Thursday, August 10, 2006

Why I hate Barnes and Noble (and Borders)

I live in the suburbs (say what you want--I made my decision and I'm sticking with it). My nearest new bookstore is, of course, a Barnes and Noble. So, with some extra time on Tuesday night, I stopped in to take a look at the new book by Daniel Woodrell, Winter's Bone. I had heard an NPR interview that left me intrigued. Add to that, the book had been reviewed in many, many places. It sounded like something I would like, and I thought I'd go in and read a couple pages to see if I might buy the book (I'm reluctant to add new books to my much too long to-be-read list). Imagine my surprise/anger when I realized that my Barnes and Noble did not stock the book. Brand new book, out that day, reviewed in dozen papers and not one copy for sale.
Okay, so the buyer at the local big-box-bookstore isn't up to date. No real surprise. Well, I'll look at the new paperback edition of Aimee Bender's Willful Creatures. I'd finally listened to the interview at Pinky's Paperhaus, and I thought I definitely need to read this book. Imagine then my lack of surprise when the store also did not stock this book. Brand new edition, released that day--nada. That's it, I'm outta here.
So, then last night I'm at the mall (did I mention I live in the suburbs?--it comes with the territory), and I popped in the Borders. Believe me, at this point I didn't have much hope, and surprise--not one copy of the new Woodrell book and not one book by Aimee Bender on the shelves. Argh. (I did end up buying a bargain book there, but I'll explain that one later.)
Tonight, I am going to go out of my way to go the suburban branch of Tattered Cover Bookstore, which is a really great independent store, but if they don't have either book....


  1. What I really loathe is Barnes and Noble's and now Border's policy of no exchange without a receipt. I have a stack now of five books that were among 15 I received while recovering at home from some surgery -- five books I don't want (all hardcover, yet) and neither store will take them. They are not obscure or odd books either. NO MORE Borders and Gift Cards, no not. I'll tell my relatives, my friends. I don't want them. I don't want to go into those stores.

  2. The return policy seems sane. It keeps morons from returning crap to stores that the stores neither need nor want. Sell your books on ebay or something and don't bring em back to a store.