Fall is the time of year parents, teens, and college students are buying books for their school's required reading.
And if the teacher says you need a classic, it's tempting to buy the $5 version on Amazon, for instance if you need a copy of George Orwell's "1984," or maybe the "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
But buyer beware. A recent New York Times investigation claims some Amazon third party sellers are selling cheap copycat books, filled with typos, hard to read print, and pages copied right out of Wikipedia.
It says these classic books are published in third world countries where they are not protected by copyright.
For that reason, the Times report says it is essential to check buyer reviews of classic books before you buy -- or visit and support your local bookstore.
Doesn't that Stink?
Which leads to the "doesn't that stink" file, and counterfeit books so bad they are unreadable.
The New York Times purchased some books it claims were filled with gibberish.
In another, a "fairy story" was named a "fair story." In one book "faces" were called "feces." Doesn't that stink?
Amazon says it does its best to police books for sale by third party vendors, but says copyright rules vary from country to country, making controlling sales very difficult. It also is very careful with the quality of books it sells itself -- that is how Amazon got its start after all.
Bottom line: If you are ordering a book online, read the buyer reviews, in particular the one and two star reviews before you click the "buy" button.
That way you can make sure it's a good printing, so you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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