Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, December 20, 2010


Yesterday, Brenda gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble for the holidays. She said in retrospect it should have been to Amazon since I have the Kindle, but I'm on the same side of town as Barnes & Noble and she thought I could stop by. I was quite happy with it. Books are books, no matter where they come from, and there are occasionally books I can find there but not at Amazon (such as the HP Lovecraft collections I got everyone in the game one year, that were actually put out by B&N.) So I started thinking, what book would I like? I had been on the PaperBackSwap site the other day because I'd sent off a book and when that person gets it, they're supposed to mark it as received so I have a credit. There were two books I was interested in, and one was available, Patrick O'Leary's The Gift, which in paperback is still $18, and I dearly loved it when I read it from the library. So I'll order that through the reciprocal book club if it's still up for grabs.

What they didn't have available was the third book of The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, called Against All Things Ending, by Stephen R Donaldson. I have the first two, one of which I got through the paperback club even though it's hardcover, and I've wanted to have all three before I read them. So, that was a great thing to get with Brenda's gift certificate.

Of course, that was $20, and if you pay $25, shipping is free. Plus, Barnes & Noble was running a coupon special today that if you put in a code, you got 25% off one item. This was tempting. So I thought, what would be a second book to get? I decided, oddly enough, on one that I have on the Kindle, but I'd really like to help encourage the writer to write more books, and I love the colour of the US cover. This would be the Pericles Commission by Gary Corby. I decided I wanted to get the hardcover anyway, even though I'm reading it on the Kindle.

That, with tax and shipping, would originally have been about $45 for the two books. But with the deal and the gift card, I'd be able to get it for less than either book by itself.

That was the idea. But this morning I spent over an hour being frustrated by a checkout process that involved odd hoops and dead ends. I couldn't remember my password, so I asked for a reset, but the e-mail never came (it wasn't in my spam blocker, it just didn't happen.) I went ahead and checked out without signing in, so I had to type in everything again. I tried to use the code, but it kept saying it was invalid. I finally gave up and just closed the browser and got ready for work, thinking it would have been easier to schlep through the snow and ice to Hamburg rather than get through their system. I don't handle frustration wonderfully, although I am much less likely to become frustrated than I once was. The is the first time I've been so annoyed in a good long while. But I forced myself to calm down and go out into the world and try to enjoy my Monday.

When I got home, I decided it might be worth trying again. Again, I tried to reset the password, with no luck. But it let me re-create an account. And this time the coupon code worked, so maybe they were having issues this morning. All in all my order came to $15.01, much better than the $45 it would have been originally.

I was determined I was going to get it to work this time. I must say, Amazon seems to have a much easier process, but I could just be biased because I use it so much. But I'm glad I finally got it to work and didn't have to schlep off in the weather. Yay! And thanks, Brenda!

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