me angry and frustrated and with no reviews on Amazon. It also left me scrambling to try to figure out what this would mean for me as a book blogger. Luckily all my reviews were saved to my Goodreads account, so they weren’t fully gone, but that still left me pissed and unsure of what this would all mean going forward.

And when I get pissed, I act, so you know what I did? I calculated how much support I had given Amazon over the last year.

Now I’m not a numbers person, but you can’t deny numbers and facts, so here it goes:

  • In 2015 I spent roughly $1,441.33 on books on Amazon. That’s a combination of over 344 e-books, paperbacks, and Audible books. (And let me remind you, that’s just for 2015. That doesn’t include the money I spent in the 2 years before when I started buying e-books and paperbacks through Amazon.)
  • As of February 28th 2016 I had already spent $163.17 on Amazon on e-books, Audible books, and pre-orders.
  • Between 2015 and 2016 I have done giveaways on my blog for over $196 dollars’ worth of e-books and gift cards from Amazon. ($115 of that was gift cards to get people to buy things on their website.)
  • I’ve also been a member of their Amazon Associates Program since 2015, meaning that on a daily basis, multiple times a day, I promote Amazon and their products on my blog and my blog’s Facebook page.

And what did Amazon do to thank me for that daily promotion and my almost daily purchases from them?

They banned me.

They didn’t ban me from buying things from them of course, but from giving my honest reviews of the products I purchased.

They also removed hundreds of reviews I worked my ass of on, and for what reason?

Oh wait. They won’t give me a clear reason.

tumblr_mc32p3pxMR1qc8jh0o2_250Was it because I “know” authors? Well let me tell you Amazon, I wish I knew even a fraction of the authors that I’ve read books from. I wrote a review for Grey by E.L. James that you removed. If you think I know her then I would gladly give up my reviews to say that, but newsflash, I don’t know her. (Even though I wish I did, because I think she’s pretty amazing.) I don’t know Sylvia Day, or Abbi Glines, or Jodi Ellen Malpas, or Colleen Hoover either, or the other authors’ books that I’ve reviewed on your website. (And believe me, I wish I could say that I knew them, but alas I don’t.)

I would say I probably know 5 or 6 authors, tops. And if you don’t want me to review a book of theirs, that I can understand, but removing all of my reviews? I don’t get that at all.

And while we’re on that topic, how do you even determine that I “know” those authors? What formulas or tactics do you use to figure that out? Because I’d seriously like to know.

Was I banned because I like the books I read too much? Is it because almost every book I read is 4 or 5 stars, or is it because my book reviews are super detailed and long? Well let me tell you something Amazon, after being an avid reader my entire life, I have a pretty damn good idea of what I like to read. I know what I’ll love, and when I love a book I love it hard, and I write reviews that show that. I want to spread the book love, which is why I’m a fucking book blogger in the first place, and I’m not going to waste money on a book I know I won’t like, just so I can give it 2 stars and not be deemed as being a “misleading or manipulative reviewer” by you.

Was I banned because your computer system deemed me to be paid or fake based on whatever wonky system you have? Well let me tell you, I make absolutely ZERO dollars every year reviewing books, and I spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars buying books. (It’s kind of my thing, if you couldn’t tell.) In fact, to date I’ve only been paid out once by the Amazon Associates Program, and that was a $10 gift card TO AMAZON. That I gladly spent on Amazon, as it was the only place I bought e-books from.

Whatever Amazon’s reason for doing all this is, I will probably never know. And you know what? It is what it is at this point. I unfortunately have no control over the crappy things Amazon tries to do, and since they won’t give me a reason, I’m done looking for one.

I’m sure many of you at this point, including Amazon, are thinking, well what’s the big fucking deal? It’s a book review.Jon Stewart

Well to me it is a big deal. Book reviewing and blogging is my passion. It’s something that helps keep me sane from my daily on the go life, and it’s what I LOVE to do. So to remove hours and hours of work that I did, to remove reviews that I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into, and to ban me from supporting books and authors pretty much feels like a slap in the face.

Especially after all of the support I’ve given Amazon over the past few years.

It may not be a big deal to Amazon, but is sure is hell is to me and countless other reviewers who have had the same thing happen to them.

I get it Amazon, it’s your company and you can do what you want, but one of these days you’re going to realize that it’s bloggers like me that bring people to your website, that tell people to buy your shit, and support you in countless ways…and by that point it’ll be too late.

Because you’ll have probably banned us all.

So now, over a month later, what am I supposed to do?

Stop book blogging over all this crap? Stop being an avid reader and a huge supporter of authors because of all this? Stop writing book reviews or change the way I write them because I can’t post them to Amazon?

That’s a big hell to the no. anigif_optimized-28150-1440411350-1

Because if I did that, Amazon would win, and they don’t get to fucking win with this, or tell me what I can and can’t do.

Sure I can’t review on their website anymore, and to that I say good riddance, and fuck you.

What they did shows a hell of a lot more about their company and its ridiculousness, than it does about my book reviews.

What I can do is keep reading, and reviewing (on my blog and other retailers), and telling readers about the books that I love while supporting hard working authors who deserve a damn book review.

I can also tell people about what’s happened to me with Amazon, and how it’ll probably happen to them sooner rather than later because let’s face it: Amazon makes their own rules, and they just don’t care about the ramifications those rules have.

It also means that I can be a smarter consumer with whom I choose to give my money to when I buy books and other products. 

Today is April 3, 2016. The sun is shining, it’s springtime, and yeah I’m still banned from reviewing on Amazon and that still kind of pisses me off, like a lot, but at the end of the day, I won’t let one company’s ridiculous policies and handling of this situation keep me from doing what I want to do.

