Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Frustration at the Bookstore

I've not been having very good luck recently when it comes to shopping for books.

I went into the bookstore yesterday looking for a few specific books. One of the books was the second of a Star Trek trilogy and had been recently released on the 29th of April. I'd bought the first book of the trilogy in this store the day it was released, so I was surprised to see that they didn't have the book.

When I went to the front desk, they looked it up for me. They found the book on their database with a note saying that the store wouldn't be carrying that book.

WTF? Why on Earth would a bookstore carry the first book of a trilogy, then decide not to carry the other two. If they weren't going to carry all three, then there was no point in stocking the first one. And it's Star Trek; it's not as if the books won't sell.

I was also looking for the paperback release of another series of books, which again, they didn't have.

I ended up leaving the store empty handed and irritated.

My town has only one mega bookstore, in this case, Books A Million. I've noticed that they're carrying far fewer books than previously. The politics and current events section, for example has more books displayed with the front cover showing, rather than shelving them with the spines showing. The only reason to shelve in this manner is to make fewer books fill up the same amount of space.

At the same time, they've recently devoted an entire aisle on both sides to those Japanese longer-length comic books, which has taken space away from other books of a more serious nature. Catering to the lowest common denominator, yet again.

Books A Million has had a monopoly in our town for nearly ten years, as the next closest mega-bookstore is thirty miles away. Thankfully, this monopoly is about to come to an end, as a new Barnes and Noble store is currently under construction in my town. I can only hope that it will not follow the same stocking decisions as Books A Million and I'll be able to find the books I'm looking for without always having to order online.

On a related note, I went to buy a new pair of sneakers today, as I had a fifteen dollars off coupon for the store. I found the shoes I wanted, but none in my size, naturally. I'd checked online to see if that store had the style in my size before driving there, which the website assured me that it did. I guess I could order them online, but shoes are something I like to try on before I buy to make sure the fit is correct and that they're comfortable.


1 comment:

Grouchy said...

On the bookstore issue, you encountered something I have been noticing for a while, the death of literature. Well more than that I guess if even Star Trek books are hard to get.
I told a frienda year or so ago I doubted that Mark Twain would get published today, a week or so later I found a web article that someone had actually tested the theory .. well with Jane Austin. Sending in the first chapter to have it rejected by most publishers. Apparently only one even recognzed it.

As for the shoes,and most anything else, never trust what the web claims a store has in stock. The databases are not maintained like that (or very rarely anyway).