I have been having a really tough time keeping up with my life lately. It seems as though every minute of every day is accounted for, and there's just no room to breathe. Even the tiniest setback has massive consequences, and it's driving me insane. This morning I had an unexpected phone call that lasted 20 minutes. Before I knew it, I'm two hours behind with no way of catching up. At this point I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Thanks to the diminishing flight schedule out of my tiny local airport, finding good connections to East Coast flights out of Seattle is almost impossible... both coming and going. Unless you like a 6-hour layover, which I don't. This means a drive over the mountains, which is not a big deal except I'm so tired that the 2-1/2 hour trip is paramount to torture. Not that I have any choice.
Originally, I was supposed to meet up with a friend to go see Wolverine. But the reviews for the film haven't been the greatest. Add that to the complete failure of Spider-Man 3, X-Men, X-Men 2, and the horrendously shitty X-Men 3, and I just couldn't do it. Why risk spending my precious little free time stuck in a theater watching something that totally blows?
So I decided to wait for Wolverine on DVD and have dinner with my sister instead. That's a guarantee of time well-spent.
After a fantastic dinner and a quick game of cards, it was off to the airport. But first I had to stop for disinfectant wipes (SWINE FLU! OMFG! SWINE FLU!!). I also wanted to pick up a book to read since I left the one Vahid gave me back home. Barnes & Noble Books was on the way, so I thought I'd dash in real quick and grab a new sci-fi paperback.
The rest of this entry has been rated R for profanity and other naughtiness...
When I go to a library to check out a book, I expect that the books there will have been previously read. That's the nature of a library, after all... a bunch of used books that everybody shares.
When I go to a book store, however, I fully expect that anything I purchase will be in new condition. I am, after all, paying full price for the merchandise they sell.
After all this talk about Dune in my blog lately, I decide it might be a good idea to re-read the original book by Frank Herbert. There was one copy available. I pull it out and discover that the cover is mangled and the spine is bent open at several places. It was painfully obvious that the book was used, not new. I skip over a spot and there's an over-sized 40th anniversary edition of the book. It's $10 more, but at least it doesn't have somebody's swine flu all over it. I open it up to see if there's a special introduction or something for the anniversary edition, and instead find dirty fingerprints on the title page. I skim through the book and notice that there are smudgy fingerprints scattered throughout the entire book. Just like before, it's been used.
What the hell?
Is Barnes & Noble cheating people by selling used books as new? How can that be?!?
And then I see it.
Throughout the store, there are big comfy chairs and tables.
These chairs are where people sit down with huge stacks of books and magazines so they can spend all day reading them. These chairs are where new books are turned into used books.
I. Am. Furious.
THIS IS A FUCKING BOOK STORE YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES... NOT A FUCKING LIBRARY! PEOPLE ARE BUYING THESE BOOKS THAT YOU'RE STINKING UP!
Well fuck that. And fuck the total losers that don't know what a fucking library is. And especially fuck Barnes & Noble for encouraging people to turn their new books into used books by having all those lounge chairs and tables everywhere. And fuck Barnes & Noble again for then selling their used books at full price. In fact, fuck chain book stores in general for being so stupid that they cater to those who don't buy shit instead of paying customers.
I mean, seriously... what is the fucking point of having chairs and tables everywhere in a fucking BOOK STORE?!?
Paying customers aren't going to be sitting down and reading books for free... no... they're going to buy their books then go home and read them there. Or on a plane. Or on a cruise ship. Or where-the-fuck-ever. And if paying customers aren't going to be using all those chairs, THEY SHOULDN'T BE THERE!
I am fucking done with these book stores that don't give a shit that their customers have to buy USED books.
Guess I'll just have to pick something up at an airport kiosk.
WHERE THEY DON'T LET PEOPLE READ YOUR BOOKS!! ARRRRRRGH!!!
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I just picked up the 40th anniversary edition of Dune myself since it was on the discount(!)table. Upon examining the copies that were left, it seemed the same greasy fingered pig had to handle every one of them. Ugh! Show items that don’t belong to you a little respect! This one of the reasons I don’t like to lend out my books. I remember loaning a book to someone and they immediately bent the front cover around to the back and started to read. ARGH! I guess I’m just a bit uptight in that way…
I stopped going to bookstores for this exact reason. I’d go to get a new book and they would all be either dirty, or torn, or covered in snot…(in the kids section). I am not going to pay $19.99 and up for something that looks like it came from the Goodwill 5 cent bin!
This is exactly the reason Josh and I have not stepped foot in a Barnes & Noble, ever.
I recommend George RR Martins “Song of Ice and Fire” series. He hasn’t finished the series yet but it is very good. Now if only the next edition would come out.
People wonder why Barnes & Noble and Borders are having trouble. They let people read their books for free and then nobody wants to buy the “used” copies. I’ve had the same problem. Next time you’re in Chicagoland, I’ll introduce you to Anderson’s Bookshop. May require a trek out to the suburbs if you’re up to it.
O.M.G. that would piss me off to no end too… Did you scream? IN the bookstore?
I can understand wanting to give people that bookstore casual vibe by allowing them to read in the store while they drink coffee and eat their sticky buns HOWEVER people should only be allowed to read the books that they have already purchased.
With that said, I hate it when I want a book now now now because honestly, I’d rather order everything online these days!
Well thank God you weren’t buying a kids book at B & N – this thing would be like, XXX rated!!!
You should just buy a Kindle. They’re really awesome!
