Bayswater's Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor Blog

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Before You Used to Shop Online

     Our 6th annual used book sale took place last weekend and in preparation, we found ourselves going through countless boxes of used books.  It was from one of those boxes that our most recent find was unearthed.  All of this digging around in and among used books makes us sound like archeologists of sorts, (the literary type) we like to think.

     The book was a 1962 printing of "Hitler, A Study in Tyranny" and detailed the dictator's rise from his formative years to becoming Chancellor and, finally, Warlord.  Originally printed just 10 years after the Nuremburg trials took place in 1945-1946, the book used the evidence provided during the trials to provide one of the first comprehensive, in-depth looks at how Hitler rose to power.  Though, as we know, Hitler was never prosecuted due to his suicide in 1945, (only seven months before the trials were set to begin) according to, over 185 people were indicted for their crimes, providing countless first-hand testimony and evidence regarding the dictator's rise (and fall) for future use and study.

     Lodged in one of the pages was a brochure from  We almost overlooked it, to be honest, as we sometimes see brochures stuck in our used books.  Just as we were about to toss it aside, however, we wondered…since when does Amazon, the internet conglomerate, print tri-fold brochures to advertise their bookselling services?  It seemed odd and antiquated.  Upon further examination, it became clear that the brochure was from the earliest days of Amazon, roughly 1994, (which, unbelievably, is already 25 years ago!) when the company was initially founded and the internet was just beginning to be thought of as a place to purchase items.  Let us explain further.

     Amazon, which is now the world’s largest online retailer, began when founder, Jeff Bezos, saw an opportunity to use the newly forming internet revolution to help sell a product.  He did some research, quit his job and decided that his company, Amazon, would sell books online and do so in a way that most had not thought of – the books could be purchased via the internet while one stayed in the comfort of their own home!  The brochure touts the ability to discover titles, “without leaving your home or office” while also offering the ability to purchase them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  While most of us take the ability to do these things for granted now, it appears that Amazon actually printed brochures and distributed them to help people understand what their newly-formed company does and how the process of online book buying works.  Can you imagine Amazon printing a brochure now to help spread the word that they exist?  I think it is safe to say that those days are gone for good.

     The “Hitler, A Study in Tyranny” book and early Amazon brochure find can both be yours for $4.99.  You can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at and on facebook.  Better yet, stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!