Returning Books?

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Anne M. Marble

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Jan 13, 2002, 5:40:40 PM1/13/02
to
Someone on a message board I haunt mentioned that when she reads a book she
really doesn't like, she returns it to the bookstore. She believes it's the
only way to make her dissatisfaction known. (She writes the reason the book
upsets her on the card when returning the book.) Other fans felt uneasy
about the idea, and one author posted to say that she thought the whole
concept was rude. Some thought it was OK to return the book if you found out
(after starting it) that the back cover copy was misleading or if a "great"
reference book turned out to be sketchy or error-filled but didn't like the
idea of returning books. Of if the author pulled some kind of "plot cheat"
halfway through?

I've returned books if I didn't read them. I can understand returning a book
if you started it and realized it was horrid or dull. But do you feel any
qualms about returning the book after you finish it? Have you ever returned
a book after starting it because you didn't like it? Or because the author
pulled something out of his/her hat that seemed like a cheat?

----
January is Twisted High Fantasy Month at Holly Lisle's Forward Motion for
Writers
Take the challenge -- dare to be different
http://hollylisle.com/


Sea Wasp

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Jan 13, 2002, 6:57:41 PM1/13/02
to
Anne M. Marble wrote:
>
> Someone on a message board I haunt mentioned that when she reads a book she
> really doesn't like, she returns it to the bookstore. She believes it's the
> only way to make her dissatisfaction known.

I think the only reason you should return a book after purchasing it is

1) It's physically defective (Oooo, look, I get two copies of pages
101-115, but nothing of 116-130!)

2) You made a mistake in purchasing it because either you, or the
person to whom you intended to give it, already has the book

3) Without reading it, you decide -- within a day or so -- that you
really need the money back.

If you take the book home, having paid the money, and then read the
book, and decide to take it back, and demand your money back, you are
then treating the bookstore as a library. We are not libraries. We sell
books. We don't hand them to you to read in the comfort of your home and
then return them.

In modern bookstores, you have comfortable chairs and even a cafe where
you can sit down and peruse the book before purchasing. Do this. It will
save us money (yes, it costs us money to refund your money, as well as
to do the purchase with your credit card the first time -- and this is
aside from the fact that it costs us time, because returns always are
annoyingly time consuming) and you some time and frustration.

--
Sea Wasp http://www.wizvax.net/seawasp/index.htm
/^\
;;; _Morgantown: The Jason Wood Chronicles_, at
http://www.hyperbooks.com/catalog/20040.html

Captain Button

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Jan 14, 2002, 1:20:56 AM1/14/02
to
Wild-eyed conspiracy theorists insist that on Sun, 13 Jan 2002 23:57:41
GMT, Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote:
> Anne M. Marble wrote:
>>
>> Someone on a message board I haunt mentioned that when she reads a book she
>> really doesn't like, she returns it to the bookstore. She believes it's the
>> only way to make her dissatisfaction known.

She can write a short letter to the author and/or publisher saying
so and noting that she won't be buying anything by that author/publisher
again.

> I think the only reason you should return a book after purchasing it is

> 1) It's physically defective (Oooo, look, I get two copies of pages
> 101-115, but nothing of 116-130!)

> 2) You made a mistake in purchasing it because either you, or the
> person to whom you intended to give it, already has the book

> 3) Without reading it, you decide -- within a day or so -- that you
> really need the money back.

[ snip ]

I agree with Sea Wasp here. If you buy a book it is yours
and just not liking it is not grounds for returning it.

Books don't come with a "You will like this" guarantee.

If you don't like that risk, you don't have to buy them.

Personally, when I find I've accidently bought two copies of
a book, I just swear at myself and try not to do it again.
The fact that I made a mistake is not the fault of the
bookseller who sold me the book in good faith.

--
"We have to go forth and crush every world view that doesn't believe in
tolerance and free speech," - David Brin
Captain Button - but...@io.com

John Hill

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Jan 14, 2002, 2:35:30 AM1/14/02
to
Sea Wasp wrote:

> If you take the book home, having paid the money, and then read
> the book, and decide to take it back, and demand your money back, you
> are then treating the bookstore as a library. We are not libraries. We
> sell books. We don't hand them to you to read in the comfort of your
> home and then return them.