I won’t let them keep me from being the book blogger I want to be. I won’t let their asinine system keep me from spreading the book love and supporting authors, and I won’t let them keep me down or stop me from being a passionate book reviewer.

So that’s what I have to say.

Amazon, you hit like a bitch.

And you know what?

You’re not going to stop me and my book loving brigade.

Not one little bit.

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Wilde Forever by Suzanne Halliday

 

Title: Wilde Forever

Author: Suzanne Halliday

Series: Wilde Women Book 1

Release Date: 9/15/14

Buy Links:

Amazon   B&N

Wilde Forever The first book in the WILDE WOMEN series 
After an ugly divorce, Brynn Baron-Wilde swore off men and created a new life in a quaint upstate touristy town where she runs a successful bakery and tearoom. Brynn has everything mapped out and she’s got no time for distractions.
 
And then along came Jackson Merrill – former Army medic turned talented renovation specialist. Jax enters Brynn’s well-ordered life and proceeds to shake up her world. 
 
He’s a bit on the dented and dinged side after his military service and she’s dealing with a stealth attack from her grandmother who’s added manipulative clauses to her will that threaten Brynn’s hold on her house and business. 
 
Sometimes fate and destiny have a sense of humor along with some questionable timing. Are these two destined to be together or will her reluctance and his issues keep them apart? When a stunning turn of events complicates things even more, things sure do get interesting – meddling parents and all.

Just a little tease…

 

*****5 Fanfreakingtastic Stars*****

Wilde Forever was a book that I absolutely loved every freaking aspect of whole heartedly. Though that didn’t surprise me one bit since every book I’ve read by Suzanne Halliday has hit it out of the damn park. This author’s books are phenomenal with a capital P, and I heart her characters and books something fierce.

They’ve just got a certain magic to them that I simply cannot resist. And let’s be honest, who would ever want to resist pure unadulterated magic between the pages of a book? (The answer to that question is no one, in case you were wondering.)

Wilde Forever begins with a vibrant and highly enchanting opening in which you meet the Baron-Wilde clan and all their amazingness. I was on about page 1 and a half of the prologue when I KNEW this book was going to be a 5 star read for me. Those characters just sucked me in like a hoover vacuum cleaner.

The remainder of the story that flowed between those pages had me falling in love more with every word, and I couldn’t get enough of this story, its characters, and its overall magnificence on the page.

What I simply adored about this book:

  • Brynn’s got some chutzpah. Brynn is a strong female who is extremely determined, and she doesn’t give up for anything. Some may call that stubborn. I call it being fantastic and real. I loved that she was sassy as all get out, and the sarcasm flowing from her mouth was beyond fabulous. The thing though that stands out most about Brynn is her tenacity and strength in every situation. That girl is stronger than I could ever imagine, and she is a force to be reckoned with. It was such an outstanding delight to read a strong female with one hell of a charming and fierce personality. Like I said, that girl has some chutzpah, and you will absolutely adore her for that.
  • Jax and his fiercely protective ass. Jax has a fierce and heartfelt protectiveness towards Brynn. You feel this in the way he looks at her, the way he thinks of her, and the way he acts towards her. It just warms your heart, and exemplifies how good of a guy he is. Even in those moments of darkness and pain he has, this light and goodness shines from him. Jax also feels with all he’s got. He puts it all out there, and is unapologetic for that, which practically made me swoon for him. He’s also got a lovely little dirty mouth on him that had me wanting to climb him like a tree.
  • The instant and deep connection. Jax and Brynn have an instant and heartfelt connection that just drew me in. Their initial meeting is highly memorable, and you will feel how deep their feelings for one another are immensely. It also helps that they have chemistry out the yin yang, and their banter will have you cracking a smile on just about every other page. All of that combines to make an insanely amazing connection you will feel in your bones.
  • The sense of family. There is an immediate sense of family in this book that continues to weave its way beautifully throughout the entire book. (And in any of Suzanne Halliday’s books for that matter.) Her books truly shine in this respect. You feel the love and care these characters have for one another, and that is just magnificent. Even though this book isn’t necessarily about them, you will get to know them too through this story, and you will love every encounter you have with them. They are highly memorable in their own unique way (cough, Nana, cough), and they help make this book exceptional.
  • The spark. Jax and Brynn both have a spark about them, and when that spark comes together, it skyrockets off the page. You feel that spark in what they’re saying, in their innuendo, in the looks they give, in everything. The spark between them makes for some pretty awesome heat that’ll have you searching for a fan, while also exemplifying what it means to really feel that “spark”.
  • The moments of vulnerability. These moments will take your breath away. There are moments for both Jax and Brynn when they both put all their vulnerabilities on the table. All their emotions, fears, thoughts, doubts, and everything else in between. Those moments show them at their best and not so best, but will have you feeling for them both immensely. They’re going to speed your heart up, melt your heart in the same instant, and put you back together again before all is said and done. The level of vulnerability from these characters is exceptional.
  • The realness. The authenticity of the events, feelings, and emotions in this book was wonderful. It all just felt so real, and Suzanne Halliday creates a world that is so easy to sink right into. You will feel as if you know these characters personally while reading, and their story is so utterly believable for who they are and what they go through. The realness of these characters and story make it simply easy to connect with every aspect of the book.
  • All the feels. This book has so many emotions and feelings weaving their way through it. At times it is funny, sexy and hot as hell, and full of emotion and vulnerability at others. These characters experience it all, and their feelings that you will feel yourself are just astounding in the way they come across on the page. These feels will have you feeling for them, connecting with them, and you’ll just want to reach in and hug them both because of the level with which they feel.
  • The fight for the happy. As we know, I like books that make characters fight for the happiness they so rightfully deserve. This book was no different. Jax and Brynn have both been through hell and back in situations that are wholly their own. They come together and have a remarkable connection, but then have to figure out where to go from there. They have to fight for that happy together that they so truly deserve and want. Reading how they go about that fight is the reason why reading this book was such a magnificent and unforgettable reading experience.
  • The beginning of the journey. This is just the beginning for both Jax and Brynn and their families that make some unforgettable appearances, and I know that I am going to love every additional book to the world Suzanne Halliday has created in Wilde Forever. It is truly exceptional to read a book where you’re fully invested with the characters you are currently reading while also having a strong connection to characters you’ve really yet to meet. That’s powerful, and speaks to the wonderful and unforgettable characters thoughtfully crafted within Suzanne Halliday’s books.

