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pink moon gonna get you all

So a new Temeraire book came out. In fact, it has been out for more than a month and I am a librarian and I didn't know this. Oh god, fail. (Okay, so maybe the rural redneck appetite for dragons-in-the-Napoleonic-era is not as large as I would have hoped.)

So I found out at work today and obviously flipped out, for I must have it! And of course my county library doesn't have it anywhere, and the next county over has all their copies checked out with a waiting list, because apparently Cincinnati is cooler than I thought.

Okay, so my library options were out. I would simply have to buy it. I didn't really want to get the Kindle edition, since my other six books are in print and you can't just change format in the middle of a series! Plus, I saw that the Kindle price was $13 and I physically recoiled. The actual physical hardcover copy of the book (with deckle edges!) was only $15.50. And I have gift cards, so that should work, right?

Oh, it won't ship until Monday? And then the cheap shipping is an extra 5 days on top of that? Well, boo.

Next step: Check Walmart, because it's the only place within 20 miles I can actually purchase a book. Listed price: $14.40! Woo! But it's online only, and it would take a full week to have it shipped to my store. Ugh.

How about Barnes and Noble? Sure, it's like an hour-long round trip, but it's also right across the street from an ice-cream shop, and that's never a bad thing...

The website says $15.50, same as Amazon. So I call and ask them to hold a copy for me, figuring I can run out after work and get it. And just as I'm about to hang up, I get an itchy feeling and I ask her to confirm the price for me.

The in-store price is $25.

So to clarify. I am supposed to pay Barnes and Noble an extra $10 for the privilege of driving 30 miles each way on $3.80-per-gallon gas, paying to park, and browsing the goddamn store where I might have bought something else as well!

Yeah. That'll keep your brick-and-mortar stores in existence. Good job, guys.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
byslantedlight
Apr. 7th, 2012 08:09 am (UTC)
You want the book now. You can't get the book now from online sellers - which is one reason it's cheaper.

You can get the book now, in-store from Barnes and Noble. It's not their fault that you live 30 miles away and have to pay for petrol, presumably thousands of their customers don't. They've done the work of ordering and physically receiving the book for you, and of storing it until you get there. There's no risk of it being lost in the post, or held up by problems with the post, it will be there waiting for you. That's what you're paying the extra $10.00 for.

I think we forget that bookshop prices haven't gone up, we're paying less when we buy online because we're being provided with less of a service. If we buy online then we have to wait for things - we decide ourselves whether that wait is worth the extra $10 (£5, whatever) or not. I just bought three books from a bookshop that I could have got much more cheaply online - I could have waited for them, but I decided that the value of having them now was worth the difference in price. Plus I had the joy of browsing the bookshop (which will be gone forever if we all decide that a cheaper price is more important).
tears_of_nienna
Apr. 7th, 2012 02:46 pm (UTC)
My thinking is this: When bookstores are so few and far between, and online ordering is so easy, they need an incentive to get people to make the trip and come into the store.

I don't feel like the "I want it now" mentality is quite so pervasive in the general public (judging by the 100-person library queues for new books). Anybody who's not fanatic about a series or an author is going to buy it online and wait--so who's using the actual stores anymore? If the prices were comparable, maybe more people would come.

Don't get me wrong. If money wasn't a big deal, I'd go down right now and pay the extra, because I love that book series and may possibly be basing my Pros BB on it. :) I just hate that I can't justify going to a bookstore anymore.
byslantedlight
Apr. 7th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
I go to the bookshops! I'm using them! *g* And I go for the browsing, because that's when I find new books and new interests, and sometimes re-kindle old ones, by actually seeing a physical book on a shelf, waiting for me to take it home. The incentive for me is books in my hand, and the adventure of bookshelf possibilities - I don't get the latter from online ordering.

I can't always get to a bookshop, and that's when I order online - and when I know specifically what I want, such as the next in a series - but I'm always rather sorry that I do end up doing it. I suppose twenty years ago I'd've just waited until I could get to a bookshop - we used to be forced into patience (and for the next ep in a series, too). Mind you, twenty years ago I was a city girl, so that didn't happen very often anyway! *g* But why aren't I more patient now - just because I don't have to be? I know that if bookshops aren't supported, then the bliss of browsing is going to vanish, and I'm happy to pay the same prices as I ever have for books. The bookshops have many more overheads than online shops do, and that's where the extra money goes - I don't see how they could lower prices overall without making other cuts, to staff salaries and so on...

$25 for a new publication in hardback is about what I remember the price ever to be, in $ and £ - then again, I could very rarely justify paying that for a hardback novel, even now I force myself into patience to wait for the paperback version (easier to curl up with in bed, too...), so I guess we all have our limits. I won't be reading the new Temeraire until it does come out in paperback... Why in the world don't they release the paperbacks at the same time as the hardbacks? I bet most people who buy hardbacks would buy them anyway...

Mind you, I'm a bit appalled by the Kindle price, as you said - especially since it's really a price for borrowing the book, and in theory it could be taken away from you again... if I buy a book, I want it on my shelf for good! *g* I have been wondering if Kindle book prices will creep up to virtually paper book prices, as more and more people get used to reading that way...

And finally (you've caught me in chatty-mode! *g*) - well done all those people requesting books at the library! Even when I wasn't a "fan" of anything, I wouldn't have had the patience to wait for 100 other people to read a book before I could borrow it - unless I couldn't afford to buy it at all...
(Deleted comment)
squeeful
Apr. 7th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
I am going to counter the blah by going DRAGONS YAY!
scarletsherlock
Apr. 10th, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
Do you still have access to libraries with OhioLINK? I am SO spoiled. heh.
tears_of_nienna
Apr. 10th, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
I miss OhioLINK. Almost as much as I miss JSTOR! Just because I'm not a student doesn't mean I stopped wanting to read nerdy articles!

PS: How was your panel?! I had thought about driving up on Saturday, but a few days before, I found out that a friend had a spare ticket to the opening night Reds game... :D
scarletsherlock
Apr. 11th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
I guess you don't have an OU branch anywhere close by? You're an alumni so you should still have access to everything, I believe. If you get a State Library of Ohio Card, you can get access to OhioLINK and pick it up at an OhioLINK library near you. List of libraries: http://www.ohiolink.edu/members-info/

FAQ: http://www.library.ohio.gov/PCS/Circulation/CircFAQ#ques10

How to get a card: http://www.library.ohio.gov/PCS/publicpatron

The panel went very well. The con itself was down about 30% due to being the first time we've had it on Easter. But panel attendance was extremely good overall. We had several Katnisses (Katnissi? haha) all weekend, too. I was a little surprised that many people did not seem to like the movie as much as I did.
tears_of_nienna
Apr. 12th, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I am going to look into these things! *nerdy glee* Thank you!

I am glad your panel went well. I've heard a lot of comments from people who didn't enjoy the movie quite as much as I did, too. My little sister is kind of "meh" about the movie, and she adored the books.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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