Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Another Wishlist Hack - Amazon and your Local Library

A while back, I mentioned a new approach I was taking to keeping my wishlist up to date. Lately, I've added another dimension to this.

In the past, when I saw or heard about a book that interested me, I'd jump on Amazon and add it to my wishlist. It was a simple procedure that kept me from buying dozens of books, yet, made it so that if someone wanted to give me a gift, they'd know exactly what interested me. And if I ever did decide I really needed the book, I'd know exactly where to find it.

Lately, though, it occurred to me that the first thing I should be doing is searching my local library's catalog (in Arlington's case, it's here)*. If the book is found, I now pop over to Amazon and add it to a newly created At The Library wishlist. I keep this list private, and when I'm ready for something new to read, I can just consult it.

Using an Amazon Wishlist is nice because it let's Amazon do all the work of remembering the book, as well as recording all the details such as author, and title. Its also serves as a handy way discover related books, and which in turn, can be searched on the library site. Finally, if a book is worth buying, the wishlist functionality makes it trivial to move it to your public wish list.

In hindsight, this strategy is obvious. But, it can take a few minutes to setup the wishlist and the Amazon account -- it's definitely worth it. I also thought about automating some of this. But, given how quickly I can search in both the library and on Amazon, it just didn't seem worth it.

*You do have a library account, right? I can't think of a more useful government service. Talk about tax dollars well spent. Go get a card today if you don't have one. But of course, you do.

1 comment:

  1. Nice idea. I initially had a 'book' list and an everything else list, but later I combined them since feeling to lazy to actually select which list to place thing in. Your tip makes lots of sense especially since many of the books are only good for a onetime read.

    That said, I'm going to miss the Arlington Library system now that we are moving to Fairfax county... to top if off, the local branch near our new place is currently closed for renovations.