Friday, September 26, 2008

The Book Store Blues

Florence is not a niche market. There is nothing I'd like more to have a yarn store and a cross-stitch store in town. Instead, I have to go out of town for yarn and buy from Hobby Lobby, which has a little inventory on a lot of items. It's the same deal with bookstores. We have one Used Book Store (UBS) and two chain stores. No independent stores. This if very frustrating for a reader. 

Until as recent as a year ago, we only had one chain bookstore in town. (I won't name names.) I was a captive buyer. The customer service at this store was sketchy to say the least. The help had no clue what the difference between a trade paperback, a mass market paperback, and a hardcover was. I'd come in, looking for a book on its release date, say it was a mass market book, and they'd look with the trades and hardcovers. I told them that it wouldn't be on the tables (Avon Romances generally don't buy table room for their MMPs), I told them the internet said it was out on this date, and they'd tell me that the internet release dates were just for the online stores. 

Don't lie to me. Apparently, I know more about the book industry than these bozos. I know when they're making stuff up because they don't know. I don't make stuff up when a student asks me a question about important stuff, so please don't make up stuff about a book. 

Another issue was the alphabetizing of books by author's last name. They didn't. The history department? Effed up and totally focused on WW2 and the Civil War. The biographies should be shelved according to subject's name, not author's, but half of the section was one way, the other half another way. Is it any wonder I shop online? 

And then the second store opens. Things pick up for a while. Books are alphabetized. Customer service picked up. Sadly, it was not to last. 

And I'd go to the other book store, but it's another ten minutes away through traffic at the mall, and it's too slick. The cafe, the DVDs, the CDs. What happened to a book store? 

Looks like I'll be sticking to the online stores and PaperBack Swap for a while longer. 

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