As a gift for a friend, I bought a used copy of Timothy Zahn's
_Heir to the Empire_, in hardback. I thought it was a good gift,
because he'd recently been reading a lot of the Star Wars novels.

He hated it, so he gave it back to me. I thought this was rude,
and also I didn't want it, so I snuck it back into his house. He
found it and gave it back again; this went back and forth, etc.

We declared a truce. We took it to a Barnes & Noble, went to the
Star Wars section, and stuck it on the shelf.

This might be some sort of crime, like feeding other people's
parking meters, but IANAL.

JH

Sean O'Hara

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Jan 14, 2002, 2:06:51 AM1/14/02
to
"Anne M. Marble" wrote:
>
> I've returned books if I didn't read them. I can understand returning a book
> if you started it and realized it was horrid or dull. But do you feel any
> qualms about returning the book after you finish it? Have you ever returned
> a book after starting it because you didn't like it? Or because the author
> pulled something out of his/her hat that seemed like a cheat?
>
Personally I've never finished a book that I didn't like. Even when
the ending is bad, there was still something about the book that
led me to read that far. When I find that I don't like a book, I
usually realize it by page 100 at the latest, which is soon enough
to return it. If it turns out to be merely okay and not something
I'll ever read again, I throw it on the pile I take to the used
bookstore every few months. But returning a book I've read from
cover to cover is equivalent to stealing in my mind.

Mind you, about a year ago I recall someone claiming they read
books in the bookstore -- not, sample a chapter, but read the
entire book -- and if they didn't like them, they'd put them back
on the shelf. ISTR that fellow got thrashed pretty hard by the
Posters for Intellectual Property Rights Brigade.

--
Sean O’Hara
Now an unemployed college graduate!
“Lucas and Speilberg are the most financially successful filmmakers
of all time because they're the biggest whores.” – William Goldman

Mark Atwood

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Jan 14, 2002, 2:08:14 AM1/14/02
to
John Hill <john...@fuse.net> writes:
>
> We declared a truce. We took it to a Barnes & Noble, went to the
> Star Wars section, and stuck it on the shelf.
> This might be some sort of crime, like feeding other people's
> parking meters, but IANAL.

A well known "culture jamming" trick, is to "reverse shoplift"
magazines and other items into stores that dont stock them, causing a
bit of confusion when a clerk tries to ring it up when someone does
buy it.

--
Mark Atwood | Well done is better than well said.
m...@pobox.com |
http://www.pobox.com/~mra

John Hill

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Jan 14, 2002, 3:14:31 AM1/14/02
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Mark Atwood wrote:

> A well known "culture jamming" trick, is to "reverse shoplift" magazines
> and other items into stores that dont stock them, causing a bit of
> confusion when a clerk tries to ring it up when someone does buy it.

But does this actually work, or does the clerk just say, "Oh. Jerks."
I ask this as a concerned jerk.

JH

Michael Ward

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Jan 14, 2002, 11:17:43 AM1/14/02
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"Anne M. Marble" <ama...@abs.net> wrote in message
news:I1o08.28160$Vz3.2...@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net...

> Someone on a message board I haunt mentioned that when she reads a book
she
> really doesn't like, she returns it to the bookstore. She believes it's
the
> only way to make her dissatisfaction known. (She writes the reason the
book
> upsets her on the card when returning the book.) Other fans felt uneasy
> about the idea, and one author posted to say that she thought the whole
> concept was rude. Some thought it was OK to return the book if you found
out
> (after starting it) that the back cover copy was misleading or if a
"great"
> reference book turned out to be sketchy or error-filled but didn't like
the
> idea of returning books. Of if the author pulled some kind of "plot cheat"
> halfway through?
>
> I've returned books if I didn't read them. I can understand returning a
book
> if you started it and realized it was horrid or dull. But do you feel any
> qualms about returning the book after you finish it? Have you ever
returned
> a book after starting it because you didn't like it? Or because the author
> pulled something out of his/her hat that seemed like a cheat?
>

I've never returned a book and wouldn't
unless it was damaged or I might exchange
a book that was given to me if I already had it
or wanted something else instead.

But returning a book because you didn't like
it is exceptionally rude. Why not just steel the
book and come back and pay for it if
it turns out to be good.

Mike

Randy Money

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Jan 14, 2002, 11:26:49 AM1/14/02
to
Captain Button wrote:
>
> Wild-eyed conspiracy theorists insist that on Sun, 13 Jan 2002 23:57:41
> GMT, Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote:
> > Anne M. Marble wrote:

[...]


