Erich Riesenberg: “A friend of mine is backing kaboombooks.com. Basically, the company buys overruns of scholarly and academic books such as from MIT and Harvard and sells them at huge discounts. I compared their prices with the prices found by pricescan.com and bestbookbuys.com, and kaboombooks sold several titles for 30-40% less than the lowest prices those services found. I’d really appreciate it if you would mention the site.”

☞ The selection is quite limited — this is NOT Barnes & Noble — but it’s fun to browse, the kaboomers seem like nice folks, shipping is only $3, and “for a limited time” you get your choice of a free book with each order. If only they could supply some free time to read it.

Chris Peterson: “I read your column regarding annuities and why there are a bad deal. You state at the end that educators shouldn’t be alarmed because TIAA annuities are a better deal. What makes them a better deal?”

☞ Their expense charges are lower, and profits are paid back out to annuitants as dividends. TIAA-CREF, as it’s known, is the combination of two sister non-profits, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and the College Retirement Equities Fund, set up earlier in this century to provide educators with a good deal. For more, see the excellent TIAA-CREF website: http://www.tiaa-cref.org/.

 

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