That is one of my pet peeves as well. It’s funny because when my kids were little and I took them to the bookstore, they would always LOUDLY ask why the people were reading the books instead of buying them and bringing them home. I had no answer for that. I also have no idea why the store would encourage that. Doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I can see looking at the book to see if you want to buy it, but sitting down and reading it? That isn’t what I would want people to do if I owned a book store!
During my University years, I worked part time at a small family-owned bookstore located in a strip-mall. It was nice having access to all the books, and a great deal of my wages went straight back to the owners in bought books.
We didn’t have chairs in the store, but that didn’t stop “The Reader” who would take a book off of the shelf and then *lean* against the shelf for hours while reading, thus blocking access to the books there for other customers. It would make me so angry, but the owners would never let us say anything about it because the guy did buy books.
So I fully understand and share your displeasure at these freeloaders that just come in, read for free and leave the books laying about wherever for the staff to pick up and re-shelf.
I’m OCD about the condition of my books and the thought of them having greasy fingerprints in them before I’ve even bought them makes me shudder.
That’s why I quit buying them in the stores and only buy online… or just get them from my library. Sometimes the ones in the library are in better condition than the ones in the bookstore! Sad, but true. At least then you know what you’re getting.
Once again, you’re right on the money. I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought a book or a magazine at Borders or B & N. It’s one of my quirks…I like my new stuff to be PRISTINE. I can’t even buy a box of spaghetti off the shelf if it looks like it’s been handled.
If I buy a book at a used bookstore, thrift store, or yard sale, I understand that it is USED, and that’s why I pay less for it. If the bookstore wants to sell books that have been previously loved, they should start knocking the price down…otherwise, I’d prefer my book shrink-wrapped, thanks.
I agree with you that having the big comfy chairs in the store invites the slime of the world to sit and read the book in the store without buying it.
But, I have taken a good 3-4 books off the shelf and went over to a table and chairs and had sat down, going through them to see which book met my needs. This is extremely helpful with tech books. I skimmed through several of the Final Cut Express 4 books before deciding on the one that I felt was the best. Without this option, I don’t think I could have picked the book I needed.
Granted, I was only skimming these books for under 15 mins, and I didn’t have greasy fingers touching the pages and I treated the covers like it wasn’t my own book.
Amazon.com helped some, too, with their “browse a book” option, but having the actual book to see and hold and view some of the lessons, I made a purchase that fit my needs.
I hardly ever buy a book new but when I do, I would like it to be actually NEW. I bet with the economy being in the shitter and people are unemployed, camping out in B & N all day to read and not buy books is one way to pass the time. I’m not encouraging it but I can understand why people are doing it. Most of the time the library doesn’t have the books I want in stock and have to wait on a list. Plus, libraries don’t have coffee shops. 😉 JK.
Glad you got to spend time with your sister!
I think they should have the “lounge” area over by the Starbucks and have it kind of fenced off…a “no unpurchased books in this area” type of thing. Then people can still have that “vibe” or wtfever that they’re looking for but with books they’ve paid for.
Did you express any of this ire to a manager? I don’t think I would have been able to stop myself.
I get particularly frustrated when I find out that the eBook I’ve purchased is used. I want new bytes, damn it!
Crazier than that is that libraries are looking to places like Barnes & Nobel for business practices, not to mention design. And every single effing time I say, ‘But we have completely different purposes!’ I get blank stares.
Agreed. I get totally OCD about checking new books for flaws before I buy them.
Also, I frakkin’ love my library.
This drives me crazy too. Although, when I realized that bookstores are encouraging people to sit and read (but not pay), I decided that if I should ever become homeless, I’m living in a bookstore. They have comfy furniture and I can read all day without buying anything. And I could try to con college students into buying me snacks from the coffee shop in return for telling them how Hamlet ends.
Excellent rant and I couldn’t agree more! This is why I have completely stopped purchasing books from large chain bookstores. Although, it’s pretty rare for me to even buy a physical book anymore since getting my Kindle last year.
That all having been said, I will be hitting a B&N in a couple of weeks for a Jen Lancaster book signing event. However, I did order my copy of her latest book from Amazon rather than risking getting a grubbed up copy at B&N.
I totally f***ing agree. F***ing totally!
But, but….what about POWELL’S??
I’ve bought a lot of stuff at Powell’s and have never received anything but pristine new books. Same for Elliott Bay Book Co. in Seattle. Apparently people go to REAL book stores TO BUY BOOKS!!
There is nothing i hate more then breaking the spine of a book! call me anal call me what you will but nothing gives me more pleasure then a nice hard cover book in wonderful condition.
when i buy my books i want them new, and make sure they remain that way on my bookshelf.
ive flipped out on the mrs. a couple of times when she opens up a book and the first thing she does is presses it down in such a way to guarantee spin breaking!!
SAVE THE SPINES!! be good to the books people!!!
I agree with you about B&N. I always end up ordering from Amazon. As for the movie Wolverine, if you were ever a fan of the comic books, it’s very satisfying to see his story come to life on the big screen. I think they did a good job and I definitely enjoyed the movie.
The only time I read books at B&N is when I’ve picked out a book I know I’m about to buy, Ty-man is taking for-fucking-ever in the magazine section, and I sit down for a spell to read the first chapter in the book I’m about to pay for.
But, I’m with you. Read it if you’re going to buy it. Maybe B&N and other book stores should have “tester” books. A copy of each popular/new book that you can snag and read while you’re there. I don’t know. That probably wouldn’t work.