Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bookshopping

Let me fill you in.

I ordered a book - Glenda Larke's Stormlord Rising - in January from my local bookshop. Meantime I kept The Last Stormlord by my bed - I won't say how often I reread it because that would show just how eagerly I was waiting for the next book and that would be pathetic. I was told the new book would be out March 1 and they would ring me when it arrived.

Then Glenda's teasers went up on Voyager Online. Three chapters doled out at weekly intervals. I started counting the days. I tried reading other books. Didn't work. If I chewed my nails there'd be none left by now. March 4, 5, 6. No phone call. Books sometimes get delayed reaching the far distant West so I controlled myself. Confined to the house with a bout of ill health I couldn't even go and check for myself - and Pisces already thinks I have too many books so I couldn't send him. March 6,7,8. This was ridiculous not to mention stressful. Finally I made to the shop on March 10.

There on the shelves was Stormlord Rising. Off I went to the counter book clutched firmly and trying to be polite.

"I ordered this book a couple of months ago. How long has it been in?"

"Oh since March 1. Any orders that weren't picked up we put on the shelf."

My jaw literally dropped. "Excuse me."

"Any orders that weren't collected were put on the shelf."

"But when I ordered it you said you'd ring when it came in."

"We did. We rang everyone and if it wasn't picked up we put it on the shelf."

"But I've been home sick for two weeks. No-one rang."

"We rang everyone."

I felt as if I'd wandered into an alternate universe or perhaps Basil Fawlty had gone into the book selling business. This conversation was not going anywhere and there was obviously no point in my pursuing it.

"Well, I'll take these." You didn't really think I could walk into a book shop and only buy one book, did you?

I left with the manager muttering darkly about "checking up out the back".

I'm not sure what that might achieve because this is not the first time this has happened. I've even been notified that a book is in and gone there the next day only to be told on one occasion it hadn't yet arrived. That was a year ago and apparently it still hasn't arrived. The sad thing is that I will still have to patronise this shop because the shopping centre has replaced the other book seller with two new fashion boutiques.

4 comments:

Laura E. Goodin said...

Amazon. The Aussie is strong right now so even with the postage it could actually work out cheaper than a "real" bookstore.

I'm a big fan of *independent* bookstores and will cheerfully pay a bit extra; moreover, they often have stuff I can't get through Amazon. However, Big Chain Bookstores Must Die. They do NOTHING that Amazon doesn't do a thousand times better. Do not feed them.

Imagine me said...

Good advice I think, Laura.

Maja said...

Agree with Laura about big chain bookstores.
How about Boomerang Books (Oz) or Book Depository (UK)? Book Depository is great value and no postage, so I've become addictive (well, perhaps more addictive :).
All the best

Imagine me said...

Maja, I've been avoiding that option because I just know I won't be able to exercise any restraint but it's looking more appealing by the minute.