Clearly I could continue on about this book, but I’m going to try and reign it in a smidge. But just a smidge, because I absolutely enjoyed every single aspect of this highly engaging book. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t like, and this book is just another example of Suzanne Halliday’s fantastic writing and character creation.

I am really coming to find that reading a book by Suzanne Halliday is like coming home. The characters in the story just envelop you with their warmth, care, love, humor, fun, and everything else in between. They just make you realize why reading an honest to God good book is all it’s cracked up to be. I promise you that if you read any one of her books, but especially Wilde Forever, you will feel like you’re coming home. The book and its characters will capture you in, and they won’t ever really let you go. That doesn’t often happen when you read, so take that as a sign that this book at its foundation is truly exceptional in every way.

Remember that. Feel that. And cherish that feeling you’ll have after reading this outstanding book.

Suzanne Halliday writes what she knows and what she loves – sexy adult contemporary romance with strong men and spirited women. Her love for creating short stories for friends and family has developed into a passion for writing romantic fiction with a sensual edge. She finds the world of digital, self-publishing to be the perfect platform for sharing her stories and also for what she enjoys most of all – reading. When she’s not on a deadline you’ll find her loading up on books to devour.
Currently a wanderer, she and her family divide their time between the east and west coast, somehow always managing to get the seasons mixed up. When not digging out from snow or trying to stay cool in the desert, you can find her in the kitchen, 80’s hair band music playing in the background, kids running in and out, laptop on with way too many screens open, something awesome in the oven, and a mug of hot tea clutched in one hand.

 

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More amazing books by Suzanne Halliday!

 

Broken Justice

Book 1

   Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21439626-broken-justice

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00IY5RIXA

Redeeming Jsutice

Book 3

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22707989-redeeming-justice

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00LP0X9FW

 Read my review of Redeeming Justice here!!!

 

Click the link below to enter the amazing giveaway!!

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Good Riddance

For an optimal and seriously ridiculous reading experience, click play as you read this post.

It’s not you, it’s me. I need some space. I’m just going through a lot right now. We can still totally be friends.

We’re breaking up. It’s over and done. After today, we’ll never be together again. It’s time to face the music.

The Never Ending Book Basket is going through a breakup. We’re not breaking up with a person, or a dog, or an imaginary friend.

Nope. We’re breaking up with our name. You heard me. Our name is a changing.

Our domain name to be exact. (Had you worried there for a sec, didn’t I?)

No longer will you tirelessly have to type out neverendingbookbasket.wordpress.com into your address bar to visit this fabulously written blog. From now you will find all the wit and humor of The Never Ending Book Basket at the following website address: neverendingbookbasket.com

So what does this mean? (Besides that I paid like 20 bucks for this to happen.) Basically, it means the URL for the blog got a little shorter. Woohoo for laziness!

Now onto the important crap! 🙂

As you can see, I tend to have a flair for the dramatics. So in celebration of saying good riddance to our old URL, and hello to our new one, I thought we’d take a little walk down our drama filled memory lane.

We might be breaking up with our old domain name, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t plenty of good times had.

I’ve compiled a list of the posts oozing with drama in one way or another. Clearly all the posts on here rock (though I may be a bit biased in saying that), but the posts below kind of just hit it out the park. They’re deliciously dramatic, and I love it. (Be sure to click on all the highlighted links to take you to that post/author page!)

So put your big girl panties on, and let’s do this thing.

Save The Drama For Your Mama:

Here at The Never Ending Book Basket I’ve reviewed quite a few books. They’ve all got a little bit of delicious, gotta have it drama, but these three books kind of take the cake in the best possible way:

Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber.

Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber.

  • On My Knees by Meredith Wild: Be prepared for a tumultuous ride full of ups and downs for this couple, but by golly, it’s one hell of a ride you’re just gonna love.
  • Love Unrehearsed & Love Unscripted by Tina Reber: This is our two for one special, and boy does it deliver. The drama is literally busting out of these books, and they’ll make you see how that can be oh so good.
  • Picking Up the Pieces by Elizabeth Hayley: Looking to dive head first into a charming and tremendously enthralling love triangle? Well here is your ticket, and it’s definitely time to collect.

Don’t Judge a Book By Its Movie:

Photo Credit: Entertainment Weekly

Photo Credit: Entertainment Weekly

We all know that for every movie you see, it’s likely to be based upon a book. These movie adaptations range from alarmingly horrible to sinfully good. They say “don’t judge a book by its movie”, and while I readily agree, I did find the following 2 film adaptations exceedingly worth a look at:

  • Fifty Shades of Grey: What more can I say? Whether you love this series or love to hate it, you have an opinion on it. And you know it.
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: This adaptation got me a new best friend, and his name is Francis Lawrence. And boy do I heart him something fierce.