> Books don't come with a "You will like this" guarantee.
>
> If you don't like that risk, you don't have to buy them.
>
> Personally, when I find I've accidently bought two copies of
> a book, I just swear at myself and try not to do it again.
> The fact that I made a mistake is not the fault of the
> bookseller who sold me the book in good faith.

I agree with you and Sea Wasp on everything but this one point: I don't
have a problem with this instance, and I think most booksellers realize
this happens and are not put out by it. Besides, I, for one, never get
money back when I can exchange.

What amazed me was to hear from my wife that this logic,

> Someone on a message board I haunt mentioned that when she reads a book she
> really doesn't like, she returns it to the bookstore.

is sometimes applied to goods bought in grocery stores. People often
bring back (or not) the unused portions of food that is good expecting
their money back because they found it not to their tastes. (Also, food
with expiration dates that come after the date of purchase.)

Randy M.

Sea Wasp

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Jan 14, 2002, 11:44:44 AM1/14/02
to
Sean O'Hara wrote:

> Mind you, about a year ago I recall someone claiming they read
> books in the bookstore -- not, sample a chapter, but read the
> entire book -- and if they didn't like them, they'd put them back
> on the shelf.

That would be me, except that if the book gets me to read it to the
end, I MUST have liked it. And I then buy it. Was there someone else who
not only reads books in the store, but will read even books they don't
like TO THE END while in the store?

ISTR that fellow got thrashed pretty hard by the
> Posters for Intellectual Property Rights Brigade.

It's been a very long time since ANYONE's managed to THRASH me. Flame
at me, yes, but to adminster a THRASHING you have to not only win, but
win utterly and decisively. ;)

Sea Wasp

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Jan 14, 2002, 11:46:38 AM1/14/02
to

It causes minor confusion in Borders, but only minor; either we can
confirm it's not ours and never was, in which case you may just walk out
with it, or we can determine that it may be ours left over from
something (maybe missed on last inventory) in which case you'll be
charged the most reasonable price we can determine for it.

Heather Garvey

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Jan 14, 2002, 11:51:33 AM1/14/02
to
Randy Money <rbm...@library.syr.edu> wrote:

>Captain Button wrote:
>>
>> Personally, when I find I've accidently bought two copies of
>> a book, I just swear at myself and try not to do it again.
>> The fact that I made a mistake is not the fault of the
>> bookseller who sold me the book in good faith.
>
>I agree with you and Sea Wasp on everything but this one point: I don't
>have a problem with this instance, and I think most booksellers realize
>this happens and are not put out by it. Besides, I, for one, never get
>money back when I can exchange.

Yeah, it's not like you've messed up the book. In fact, I'll
be taking back that new Vorkosigan omnibus I bought in hardback because
I thought it was the new book, not repackaged old. I'd forgotten all
about the warning here until I got home. :)

While I'm often grateful for omnibuses when it's also a reissue
of a series you can't find any more (James White's _Sector General_, for
example), some authors like Lackey seem to whip out an omnibus every
few years of books that you can still buy individually. I have no idea
which books of her Bedlam's Bard or SERRAted Edge series I have or need
any more, since there are almost as many omnibuses under different names
as originals.


--
"Shut your noisetube, Taco Human!" Heather Garvey / Raven
-- Invader ZIM ra...@xnet.com
http://www.spinnoff.com/swhc/

Mark Atwood

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Jan 14, 2002, 1:06:49 PM1/14/02
to
Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net> writes:
> John Hill wrote:
> > Mark Atwood wrote:
> >
> > > A well known "culture jamming" trick, is to "reverse shoplift" magazines
> > > and other items into stores that dont stock them, causing a bit of
> > > confusion when a clerk tries to ring it up when someone does buy it.
> >
> > But does this actually work, or does the clerk just say, "Oh. Jerks."
> > I ask this as a concerned jerk.
>
> It causes minor confusion in Borders, but only minor; either we can
> confirm it's not ours and never was, in which case you may just walk out
> with it, or we can determine that it may be ours left over from
> something (maybe missed on last inventory) in which case you'll be
> charged the most reasonable price we can determine for it.

Fair `nuf.

