Thursday, February 21, 2019

I Knew I Wasn't Crazy

Well, not THAT crazy.

I had been talking to someone a few years ago about Amazon, and I insisted that I remembered an online bookstore that predated its founding. I had a clear memory of a store that you could reach through online BBS (Bulletin Board Systems, a method of 'going online' that, for a time, coexisted with the early Internet). That store was located in Cleveland, OH.

I just verified that my memory of that Amazon predecessor was correct. It was Book Stacks (later Book Stacks Unlimited). The neat thing about it was that you could get books that weren't available at any other local store. I remember ordering computer-related books that were near impossible to get elsewhere.

Other sources of books included the Cleveland Public Library, which was one of the earlier libraries to have public access to its card catalog. The technical books were limited, and the waiting lists could be long. By taking advantage of ordering through their online system, you could reserve books and have them sent to a local branch.

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