Confessions of a Book Drama Queen:

This whole blog thing started with one post exorcising all of my addictions. Book addictions that is. You see, I am a book addict, and I’m proud of it. I’ve been this way for a while, and I don’t know if I’m ever going to change, but you know what:

The Name Game:

This entire post has been about saying so long to the old and hello to the new with the URL of this blog. While that might not be so monumental to you, it was pretty darn big to me. (Just like coming up with the name of the blog.) So while we continue our little stroll down memory lane, let’s play the name game:

  • What Lies in a Name?: Have you ever wondered where the hell the name for this blog even came from? Inquiring minds clearly want to know.

Going For Broke:

As we bid farewell to our walk in the past, I’ll leave you with the post that’ll surely brighten your day, or empty your wallet. Either way, it doesn’t really matter. You have to love a countdown, so we’re going out on top:

Ukazoo Books located in Towson, Maryland. (photo credit: Ukazoo Books)

Ukazoo Books located in Towson, Maryland. (photo credit: Ukazoo Books)

  • The Top 5 ½ Places to Find Books #1: You can’t just know what books to read, you gotta know where to find them. I think I assuredly found the best place, and something tells me, you’ll most definitely agree.

Thanks for joining me on The Never Ending Book Basket’s walk down memory lane, as we say good riddance to our old URL and WordPress moniker, and enter the new age with a shorter domain name.

Breakups usually have tons of crazy, some tumultuous ups and downs, and of course, plenty of drama. And our “breakup” at The Never Ending Book Basket was just that.

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed revisiting these drama laced posts today, as we bid adieu to the old and say hello to the future, shorter name in tow.

They say breaking up is hard to do, but something tells me we’re gonna be just fine.

The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books: #1

Are you ready for this?!

(Didn’t clicking on and listening to that song just put you in the best mood? C’mon admit it. You love it, and now you’re pumped, and really ready to watch Space Jam.)

It’s time to reveal the number 1 spot on The Never Ending Book Basket’s countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books!

I hope this countdown has brought you some pretty darn fantastic places to find books. Us book addicts have to stick together, so I hope at the very least you discovered yet another way to feed your book addiction. (Because you should really keep feeding that addiction on a consistent basis.)

This countdown has been solely based upon my utterly biased logic of finding books, but the time has come to reveal the countdown in its entirety, by exposing the coveted number 1 spot.

The previous posts on the countdown were:

#5 Target (Aka my own personal hell)

#4 Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million (The big name book stores)

#3 The Miscellaneous Grab Bag (Flea markets, yard sales, and the good old Goodwill)

#2 Amazon Books (Also known as one of the reasons I have no money)

And without further ado….

Number 1: Used Book Stores (A book addicts own personal paradise)

Used book stores are pretty fucking fantastic. They have a lot to offer us book addicts, and god knows that I have been in my fair share of these fine establishments over the years. While there are a wide array of extraordinary used book stores out there, for the purpose of this countdown I am going to focus in on my very favorite one:

Ukazoo Books

(Before you ask, yes that is the name of the store, and yes the store is as out of this world remarkable as its name.)

Ukazoo Books located in Towson, Maryland. (photo credit: Ukazoo Books)

Ukazoo Books located in Towson, Maryland. (photo credit: Ukazoo Books)

Ukazoo Books is located in Towson, Maryland just up the street from my alma mater Towson University. It offers a varied selection of books across many genres, and has more books in it than you can shake a stick at. This book store has some pretty great features to it, and it honestly is the very best place I have ever found books at in all of my book buying days.

This store is also responsible for at least half of the books currently residing on my bookshelves. (And we all know I have a lot of books…)

Like most used book stores, Ukazoo is locally owned, and it is just waiting for you to walk into its doors and frolic. While my list of reasons supporting Ukazoo is specific to this particular used book store, the reasons of why this store is pretty darn magnificent can be applied to many used book stores out there.

Why YOU should visit Ukazoo Books as soon as you finish reading this blog post:

  • The book selection. Ukazoo Books offers every genre of book your little heart could desire. It has books on music, books on film, traditional fiction, a huge mystery and thriller section, memoirs, humor books, a plethora of kids’ books, new books, bestsellers, books by local authors, and so many more genres and types than I can even list. Suffice to say it’s got a lot to offer.
  • The best book deal this planet has ever seen. Ukazoo Books offers a lovely little deal that all their used books are buy 3 get 1 free. I have never left this store without taking advantage of this deal. Be warned that if you find more than one book, you just better find two more books to take advantage of this deal. (This is also why my book shelves are full of books from this fine establishment.)
  • The support of the local author and artist. Ukazoo is huge supporter of local authors and artists. The store is chalk full of books written by locals (it has its own section!), and the walls of the store are covered in art for sale. Be sure to check out all these little gems ASAP because you’re sure to find something brilliant.
  • The staff.  The staff at this store is beyond helpful. Looking for a specific book? They can help you. Want a recommendation? They have plenty! Need help with anything? They will seriously do anything to help you. Honestly, the staff at this store makes Ukazoo feel like you’re walking into the most welcoming place around. (On a side note, the other customers who shop here are pretty cool too. Just saying.)
  • The prices of the books. Not only does Ukazoo have that amazing aforementioned book deal, it also offers amazing prices on used and new books. I kid you not, I have regularly gotten 4 books for what 1 book at the big name book store will typically cost you. (That’s a lot of bang for your buck people!)
  • The wonderful books you’ll find here. I’ve already shared that Ukazoo offers a wide variety of books. What you may not know is that this store is full of some amazing finds. I cannot tell you how many phenomenal books and authors I have discovered in the walls of this store. Some of my all-time favorites were found here, and for that I will truly be eternally grateful.
  • The name. The name of this store just works, is wholly unique which completely fits this store, and I just love it.
  • It’s organized. It’s organized. It’s organized. IT’S ORGANIZED!

