Holiday Orders for 2020

During the holidays, the post office and other carriers take longer to deliver packages. This year, delivery time for USPS has also been impacted by reorganizational changes begun by the new postmaster general in August as well as delays caused by the increase in mail due to the pandemic.

Normally, we can expect that orders placed with us on or before December 12 have a good chance of delivery before December 25 in the continental United States, but this year is different (as it has been in so many unexpected ways).

This year, to help us accommodate the post office, which handles 99 percent of our orders, and to help our team limit potential exposure to the virus, we are changing our expectations. For this year, we expect that orders placed with us on or before December 1 have a good chance of delivery before December 25 in the continental United States.

We thank you for your business and your support during what has certainly been the most challenging time we've experienced, and we hope that the books you receive from us help you to learn something new and rise above the situation or at least enjoy a few pleasant hours of escape.

—Cris Trautner

Credit Card Scam

Since April, we've had four people call us to say our name, Nebraska Book Source, was used in a charge on their credit card statement. The amount charged was around $50, and several of the people mentioned they thought it was for another item they had bought online, like a blow-up swimming pool. 

One person was very kind to send me a photo of what the line item charge looked like:

When a business sets up a merchant account to process credit cards, it can choose whatever text it likes to identify the business name on statement lines. Even for legitimate businesses, the identifying text can be different than the name you might expect; for example, when you're working with a business that has a parent company and uses that name on the statement or when the business name is too long to fit easily into the character limit so it's garbled and not immediately recognizable.

It is unfortunate that this particular scammer has chosen our name for his or her scamming efforts. 

The good news is the people I talked to were able to have the charges investigated by their credit card companies or banks and get them reversed, so no harm done. But it also required that their card be canceled and a new one issued, which I know from my own experience is a pain in the butt.

We've been considering rebranding and changing our name for a few years now so we could expand beyond just books related to Nebraska, and this incident has brought the idea back to the forefront of my thinking.

We are also in the process of redesigning our website on a different platform, which I expect to complete by the end of the year. We may roll out the rebrand at the same time as the website redesign, or we may wait. We've been Nebraska Book Source for a very long time, so this isn't a decision to take lightly.

If you discover a charge on your account that you don't think is legit and that has our name on it, please first contact your bank or credit card company to report it so they can start the process of reversing the charge and issuing you a new card. Then please let me know: or (402) 477-2065. We're keeping track of these incidents in case it's helpful for law enforcement.

—Cris Trautner

Holiday Orders for 2019

As always happens this time of year, the post office and other carriers take longer to deliver packages. Orders placed on or before December 12 have a good chance of making it before Christmas in the continental United States, but orders placed after December 12 are unlikely to make it in time. We appreciate your business, and we hope you have a happy and safe holiday!

Retired Admiral Dennis Jones Writes about the Lessons He Learned Growing Up in Fairbury

Vice Admiral Dennis A. Jones, USN (Ret.), has written a fun memoir about growing up in Fairbury during the late 1950s. Written to showcase the lessons he learned while coming of age in small-town Nebraska, the book also features memorable characters and antics that would probably be frowned upon today.

From the epilogue: "Every day of my career I made decisions that were based on lessons that I had learned in Fairbury, Nebraska, and on a farm in Mahaska, Kansas. For the most part, my decisions were good, but I made mistakes—sometimes, doozies. But I knew that my childhood had given me the tools necessary to succeed and to approach situations in a logical manner. I had been taught to be decisive in my decision making, but most of all, I had been taught—no, commanded—to listen. …You can learn a lot from other people, good things and bad things, if you will just listen—I made a career of it."

Readers of A Piece of Kansas Soil by Jim Cossaart may remember Jim's great-uncle, Leslie Cossaart. Leslie Cossaart was Dennis Jones's grandfather.

Check out Parables from the Prairie: How an Admiral Was Trained on Dry Land.

How a Kansas Farmer Became a Dentist in Nebraska

Jim Cossaart's touching memoir is filled with stories (true stories) from his years as a windmill repairman, blacksmith's apprentice, tractor salesman, rancher, and farmer in and near Mahaska, Kansas.

Mahaska is just across the Nebraska state line, and Jim and his family have spent enough time in Nebraska that we feel comfortable including his book on Nebraska Book Source—in addition, the book was published by Nebraska publisher Infusionmedia of Lincoln.

Jim's stories are beautifully written with humor balanced by the tragedy of situations and behavior. His writing explores the good and the bad of human nature, small towns, and family farms. Not to give away the ending, but Jim ends up as a dentist—first in Nebraska, then in Vermont. You'll have to read the book, A Piece of Kansas Soil, to find out how.

Update 5/12/17: Dennis Jones has just published Parables from the Prairie: How an Admiral Was Trained on Dry Land. Leslie Cossaart, Jim's great-uncle, was Dennis's grandfather.