We have a bookstore in my town which, despite the growth of Amazon, has survived. One reason is customer loyalty. Where I live, the natives like to think local. I am not a fan of the store, though I do buy books there. I was proud of them once, when Salman Rushdie was targeted for death by a Fatwa for Satanic Verses. In response, the owners displayed the book in the shop window — a defiant gesture in defense of artistic freedom. Still, this same store does little to promote local writers unless they have a national reputation. I’d like the store better if the owners thought locally like their customers.
The shop buys and sells used books as well as new ones. They don’t buy much and they don’t pay much for what they buy. What’s more, they charge the earth for books they’ve bought for a song. Their policy is part of the reason why I’m burned with them today.
For two years, I’ve been saving credits from my trade-ins to obtain a copy of Haruki Murakami’s latest tome, 1Q84. The hardback cost $30 — too much to pay for a novel I’d read once. I decided to play a game with myself. I’d save my credits from the store until I obtained enough for a second hand copy of the book . I didn’t accumulate credits fast, thanks to the store’s stingy policy. A year passed and Murakami’s novel came out in paperback. I could have bought it then, but I pursued my goal and went on saving. Another year went by. Finally, I had $17.00 in credits and, as luck would have it, I found a used paperback on the shelves for $16.95. Eureka! I was happy.
Once home, I sat down with the book and a cup of coffee, ready to reward myself for my patience. Unfortunately, curiosity got the better of me. I removed the sticker to reveal the original price. What did I find? My used book cost the same as a new one, $16.95. AAUGH, as Charlie Brown would say.
(Courtesy of yahoo.com)