Suffice to say, Ukazoo is hands down my #1 choice on The Best Places to Find Books countdown. This store has so much to offer, and it is one of my favorite places

As you can see this thing is completely full, and at leas t half of these books are from Ukazoo.

As you can see this thing is completely full, and at least half of these books are from Ukazoo.

to visit and shop for books. I have so many fond memories of this place, and I still continue to visit it to this day. (And that’s with me living an hour and a half away now!)

Ukazoo is the cream of the crop. It’s the best of the best, and there’s no doubt in my mind about that.

While I focused specifically on this used book store, you should know that this is only one of many wonderful places like this out there, and the reasons of why Ukazoo is incredible can also be found in many other stores across the country.

I challenge you to find your own amazing used book store to explore, because believe me, it is just waiting to be found, and you will be oh so happy when you finally find your favorite book finding place.

After all is said and done, you may be wondering why this countdown turned out the way it did. You may think, how did a place like Ukazoo beat out big name book stores like Barnes and Noble? Well let me explain my madness a little:

The title of this countdown is aptly named the best places to FIND books, not just buy them. My goal for this countdown was to give fellow book lovers and addicts’ places to find the books and authors that are just waiting to be discovered. If you want to go buy any old book, you can do that just about anywhere. But if you’re looking for a one of a kind experience where you can explore and find truly extraordinary books (that you might not have found normally), these are the places you need to go.

Ukazoo will provide you with something like that every time, which is why it found its way to the top of this countdown.

So there you have it folks. This post concludes the countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books. I hope you found these posts helpful, and that someday very soon you’ll find yourself perusing some of these marvelous places in search of that next great book experience.

To learn more about Ukazoo Books check out the links:

http://www.Ukazoo.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ukazoo-Books/6091694731

ps. If you’re wondering when the hell I’m going to talk about that pesky little ½ thing, don’t you worry your pretty little head. That post is on its way. 😉

The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books: #2

Welcome back to The Never Ending Book Basket’s completely opinionated list of the Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books.

We’re getting close to the homestretch of this countdown, and I for one can’t wait to reveal the two remaining spots! (These remaining spots are some of my very favorite places to find the books that I must acquire ASAP!)

As we all know, there are many different places that us book addicts can find books, but let’s be honest: some of those places are way better than others.

That’s why I created this countdown: to list the best places I’ve found to find the books we all desire to acquire.

Previously on the countdown I detailed the #5 spot Target (My own personal hell!), the #4 spots Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million (The big name book stores), and the #3 spot The Miscellaneous Grab Bag (aka yard sales, flea markets, and the good old Goodwill)

Up today on the countdown is a place that is majorly responsible for all of my book buying. (I place my blame on this place, rather than myself because that’s easier than admitting I have a problem….)

Number 2: Amazon Books (Also known as one of the many reasons I have no money.)

I dare you to find someone in this country who has never heard of or bought something from Amazon. Seriously, is there anyone out there who hasn’t heard of Amazon?

(That’s completely rhetorical by the way, because I do realize there are people who haven’t heard of this amazing establishment. The question is for effect people, calm down.)

Amazon Books: #2 Place to Find Books (photo credit: Twitter)

Amazon Books: #2 Place to Find Books (photo credit: Twitter)

Amazon is a website that will sell you anything from clothing, to knick knacks you don’t really need, to an underwear dispenser. (I shit you not on that last one.) Its got something for everyone, and I swear Amazon is bound and determined to make people spend all their money.

Although you can find just about anything on Amazon, I’m sure it’s no real shock that the department I find myself frequenting the most is the book section. (Was that ever really a question?)

The book section on Amazon is about as large as they get. You can get all types of books on this website including textbooks, children’s books, e books, and of course your standard novel.

If you frequent this website as much as I do, you’ve probably seen that Amazon has a section on its website for books and for e books for your Kindle. I am not even going to try to open the can of worms that is the “e book vs. traditional paper or hard back books” debate. (I ain’t going there, because that battle will never truly ever end.)

My point in identifying these two categories of books is to point out that Amazon offers a wide array of book types, so you’ve basically got a plethora of ways to pick whatever book poison you want.

As you can tell, I am a HUGE fan of Amazon Books, and as always I plan to justify that sentiment with my list of completely biased reasoning.

Why Amazon Books basically rocks my socks:

  • The recommended for you section. Amazon Books has this lovely little thing that’s kind of like the Pandora for books. It has this section that recommends books specifically for you based upon what you’ve looked at or bought. I love this section. It has so many books that you may not have seen normally, and I have personally found a multitude of fantastic books from this section. It is also constantly updating, so don’t you worry your pretty little head. Soon enough you’ll have more recommended books just for you!
  • It has so many genres of books you can buy. I am basically schvizting over all the different genres of books Amazon has to offer. You can find anything and everything on here from paranormal romance to history to self-help. Suffice to say there is something for everyone on Amazon Books.
  • The reviews of other customers. A huge feature on Amazon Books is the reviews of other customers who have bought the books that you’re looking at. These reviews are painfully honest sometimes, but when you get past all the bias they can really help you decide if a book is worth taking a chance on. They can also be really funny to read. (Believe it or not, I have seen many a fight take place in this review section between some pretty passionate readers!)
  • The organization of the books is to die for. Finding books on Amazon is easy as pie. You can search for books, browse through the many genres of books they offer, or just get lost in it all. No matter what way you choose to find books on here, it is pretty clear that the organization of this website is phenomenal, and it makes it all the more easier to find the books you want.
  • The fantastic lists of books. Amazon has a pretty cool feature of creating lists of books that are grouped together in some way. These lists could be about the best romances, the books you have to read before you die, or the books everyone is currently talking about. These lists are always worth a gander, and are sure to provide you with something good to read.
  • The buy with one click feature. One of the best and worst features of Amazon is that you can buy items with one click. (All you have to do is set up your billing
    The Buy With One Click feature that is my downfall. (photo credit: sherrysnider.com)

    The Buy With One Click feature that is my downfall. (photo credit: sherrysnider.com)

    information, and you’re good to go.) This feature is my downfall, as it makes it way too easy to buy books from here. (Especially e books.)

