Monday, March 04, 2013

One of the things I did on Friday that kept me from making an anniversary post was spend a gift certificate at a brick and mortar bookstore. It's a privately owned small business, so I won't name it or link. Years ago I volunteered for a local charity, where we spent an evening there gift-wrapping purchases during the holidays to raise money, so I've never felt anything but kindly toward the place. Until now...

This will probably sound ungrateful, especially since it was for a sizable amount, but I was kind of pissed when I got the gift certificate, and it took me quite a while to bother spending it. I'm usually all about buying local and avoiding chains, but in this case, I'm an enthusiast (since I hate to go to stores and shop), I love the convenience of finding what I want quickly and easily, I love having the item arrive on my porch two days later, and I love my kindle and e-books. So while I am thrilled to get a gift certificate that facilitates my love of reading, I was upset that using it would be time consuming and result in dead trees.

Further aggravating, I tried visiting the store a couple of months ago, and they essentially have banker's hours. So on Friday I finally got there, and had a very hard time finding things to buy! I eventually located enough frivolous items to come within $10 of the amount, and the clerk told me I had to spend $5 more get change. Are you kidding me?

I felt like I had somehow transported back in time to the '90s -- that seems to be the business model this store is utilizing. All the prices are retail -- and much more than I could find the identical item sold for elsewhere. A man came in and asked for a recent book by a well-known author and was told they'd have to order it. They did not have a good selection of any subject, not even titles that would be better in paper, such as coffee table art books. All during the spree, I was shaking my head and grumbling under my breath "this place is filled with Luddites!" and "just take the gas pipe already." Bob was in stitches over my antics.

One thing I bought that I never would have thrown $13.99 away on without the gift certificate was a pair of lighted eyeglass readers. They look funny, like something from outer space, which tickles me. They will be great for reading the tiny font on menus in the dark bistros we frequent.

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