Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Pouchful of Joy

(Edited on May 22)

We don't order directly through Amazon; we are able to get books shipped to us through the mail pouch at my husband's office. I have other friends, however, who regularly order through Amazon and pay to have their books delivered to them directly via DHL. It's important to keep orders under $100, though--that's how you avoid customs fees and delays.

As for a Kindle, I am a bit wary of how easily they break... Katya isn't exactly the most responsible nine-year-old... She does plan to buy one this summer, though. She has been saving her money and we'll go in on it 50/50 when in the States. She really enjoys borrowing her dad's!

Last Monday when Natalia was so engrossed in her reading, she limited herself to one more chapter so that she would still be able to read the book on the school camping trip this week. I wanted her to charge forward in her reading, not hold herself back because this was the only book she had left in the series—the only series that has ever made her really want to read.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, Katya has created a sleuthing corner devoted to everything Nancy Drew. She has read every book in the series, many which used to be mine, even the modern books. She carries a sleuth kit that she put together based on what she has read. She then discovered the Hardy Boys, in particular the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew combined stories... But she finished the three I had in Moscow...

So... I got on Amazon and ordered them both some books, hoping they might make it here in time for the school trip. And they did! Amazon ships to Moscow via DHL and the shipping isn't as outrageous as you'd fear—but we're able to occasionally get books included in the mail pouch through Chris's office, so we've never had anything shipped to us directly.

Having lived here in 1991, when the only way I could communicate with "The West" was to wait in long lines at the Central Telegraph Office and send a fax—or pre-order an international phone call I couldn't afford, I still can't quite grasp how the internet has drastically changed the lives of everyone, both Russians and expats. There wasn't any internet access where we were staying in the countryside last week for me to have used my computer —but I was able to access Amazon through my phone and place the order that way!

It was like Christmas morning here last night! Little do the girls know that I hid a few of the books from them, saving them for the next flight to the USA and for Katya's three-week trip with school in June...

8 comments:

Tina in CT said...

I didn't know that you could order from Amazon and have it delivered through DHL. That is nice that you now can get books for the girls.

I'll have to check to see if any of your Nancy Drews are still here in your bedroom for Katya (and hopefully Natalia too).

Wish they'd get hooked on the Boxcar Children series.

So happy that Natalia is enjoying reading her books as both sides of her families are avid readers.

zoommer said...

Oh yes, Internet washed away all those boundries.
I like your blog posts, they're so positive. :-)
And your girls are beautiful!

The Expatresse said...

Now that I'm no longer in Moscow, I order from amazon.co.uk about once a week.

Today the postman rang the bell (I have to sign for the packages as they don't fit in my mailbox, although it is big and they are not) and said to me (in French), "You know the song . . ."

Do you have your amazon DHL stuff sent to C's office? I would to avoid having to go to my local P.O.

Ian said...

I think the new International Amazon Kindle works in Moscow. You should really look into it. High upfront investment but then easy access to books. My 12 year old loves his. They are actually pretty sturdy. Or for free you can download the Amazon Kindle app for the PC, buy books and read them on the PC. Kindle is more fun though.

Ian said...

My 12 year old just told me "reading paper books is so last century dad"

Annie said...

It is so interesting how one thing or another will "grab" someone. Some teacher left a few books in the lounge and I picked up a couple - one was a series about fairies. For some inexplicable reason (to me) both Anastasia and Zhenya DEVOURED that book! I wished I'd been able to take a photo of her reading and him reading over her shoulder - and the funny part is that neither of them are that fond of reading...

Annie said...

Good luck Ian - Kate at "From Russia with Love" got one and within only weeks it fell off the coffee table, as I recall, broke and they would not replace it! That was all I needed! It would take a lot for me to spend that much on something that could be worthless in an instant.

Tina in CT said...

Has she switched from buying the American Girl doll of the year to getting a kindle?