  • The prices. All of the books on Amazon are discounted in some way, shape, or form. Books on here can range from free (And yes I mean absolutely free!) to a few dollars, to just below the regular retail price. Whatever book you’re looking for, rest assured that you’ll save a few bucks at least finding it here. They also sell used books on here that are always worth a look at.

There you have it. I could go on and on about why Amazon Books is a completely amazing place to find books, but that would take more time than you or I have. Suffice to say Amazon is a place book addicts can frolic freely in.

(Not so freely because you’ll buy more books there than you actually weigh, but it’s the thought that counts.)

I solemnly swear that Amazon Books has something for you, and if you’re ever looking for that next great book, this place is where you should start. This place really deserves to be at the top of YOUR list of places to find books.

Until next time book addicts, may your book shelves continue be full as you keep searching for that next out of this world read.

Up next on the countdown is the #1 spot! YAY!!! I won’t give you a hint about what this place is, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s my very favorite place to find books.

(See what I did there?)

ps. You should totally head over to Amazon Books right now, and check out all their books. Like now. Now. Now. NOW. NOW! http://www.amazon.com/books-used-books-textbooks/b/ref=sa_menu_bo?ie=UTF8&node=283155

During the writing of this blog post 2 e books were purchased through Amazon’s one click feature. Be warned people, this website feeds addictions…..

The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books: #3

Welcome back to The Never Ending Book Basket’s countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books.

(I know you’ve all been anxiously waiting on the edge of your seats for these posts, right?! Sorry for the smidge bit of delay, but it’s been harder to create this countdown than I thought it would be originally. Too many great places to choose from I guess!)

This countdown was created to list and discuss the best possible places that us book addicts can find the books we so need, desire, and have got to have. (Because you gotta know where to get the best of the best!)

Each spot on the countdown has its own post that contains my completely opinionated list of reasons of why that place rocks when it comes to finding books.

In my previous two posts I detailed the #5 spot Target (my own personal hell) and the #4 spots Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million (the good old standard in finding books).

Up today on the countdown is what I refer to as the miscellaneous grab bag:

Number 3: The Miscellaneous Grab Bag (Yard Sales, Flea Markets, & Goodwill)

The aptly named number 3 spot on the countdown covers not just one, but 3 spectacular places to find books.

(Yay for you!! You get more bang for your buck today!)

Yard sales, flea markets, and the good old Goodwill are three places that offer a wide array of unique items, and sometimes more shit than you can shake a stick at. These are the places for the true diggers of this world because you definitely have to dig, but when you do, I guarantee that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

I lumped all three of these places together for a lot of reasons. (And when I say a lot, I mean like 3.)

One, all of these places are not your typical locations that you would think of to go find books. All of these places also sell heavily discounted books because of the nature of the stores themselves. These wonderfully miscellaneous establishments also have a very random and varied book selection within their walls. (Or lack of walls if you find yourself perusing a yard sale or most flea markets)

If you’re sitting here reading this post and wondering how the hell these places beat out the book store for this spot on the countdown, let me explain my madness to you.

Why yard sales, Goodwill, and flea markets are some pretty outstanding places to find books:

  • The prices. Money may not buy you happiness, but it can buy you books and that’s pretty close. That’s why finding books at any of these miscellaneous
    The truest thing I have ever read...

    The truest thing I have ever read…(photo credit: Pinterest)

    places will be so worth your while. The books here are dirt cheap. They range in price from mere pennies to just a few dollars. If that doesn’t make you smile, then I don’t know what will.

  • The little tidbits you can’t buy. All of the books you will find at these kinds of places have had previous owners. Now while I tend to not give away my children, I mean books, other people do, and when they do this they tend to leave more than just the book behind. The notes, phrases underlined, and the dedications really make these books something different and add a unique feature that “regular” books don’t have. (I must say I really enjoy reading the dedications people write in these books because it explains why they wanted to gift that particular book, and reading that is really something.)
  • The never ending search. So if you’ve ever been to one of these places you know that you better be prepared to dig pretty deep to find something good. But let me tell you that the digging can be well worth it, and it’s half the fun. Digging around in any of these three places is sure to yield some pretty interesting finds as well. (Be prepared to find A LOT of romance novels.)
  • You never know what you’re gonna get looking for books here. It can be hit or miss with finding books at any of these places. Books are constantly coming in and out of each one, but the excitement of never knowing what you’re going to find is what makes these places fantastic. And it adds a bit of a thrill.
  • The wide array of books. When you go to yard sales, Goodwill, or flea markets you will find a very wide variety of books. All walks of life are represented at these places. Again you never know what you may find, but be assured you will find some pretty interesting books at any of these three places.
  • The people you meet along the way. Especially with yard sales and flea markets, the people you meet there are about as fantastic and out there as the books you may find. In my experience they are pretty awesome, and always willing to talk about the fantastic books they are selling to you.
  • The one of a kind experience. Let’s face it, part of the appeal of these places is that they aren’t that normal place you go to find books. Each time you go here to find books or whatever you seek, you will definitely have some kind of an experience. Whether that’s good or bad or out of this fucking world, it’s something, and that’s pretty important to remember.
Don't you just love yard sales...(photo credit: )

Don’t you just love yard sales…(photo credit: dumpaday.com)

There you have it folks. The number 3 spot on the countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books. I’m sure going into this post you didn’t expect that I would be talking about yard sales, flea markets, and Goodwill, but I hope you’re happy with my choice. (But let’s be honest, this is kind of my countdown…)

This miscellaneous grab bag of places to find books is definitely out of the ordinary in a lot of ways, but I shit you not that you’ll find yourself quite surprised about the books you can find at any one of these places. Sure you may have to dig a little harder to find something spectacular, but that’s what makes it all the more worthwhile.