A related trick used by some indy and garage bands is to "shopdrop"
their CDs into record stores. The clerks apparently find them, think
that someone has torn off the strinkwrap, and rewrap them. Then
someone buys them, the clerks dont find them in the DB, but hey, they
have a price code on them,...

What does the band get out of this? Shelf space and exposure. That
shelf space that is bid for by the square inch and buyer bribed by the
kilobuck by the labels. The bands and microlabels that do this trick
consider themselves as coming ahead giving their CDs away to get on
those shelves.

And if the store catches them, what could they charge them with?

David Cowie

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Jan 14, 2002, 2:39:32 PM1/14/02
to
On Monday 14 January 2002 18:06, Mark Atwood wrote:

>
> And if the store catches them, what could they charge them with?
>

Littering?

--
David Cowie
There is no _spam in my address.

"You had to do WHAT with your seat?"

Terry Austin

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Jan 14, 2002, 2:29:31 PM1/14/02
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"Mark Atwood" <m...@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:m3g058y...@khem.blackfedora.com...
Littering. And that's about it.

And the fine for it would be the cheapest advertising the band could
ever possibly hope for.

Terry Austin


DDR

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Jan 15, 2002, 10:56:08 AM1/15/02
to
Anne M. Marble <ama...@abs.net> wrote:
: I've returned books if I didn't read them. I can understand returning a book

: if you started it and realized it was horrid or dull. But do you feel any
: qualms about returning the book after you finish it? Have you ever returned
: a book after starting it because you didn't like it? Or because the author
: pulled something out of his/her hat that seemed like a cheat?

Nope -- you pays your money, and you takes your chances. Besides, if you
return the book, then the bookstore is the one that loses money. Bookstores
don't need that kind of grief, especially independent book sellers.

In the long run, authors & books thrive on word-of-mouth publicity, so if
I read a book I didn't like, I'd either pan it to my friends & family, or
just not mention it at all.

--
DDR

kesi...@math.ttu.edu

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Jan 15, 2002, 11:24:22 AM1/15/02
to
David Cowie <david_co...@lineone.net> wrote:

: On Monday 14 January 2002 18:06, Mark Atwood wrote:

:>
:> And if the store catches them, what could they charge them with?
:>
: Littering?

And creating a nuisance.

==Jake

Sea Wasp

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Jan 15, 2002, 11:54:16 AM1/15/02
to

A *public* nuisance, thankee kindly. As documented on these 8x10 glossy
photographs with a paragraph on the back of each one describing what
each one is.

rafe von takawa

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Jan 15, 2002, 4:53:45 PM1/15/02
to

"Anne M. Marble" <ama...@abs.net> wrote in message
news:I1o08.28160$Vz3.2...@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net...


I return books all the time. I use amazon's no quibbles return policy quite
a bit, both the UK and US branches. I spend several hundred dollars a year
between both branches. I did this with Perdido Street Station and
Hamilton's latest in their UK editions--neither one thrilled me though both
came highly recommended. I also return at Borders quite a bit. I can't say
they like it but I figure I drop a few thousand a year at my local Borders
so they can deal with it. I simply don't have time to read in the
bookstore and usually have to read a chapter or even two before I decide
it's a keeper. Sometimes I return with idea of waiting for
paperback --seeing the work as not justifying the HC price.

rafe


Lee DeRaud

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Jan 15, 2002, 4:36:35 PM1/15/02
to
On Tue, 15 Jan 2002 16:54:16 GMT, Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote:

>kesi...@math.ttu.edu wrote:
>>
>> David Cowie <david_co...@lineone.net> wrote:
>> : On Monday 14 January 2002 18:06, Mark Atwood wrote:
>>
>> :>
>> :> And if the store catches them, what could they charge them with?
>> :>
>> : Littering?
>>
>> And creating a nuisance.
>
> A *public* nuisance, thankee kindly. As documented on these 8x10 glossy
>photographs with a paragraph on the back of each one describing what
>each one is.

You forgot the "circles and arrows".

