Adios, Tax-Free Books on Amazon

I know Amazon is what’s most dividing the country right now. *wink*

And now they’re becoming even more divisive. Up until now there were a couple of states Amazon was not collecting sales tax in because they didn’t have a physical presence, but no more! Amazon will begin collecting sales tax in every state with statewide sales tax. My reaction is IT’S ABOUT TIME!

Years ago when I first began my relationship with Amazon I paid no sales tax because the company had yet to expand into Texas. But those days ended long ago. As a result I try to buy from third party sellers as often as I can to avoid the sales tax. But honestly, I don’t even spend that much on the site. I’d say between $300-$500 a year. And even with that relatively low amount I still feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.

Are you feeling any kind of way about the sales tax

A New Beginning

I’m going to finish this month with no new reads. Not because I haven’t wanted to read, but because working 8:00-5:00 with an hour commute leaves me sleepy. I usually fall asleep well before 10:00. But that all changes next week! I’m finally finishing training, which means I’m moving on to my regular schedule of 11:00-8:00. No more ridiculous mornings or traffic or anything. Just smooth sailing to work.

So I KNOW I’m finally going to be able to get some reading done. Also, I anticipate I’ll be able to read some while on vacation in LESS THAN THREE WEEKS.

So, time to get back on track. How’s your reading coming along?

On “American War”

No video today. This is a follow up to yesterday’s post. A new book looks at what would happen during a second American civil war. After writing the post and reading about the book I became intrigued.

There’s a lot more to the story than my post talked about. First, oil is illegal. Louisiana is half underwater. There was a devastating plague. Drones patrol the air around the country.

The idea is essentially that the US has made the decision to use its worst weapons against its own people.

I may buy the book. It’s a debut novel, which always makes things interesting. And the idea isn’t so far fetched that it’s unthinkable. I mean, how many tomes have we heard Trump talk about “sending in the Feds” in less than three months?

With different series exploring life in the former United States I think this may make for a fascinating read.

This is not Happening

Everyone wants to tall about how divided America is. And now there’s a new book out that plays into this thinking.

American War is the story of the second American Civil War that takes place at the turn of the next century. North against South.

This may be fiction, but it’s written by a former reporter who may or may not be intending to tell us what he thinks may be on the horizon. I don’t pretend to believe that all Americans love other Americans, but I just can’t see an all-out war breaking out. Of course, history is probably against me. Countries have internal conflicts that result in war.

What do you think? Think the country is headed toward war within the next century? I don’t.

In Defense of Books

Some things are said much too often.

“Books aren’t what they used to be.” “Books are boring.” “I’d rather do any thing other than read.”

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that books and reading aren’t for everyone. Much the same as NOTHING is for everyone. But in recent years I feel like books have been given this odd labeling. 

Cable TV. Smartphones. Blockbuster movies. Social media. All things vying for our attention right alongside books. But since when is variety and choice a bad thing?

The first thing I usually tell new acquaintances is that I’m a die hard Houston sports fan. I could move to Tokyo and that wouldn’t change. It’s simply a part of who I am. The second thing I mention is how much I love books. I’ve gotten a lot of “Really?” responses because I guess people don’t think those two can coexist within a single being.

Do you see my point here? People find it surprising that I can be obsessed with baseball and also with The Hunger Games. But so what? This is the same thought I have when I hear someone speak negatively about books. SO WHAT? I won’t suddenly hate books because someone else doesn’t find them important.

Libraries and bookstores are the printed versions of the internet. Knowledge and stories everywhere. Bound in BOOKS. Some may not believe in the importance of books, and that’s okay. But there’s nothing wrong with filling them in on how important they are to you.

So fill me in! What makes books so important to you?

A Different Kind of Book Festival

An edible one. I’m just reading some articles this Sunday morning and came across an edible book festival that took place in the NJ area. I read about it and thought it was interesting enough to write about on here, so I searched for more articles about it. It turns out that this is fairly common!

The one I read about was simple. People created edible delights based on books. I imagine the others are similar. They’re then judged in different categories with hopes of winning a small prize. We have so many creative people walking around that it should come as no surprise to have people combining their baking/cooking skills with their love for literature. 

I’m not really into sweets, but I’d still like to attend some kind of edible book festival. They’re so different from what you’d expect from a literary gathering. Have you attended one of these before?

Saturday Selects: The Failure of AHCA

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the ocassional Saturday. This week I’m talking the AHCA.

The GOP controls both houses of Congress and the White House. For seven years they’ve talked about repealing the Affordable Care Act, the landmark healthcare legislation signed into law by President Obama. The ACA has more Americans insured than at any other point in history. But no one says the law is perfect. Some have seen premium hikes in recent years. Some small, rural areas have only one insurer to choose from. Insurers claim that enrollees are sicker than they anticipated.

With the imperfections in mind one would think the GOP would have an easy path to repeal. Wrong. Not because they didn’t try but because the bill they put forth was such a disaster that members from every faction of the GOP came out against it. The final nail in the coffin of the AHCA was the removal of language in the bill that would require insurers to provide basic preventative services in all policies. Why someone would seek the removal of such language is simply beyond my comprehension.

The GOP quickly realized that the ACA is far from perfect, but their own attempt at healthcare reform turned out to be an historical dud.

I don’t see why legislators can’t look at the deficiencies of the ACA and set out to fix them rather than set out to repeal and replace a law that has helped more than 20 million people gain coverage.

College Kids, Look!

College textbooks are way overpriced. There’s no getting around that. Every person who has ever been inside a college classroom knows this.

But there’s a new app aiming to help. Book Cycle is essentially a marketplace for college textbooks much like eBay or Criagslist. You can find the books you need locally, and there’s a feature that tells you if you’re getting a good deal is not.

I have no idea how much the app actually helps, but anything that aims to lower the costs of college is good in my book.

Why You Shouldn’t Burn Books

A man in Florida was in the process of burning books, as a result of whatever he was doing he managed to burn down 2 houses.

I’ve been open about what I’d save in the event of a house fire. It would pretty much only be my books. Trash bags, me, my books. That would be it. So I’ll never understand someone who goes out of their way to burn books. If you don’t want them or don’t like them there are plenty of options. Take them to Half Price Books. Recycle them yourself. Take them to the library. Do anything. But why burn them?

Oh well. Hopefully those people who are now homeless are able to recover. What would make you burn books?

Half Price Books Coupon Week Book Haul

That’s a mouthful of a title for a blog post.

Today I’m chatting about the books I bought during the most recent coupon week at Half Price Books! Can’t blame me if you didn’t take advantage of it. I made sure to post about it. Anyway, this didn’t violate the terms of my book buying ban because most of the books are for my 2017 Reading Challenge. Shh. Don’t tell me I’m just rationalizing my actions after the fact. BOOKS.

Have you taken advantage of any previous Half Price Books’ coupons?