Plus look on the bright side, if you go to any of these three places to find a book you’re more than likely to come out with some other additional amazing treasure. (Or if you’re me, another piece of crap you don’t need, but let’s just keep that between us.)

Until next time book addicts. Stay tuned for more on this spectacularly named and designed countdown. (hah!) I know you’re all dying to know what nabs the top two spots! (And what the hell the ½ thing means!)

Up next on the countdown is the place that continues to actively feed my book addiction. (More so than all the rest!)

Ps. If you have a good, bad, or out of this world experience on finding a book at one of these three places, I’d love to hear from you!

The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books: #4

Welcome back to The Never Ending Book Basket’s countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books!

(Pause here for silent cheering! Wahoo!)

If you’re wondering why on Earth I am counting down the best places to find books, let me enlighten you a little to my madness.

Finding books is a science. (At least to me.) There are many different places that you can find books, but let’s be honest: Some of those places are way better than others!

Thus, in my never ending battle to continually talk about books and all things related, I decided to countdown what I think are the best places to come across those amazing books we all seek. (Because you gotta know where to go to get the good stuff!)

Each spot on the countdown will have its very own post to discuss its awesomeness, and why YOU should go there ASAP to find books!

In my previous post I discussed the #5 spot on the countdown, Target, which I lovingly refer to as my own personal hell. Target is a prime example of how two rows of bookshelves can make a pretty darn good book section.

Up today on the countdown in the #4 spot is where most of us go to find a good book:

Number 4: The Old School Place to Get Books (aka The Book Store!)

So if you are a book lover, you have got to just adore the book store. That is kind of like an unspoken rule. I mean, c’mon.

Books-A-Million (photo credit: booksamillioninc.com

Books-A-Million (photo credit: booksamillioninc.com)

Book stores come in all shapes and sizes, and each one is unique in its own way. While there are plenty of big and small book stores out there, the ones many of us find ourselves in are the large chain ones that frequent the many strip malls this country has.

Now this is just my opinion, but I think it’s safe to say the two major book stores most people in this country physically go to are Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million.

I personally have frequented both of these stores, and have spent way more money there then I will ever admit. (My lips are fucking sealed on that one!) I have also spent countless hours perusing the shelves of both of these major chains, and can safely say an afternoon spent there is well worth it.

Now it may seem like real common sense to say that a major book store chain is a fantastic place to find books, but you’ll note that this isn’t the post discussing the #1 spot on the countdown! (You’ll find out why soon enough!)

Why Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million are pretty fantastic places to find books:

  • You can get any kind of book you want. (It’s a book store, hello!) Of course when you go to a big chain book store like Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million you can find every genre of book out there. There is something for everyone there, and that’s kind of a big thing. If you want that one random book that’s a little on the specific side, it’s probably at one of these major chains.
  • The people who work there are books biggest fans. I have been to many a book stores, and have never met a book store employee who didn’t like books. (That would be a serious oxy moron!) The people who work at these places clearly like books, and are usually more than willing to help you find that next great page turner.
  • The themed book displays. So I have to say I love the book displays they have in Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble. These displays are full of books that are similarly themed, and they are a great place to find new books just like the ones you already love. This is also where the books on promotion are, and sometimes those deals are pretty good.

    Barnes and Noble (photo credit: barnesandnoble.com

    Barnes and Noble (photo credit: barnesandnoble.com

  • The Clearance Section. Now this particular one pertains more to Books-A-Million because the clearance book section there is out of this world. It is literally rows and rows of books that are severely discounted. The clearance section there also represents a wide variety of books that are all looking for a good home. They all scream, “Pick Me! Choose Me! Love Me!” (I’ll personally high five anyone who knows where that last line is borrowed from!)
  • The “We Recommend” Section. So I already mentioned that most of the staff members at these stores love books. One of my favorite staples of these book chains is that they have this nifty little section of books that the staff recommends. I LOVE this section. It is filled to the brim with books that fellow book addicts love. What’s not to squeal over?
  • There’s coffee. Okay so this really has nothing to do with finding books, but as I’ve said before, coffee and books kind of go together splendidly. And luckily both Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble have coffee places in them to help us all pair our caffeine addictions with our book addictions.

So I’m sure you’re wondering what could possibly be the fallbacks of the major book stores we all love, and I’ll tell you there aren’t many, but I do have a some:

  • The Prices. While both Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million have clearance sections, the majority of their books are on the pricier side. (At least for my poor ass self.) As I am a self-proclaimed book addict, my addiction can get a tad expensive shopping at these places. But on a more positive note, it’s easier to control my addiction when I literally can’t afford to buy the books I want. (There’s the upside!)
  • Paying to belong. So at both of these places you have to pay to become a member to receive pretty much any kind of coupon or discount. (And in my opinion that’s a bunch of bs, because all us book lovers gotta stick together, and we shouldn’t have to pay to be at least some kind of member.) I still to this day majorly miss the major book retailer (which has since gone out of business) that gave out the best coupons and had free membership.(RIP Borders)

Major book stores like Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million have a lot to offer book addicts like you and me. They carry all the bestsellers, all the books you’ve got to read, and even that one specific book that nowhere else has.

