One of the most outrageous decisions of the Rudd Government was its anti-intellectual, protectionist stance on book publishing. I have long used Amazon to buy my books, saving hundreds each year, but I have found a site, the Book Depository, a UK outfit, that makes books far cheaper again by offering free delivery worldwide. Sometimes with Amazon and other internet booksellers, the cost of postage to Australia is almost as much as the book itself.
Not anymore. For instance, one of the first books I got on the Book Depository arrived this morning, seven days after I ordered it. The newly released hard cover "Bob Dylan in America" by historian Sean Wilentz cost me $A22.79 delivered to my door. Abbey's in Sydney can get it from their supplier for you for $A68.95. Readings in Melbourne have it for $42.95 - more reasonable but still nearly double the price. Say you wanted to read Blair's memoirs; the Book Depository are offering it for $A33.61, Readings have it on special for $44.95.
Sure, you say, but its different for Australian literature? Breath by Tim Winton (a passionate advocate of protectionism) in paperback $24.95 at Readings, on book depository $12.19.
But hey, it's your money.