Lee

rafe von takawa

unread,
Jan 15, 2002, 5:00:27 PM1/15/02
to

">
> I return books all the time. I use amazon's no quibbles return policy
quite
> a bit, both the UK and US branches. I spend several hundred dollars a
year
> between both branches. I did this with Perdido Street Station and
> Hamilton's latest in their UK editions--neither one thrilled me though
both
> came highly recommended. I also return at Borders quite a bit. I can't
say
> they like it but I figure I drop a few thousand a year at my local Borders
> so they can deal with it. I simply don't have time to read in the
> bookstore and usually have to read a chapter or even two before I decide
> it's a keeper. Sometimes I return with idea of waiting for
> paperback --seeing the work as not justifying the HC price.
>
> rafe
>
>

I needed to qualify--even though I return a lot I never ask for cash only
credit.


rafe


Sean O'Hara

unread,
Jan 15, 2002, 5:08:17 PM1/15/02
to
John Hill wrote:
> We took it to a Barnes & Noble, went to the
> Star Wars section, and stuck it on the shelf.
>
> This might be some sort of crime, like feeding other people's
> parking meters, but IANAL.
>
Reportedly $c!3n+010g!$+$ do the same thing with Elron the Half
Loony's books to make it seem like they're selling more.

John Schilling

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Jan 15, 2002, 5:41:08 PM1/15/02
to
Sean O'Hara <soh...@gmu.edu> writes:

>John Hill wrote:
>> We took it to a Barnes & Noble, went to the
>> Star Wars section, and stuck it on the shelf.

>> This might be some sort of crime, like feeding other people's
>> parking meters, but IANAL.

>Reportedly $c!3n+010g!$+$ do the same thing with Elron the Half

>Loony's books...


I find myself imagining the scene where Hubbard is hauled before
the Valar and told, "Now you must choose your destiny - will you
be Sane, or will you be Fully Loony?"

Sometime in the early 1950s, I'd guess, and we know how he answered.


--
*John Schilling * "Anything worth doing, *
*Member:AIAA,NRA,ACLU,SAS,LP * is worth doing for money" *
*Chief Scientist & General Partner * -13th Rule of Acquisition *
*White Elephant Research, LLC * "There is no substitute *
*schi...@spock.usc.edu * for success" *
*661-951-9107 or 661-275-6795 * -58th Rule of Acquisition *


J.B. Moreno

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Jan 15, 2002, 7:25:35 PM1/15/02
to
Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote:

> kesi...@math.ttu.edu wrote:
> >
> > David Cowie <david_co...@lineone.net> wrote:
> > : On Monday 14 January 2002 18:06, Mark Atwood wrote:
> > :> And if the store catches them, what could they charge them with?
> > :>
> > : Littering?
> >
> > And creating a nuisance.
>
> A *public* nuisance, thankee kindly. As documented on these 8x10
> glossy photographs with a paragraph on the back of each one describing
> what each one is.

Would there be twenty seven of these eight-by-ten colour glossy
photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of
each one explaining what each one was and to be used in evidence in
court?

--
JBM
"Your depression will be added to my own" -- Marvin of Borg

Michael Kube-McDowell

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Jan 15, 2002, 8:24:23 PM1/15/02
to
On Tue, 15 Jan 2002 21:53:45 GMT, "rafe von takawa"
<tabul...@aztech.com> carefully left the following thoughtprints
where they could be seen:

>I return books all the time. I use amazon's no quibbles return policy quite
>a bit, both the UK and US branches. I spend several hundred dollars a year
>between both branches. I did this with Perdido Street Station and
>Hamilton's latest in their UK editions--neither one thrilled me though both
>came highly recommended. I also return at Borders quite a bit. I can't say
>they like it but I figure I drop a few thousand a year at my local Borders
>so they can deal with it. I simply don't have time to read in the
>bookstore and usually have to read a chapter or even two before I decide
>it's a keeper. Sometimes I return with idea of waiting for
>paperback --seeing the work as not justifying the HC price.

This is an alien mindset to me--not as a writer, but as a
reader/consumer.

I don't demand my money back when I rent or buy or go to a movie I
later find I don't enjoy, either. I think it's appropriate for the
consumer to bear some risk in the transaction.

A separate issue is that abuse of a generous return policy raises the
costs to all, and for that reason tends to lead to less generous
policies--it's not a sustainable strategy.

