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Do Rabbits Read Book? 

While you can receive a personal and friendly service from some traditional book sellers, the same is not always true when purchasing books online. Perhaps a new website can change this public conception.
BookRabit bookshelf

Recently I was involved in a three-way discussion as to whether traditional books or the electronic digital variety that could be viewed on various portable devices was the chosen reading method.  While one member of the group was a strong advocate of the digital format, the choice of the other two was for the more traditional format of paper books.  The impetus for this discussion was the imminent launch of a new approach to online book purchasing.

Of course when the subject of online books is raised, we cannot help but think of Amazon.co.uk with its 85 to 90% of the market.  However, behemoth that it is, Amazon is perhaps not the friendliest entity with which to do business.  This lack of warmth, focus on high-profile titles and supermarket approach to its range of goods is perhaps not what appeals to many book lovers.  An alternative is now available with the launch of BookRabbit (www.bookrabbit.com).

Described as a combination of a social environment and an online book store, BookRabbit has been designed to present a friendly face to the user whether they are an occasional or regular visitor.  Typing in the appropriate URL brings up a Home Page giving you the option to register with this online community or just browse a site that promises to be cheaper than Amazon on 100,000 books while still giving free UK delivery.  Sections are available to view bookshelves, tagged with appropriate information about the actual books displayed, submitted by others; information about recent registered users; and user-designated categories. Also included on the site are videos of authors talking about their work plus opportunities to share ideas with other site members about favourite books.

While it is not compulsory, registering with the site does give you the opportunity to add your content with regards to bookshelves and creating specific categories of books.  The registration process is fairly straightforward as you enter basic personal details of name, email address, etc.  Once the registration process has been completed you will be sent a confirmation email.  You will then need to activate your account by using a link provided in the email.

Currently the site contains around 4.2 million titles which you can search through whether you are a registered member or not.  Various criteria for searches can be selected from a drop-down list that includes books, authors, bookshelves, categories, user profiles, video reviews and discussions.  Searches are carried out quickly with the results being displayed with a thumbnail image of the book cover along with details of author, publisher, price etc. plus an option to add a title to your shopping basket. 

Confirmation emails will be sent on receipt of orders and when the goods are actually dispatched.  While hardly a regular purchaser of books online, I'm more likely to purchased CDs in this manner, I selected a couple of titles from the BookRabbit catalogue.  Checking the same titles on the Amazon.co.uk site revealed that I had managed to save 5 pence on each title - hardly a fortune but better than the other way round.

On the day after placing my order, I received a notification that the first book had been dispatched and sure enough it arrived next day by first class post.  Included with the book were details of the order plus a telephone number and email address in case there were any problems.  I was impressed with the speed and quality of service.  24 hours later, a second email arrived confirming that the second book had been dispatched and again this appear the next day along with a pre-paid label in case anything needed to be return.

If you are a book lover then why not check out the site for yourself.  You might even join the 1000+ who registered with the BookRabbit site in the first 24 hours it went live.  You can even check out my bookshelf which is dominated by science-fiction titles.

www.bookrabbit.com

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