Places like these are overflowing with books and book addicts alike. It is not only a spectacular place to find books, but a great place to meet and see other addicts out in their natural habitat.

And remember, they sell coffee too!!

Please stay tuned for more on The Never Ending Book Basket’s countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books. (I know you’re still waiting to find out what that ½ thing means!)

Next up on the countdown is the place I refer to as the miscellaneous grab bag of where to find books.

Ps. If you have an opinion on Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million and their spot on the countdown, I’d love to hear from you!

The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books: #5

Welcome back fellow book addicts!

I hope time has found you well, and that you’ve had plenty of opportunities to dive into some fantastic books. (I know I have!)

Since clearly all of us here enjoy books, I thought it only fitting that we have a discussion about the best places to find those books. I mean let’s be honest: you have to know where the best place to buy your drug of choice is. You can’t just go anywhere. (And I am referring to books there people. Get your minds out of the gutter, folks!)

Now there are a million places to buy books, but I have to say that I have my certain favorite places that I love to purchase a good read. (I may have slightly over exaggerated with the use of the term “a million places” when describing where to buy books, but it’s all the same. There are many great places to come across that one book you’re looking for.)

These are also the places that have the ability to suck me in for hours on end if I let them. That isn’t even a slight exaggeration. It’s happened.

So here at the Never Ending Book Basket, I will be counting down The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books.

These places will be the cream of the crop. The best of the best. They’re the places you just gotta go to get the books you need.

Why 5 ½ places? Well that’s the number I came up with and I’m sticking with it. Tough shit. (And don’t you worry, I’ll explain that ½ thing later.) Each spot on the countdown will have its very own post, and these countdown posts will be interspersed with the normal book reviews you find on here.

So without further ado, The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books:

Number 5: The Big Name Retailer That Sucks You in for Everything You Got (aka Target)

Target is my own personal hell in a lot of ways. If you’re American, you’ve probably seen that e card making fun of the fact that most people go into Target looking for one thing, yet they leave the store with 5 different things. (Not one of which was on their intended list of things to buy.)

Gotta love this!! And it is absolutely true! (photo credit: Pinterest)

Gotta love this!! And it is absolutely true! (photo credit: Pinterest)

I am so guilty of that. I go into that place, and I am lucky to get out without buying something I did not need. I mean, does anyone really need as many storage bins as I’ve bought in that place?

Don’t even get me started on walking up and down the aisles looking for clearance items. That is a bad place.

I am also extremely guilty of the fact that I NEVER leave Target without visiting the book section. NEVER. Not even once since the time I was in high school. (Yes, I admit it. I have a problem.)

Target is one of my favorite places to look for books. In fact almost every book on my to buy list, and probably half the books currently residing in my Never Ending Book Basket originated from a visit to Target.

Now as I always I have to justify my reasoning’s on here, the following is why I think Target is a great place to buy books:

  • It has the newest releases of the most popular books out there. That huge, new, gotta have it book that just came out? Target most likely is a place you can get it.
  • It has a wide range of well known, and not so known books. The books Target carries range from New York Times Bestsellers, to romance, to teen, to some random book you’ve never even heard of. The variety of Target’s selection, at times, is superb.
  • The Target Book Club. If you’ve ever perused the book section, you’ve probably seen some books with the logo “Target Book Club”. These books are not ones to miss. They are fantastic, and a ton of them are even signed by the damn author. I can personally say one of my favorite books that I read last year was from this club. That books cover is even in the header image of this blog. (It’s called The Promise of Stardust and you need to go to Target and buy it now. Do it!)
  • The discounted prices. Now it isn’t like Targets books are seriously discounted, but most are 20% off list price, and as someone addicted to buying books, every little bit of money saved is big.

Now I am not trying to be Negative Nellie on here, but there are a couple drawbacks to doing your book buying at Target:

The 5th best place to find books!

The 5th best place to find books!

  • The book section contains only about 2 aisles worth of books. What this means is that while Target might have a book section, it’s still a big store that sells only a little bit of everything. This means that if you’re looking for a specific book that isn’t a new release, insanely popular, or part of the Target Book Club, you’re probably not going to find it there. (But what do you expect from a book section that contains 2 aisles?)
  • It can be hit or miss. As much as I love Target, and its book section, I find that it can be hit or miss in there sometimes. The range of books is marvelous, but often the shelves are either filled to the brim or filled with more empty spaces than my brain is when it comes to math skills. Either way, I always go the section no matter what, but I am sad to say I do not always come away with the next best book.

Target is a great place to buy books, and find books that you might want to buy at some point. As I said earlier, I have added so many books to my to read list from just perusing the book section at Target.

When I look in the Target book section, I don’t always buy a book, (Yes, that does actually happen mother!) but I do usually come away with a new book I plan to read at some point.

If anything, Target is always good for a fun time spent searching through books, and the high likelihood that you will buy at least one thing you will never use or need.

Please stay tuned for more on the Never Ending Book Basket’s countdown of The Best 5 ½ Places to Find Books. (I know you just can’t wait to find out what that ½ thing means!)

Next up on the countdown is a place that I refer to as the old-school place to get the books you have to have, so keep your eyes open for the post!

Until next time book addicts, and as always, Happy Reading!

Ps. If you have a comment or opinion about buying books at Target, I would love to hear from you!