K-Mac


--
Michael Kube-McDowell, author and packrat
SF and other bad habits: http://k-mac.home.att.net

Chris Byler

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Jan 15, 2002, 8:33:22 PM1/15/02
to
On Mon, 14 Jan 2002 16:44:44 GMT, Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote:

>Sean O'Hara wrote:
>
>> Mind you, about a year ago I recall someone claiming they read
>> books in the bookstore -- not, sample a chapter, but read the
>> entire book -- and if they didn't like them, they'd put them back
>> on the shelf.
>
> That would be me, except that if the book gets me to read it to the
>end, I MUST have liked it. And I then buy it. Was there someone else who
>not only reads books in the store, but will read even books they don't
>like TO THE END while in the store?

I've read books to the end in the store, realized when I finished that
it was a couple hours later than I thought it was, put the book back
on the shelf, and come back to the same bookstore a year later to buy
the paperback (and read it again, usually). If the book was bad
enough that I wouldn't buy it even in paperback, then I probably
wouldn't finish it (particularly not in one sitting in a bookstore,
which is not the best of reading environments).

--
Chris Byler cby...@vt.edu
"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the
baker that we expect our supper, but from their regard to their own
interest." -- Adam Smith, _The Wealth of Nations_

Lee Ann Rucker

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Jan 15, 2002, 8:26:02 PM1/15/02
to
In article <3C44A851...@gmu.edu>, Sean O'Hara <soh...@gmu.edu>
wrote:

> John Hill wrote:
> > We took it to a Barnes & Noble, went to the
> > Star Wars section, and stuck it on the shelf.
> >
> > This might be some sort of crime, like feeding other people's
> > parking meters, but IANAL.
> >
> Reportedly $c!3n+010g!$+$ do the same thing with Elron the Half
> Loony's books to make it seem like they're selling more.

Close - they sent them back to the publisher (the world's largest
vanity press, wholly owned by the clams) to be resold, and then go buy
them again. There were several reports of books arriving from the
publisher with price stickers from rival stores.

rafe von takawa

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Jan 15, 2002, 10:04:49 PM1/15/02
to

"Michael Kube-McDowell" <K-...@attbi.com> wrote in message
news:bD418.28459$Vq.278093@rwcrnsc53...
I'm not sure the analogy works. Consider cost, movies are only $1.50 to
rent. But new U.S. HC's are creeping close to the $30.00 and UK close to
$40.00+. I don't collect movies and but I do collect books. I make no
excuses-- I'm a confessed read-aholic. (If I was broke I'd probably steal
them). I can't sleep or start my day without reading while I can go weeks
without a movie. I'll watch movies I hate like Manon of SPring. But I
can't finish books I don't like. If I purchase too many books like John
Clute's_Appleseed_ or reissued pb reprints in expensive hardcover-- I'm
screwed. If I find an author I like--I buy everything they have and they
become part of me..

How about this rationalization as a reply to the 'sustainable strategy'
problem. By returning what I don't like I can discover new authors and
works I do like. Also doesn't limited shelf time and print run have to
factor here? I could be missing the next Robert Reed, J.R. Dunn or Robert
Charles Wilson. You should also factor the quantity of purchasing I'm
doing as well. The way I see it it's readers like me that sustain many
midlist authors.

rafe

rafe


Jonathan Hendry

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Jan 15, 2002, 10:15:21 PM1/15/02
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"rafe von takawa" <tabul...@aztech.com> wrote in message
news:l5618.4017$8O.674...@newssvr16.news.prodigy.com...

>
> How about this rationalization as a reply to the 'sustainable strategy'
> problem. By returning what I don't like I can discover new authors and
> works I do like. Also doesn't limited shelf time and print run have to
> factor here? I could be missing the next Robert Reed, J.R. Dunn or Robert
> Charles Wilson. You should also factor the quantity of purchasing I'm
> doing as well. The way I see it it's readers like me that sustain many
> midlist authors.

Why don't you find local people you can trade stinkers with? You may get
a book you like, and if you don't like it, you can trade it again. You
could even trade a book for a non-book item.

That would seem simple enough, unless you live in Antarctica.


Jonathan Hendry

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Jan 15, 2002, 10:17:06 PM1/15/02
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"rafe von takawa" <tabul...@aztech.com> wrote in message
news:l5618.4017$8O.674...@newssvr16.news.prodigy.com...

> How about this rationalization as a reply to the 'sustainable strategy'


> problem. By returning what I don't like I can discover new authors and
> works I do like. Also doesn't limited shelf time and print run have to
> factor here? I could be missing the next Robert Reed, J.R. Dunn or Robert
> Charles Wilson. You should also factor the quantity of purchasing I'm
> doing as well. The way I see it it's readers like me that sustain many
> midlist authors.

