Take Care Of Your Books Book Stores!


I love when people basically say “I have no idea what you want, so let’s go to the book store and you have a budget”. So it was that over the weekend I had a good $60 to spend on books at Borders. (Yes, I realize my financial situation isn’t all the happy at the moment, but quite honestly, it’s not my money I was spending and my Grandma under no circumstance would let me not have something nice for Christmas because, well, she’s my Grandma and trying to tell her “I’d rather use it to pay for something not so fun” is like saying I’d rather have a vaccine shot for rabies).
In any case, I was at Borders perusing the books looking for some titles I had really hoped to get to read in 07 when I started to notice something that just really irritates me. I hate going into a bookstore that carries nothing but new books to find that some of the books are actually in really shoddy condition. What makes it worse is when you find a book you really wanted to read (say, Endgame by Kristin Smith) and you grab it with a big smile on your face and your little heart beating only to find that the cover is mangled, the book curved, etc.
I have no problem buying books in used condition…when I’m buying from a used book store. But I think there is an expectation when you go to a book store that carries only new books. You expect that the books will be in very good, if not brand spanking new condition. I understand that mint condition is pretty much impossible considering that the book gets put in boxes and touched and moved around, but is it too much to ask that book stores actually take care of the books? How hard is it to put the book on the shelf without bending it or mangling it? Or, maybe discount the books that are mangled, because I won’t buy them. I see no reason to pay full price for a mangled book. That’s like buying a t-shirt with uneven arm holes and an upside-down pocket for the same price as the same t-shirt with perfect arm holes and a rightside-up pocket.
Needless to say I left Borders a little disappointed. I got some other books I wanted and some new books I hadn’t heard of, but I really wanted Endgame (there were some others I saw that were mangled that I wanted, but I can’t remember the titles).
But enough of that. Annoyances are short lived anyway.

On a side note, I officially have three batches of questions out to authors/editors and now I’m just waiting for responses. Expect three interviews to be coming this January (I hope)

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

5 thoughts on “Take Care Of Your Books Book Stores!

  1. Oh just ask for a reduction, silly! I always do. Or I used to, now I’d rather pay extra and have a pretty book because I’m just lame …

    Anyway, I’ve asked a few times and got 10% off.

  2. Agreed. Books should be in mint condition if boughten new … the purchaser wants to enjoy, cherish, and mangle the book for them self.

    Wishing ya luck on your manuscripts! 2008 is a brand new year for everything to come your way 🙂

    Side note: The Dark Crystal is a great classic too.

  3. Honestly, it’s a pain in the arse to get a reduction on costs for anything here in the U.S. It’s just not worth the effort. I’d rather not get the book and wait for later.

  4. I’m with you on this one. I’d be curious to know, at what point does a book cross over from new condition (such as small defects from shipping like curved corners or parts of th cover worn off) to truly mangled (i.e. cover bent in half, etc.)?

    I think more often than not it is the browsers in the store, the customers themselves who truly do most of the damage. How much of this is just people’s innate respect or lack thereof for books?

  5. I agree. I don’t think the bookstore itself is responsible for damaging the book, but I think they should be responsible for pulling books from the shelf that are mangled and discounting them. It is really depressing to be browsing and get all excited because you see a book you really want, then you pull it out and it’s mangled…

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