Oh, also, I presume you don't have a big 'to read' pile/stack/shelf? That
would pretty much preclude returning books you don't like, if you don't
get to them for weeks.


Michael Kube-McDowell

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Jan 15, 2002, 11:42:40 PM1/15/02
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On Wed, 16 Jan 2002 03:04:49 GMT, "rafe von takawa"

Let me note that I wrote my reply before seeing your addendum that you
only ask for credit.

>I'm not sure the analogy works. Consider cost, movies are only $1.50 to
>rent.

$3.79 here. About half the cost of a paperback.

It wasn't meant as an analogy, precisely--or even as direct criticism.
I was just doing some musing-out-loud about my own reactions.

I think movies are, rather than an analogy, another instance in which
the issue of how much risk the buyer/consumer justly ought to assume
emerges.

It also tends to come up in discussions about pirated e-books and
Napster, where I've seen a number of folks at least give voice to a
free-preview-no-risk position.

>But new U.S. HC's are creeping close to the $30.00 and UK close to
>$40.00+. I don't collect movies and but I do collect books. I make no
>excuses-- I'm a confessed read-aholic. (If I was broke I'd probably steal
>them). I can't sleep or start my day without reading while I can go weeks
>without a movie. I'll watch movies I hate like Manon of SPring. But I
>can't finish books I don't like. If I purchase too many books like John
>Clute's_Appleseed_ or reissued pb reprints in expensive hardcover-- I'm
>screwed. If I find an author I like--I buy everything they have and they
>become part of me..

To be sure, I'm no more eager than anyone to drop $40 taking the
family to a disappointing movie, or to order something from Amazon.com
or CDNow that I'll end up wishing I hadn't. The opportunity cost is
particularly easy to see in these areas. Every "bad" book we buy (let
alone read) is a "good" book we miss out on.

>How about this rationalization as a reply to the 'sustainable strategy'
>problem. By returning what I don't like I can discover new authors and
>works I do like. Also doesn't limited shelf time and print run have to
>factor here? I could be missing the next Robert Reed, J.R. Dunn or Robert
>Charles Wilson. You should also factor the quantity of purchasing I'm
>doing as well. The way I see it it's readers like me that sustain many
>midlist authors.

I'm not sure there are enough of us left to constitute a "many."
<rueful g>

I'm glad you're out there, reading and caring about what you're
reading. I wish there were a couple of hundred thousand folks as
deeply invested in the field as you clearly are. I'm just personally
uncomfortable with treating books-not-to-my-taste like defective
toasters. The line, for me, is somewhere between returning something
received as a gift (okay) and returning something I bought myself and
read last night (not comfortable).

Best,

rafe von takawa

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Jan 15, 2002, 11:57:30 PM1/15/02
to
> Oh, also, I presume you don't have a big 'to read' pile/stack/shelf? That
> would pretty much preclude returning books you don't like, if you don't
> get to them for weeks.
>


I'm not sure what you mean here. I have piles everywhere in what I think of
as -'to be read'--bathroom, basement, office,car, coat, work, etc. Large
piles of medicore and ho-hum only increases my returns. I not only mail
order from :amazon.com. amazon.co.uk, bookfinder.com, addall/used.com,
hamilton,com and half.com--I frequent several local Borders and Barnes and
Nobles--several times a week.

To give you an example of this weeks purchases


Dennis Danvers _The Watch_ (hard cover) The cover said it features Peter
Kroptokin favorite of mine. After three chapters it's a definite keeper.
Methinks Danvers should stay in softcover.
Patrick O'leary --The Gift and The Impossible Bird (hardcover and
trade)--both are keepers. His latest book convinced me to buy the former.
Bought something on lark while scanning the Dr Who section called
_Technomage Wars_ (paperback) by Austin ?. It sounded interesting from the
backcover, but it's a clunker --and it's headed back.
I took back a $35.00 hardcover of the Silmarillion. This text reads like
an epic poem or scripture in prose-- I found myself wanting to mark it up
with pencil. I just couldn't do it-- the HC edition is too pretty. Still
with the money I saved I went and ordered Egan's latest from Amazon.co.uk

rafe von takawa

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Jan 16, 2002, 12:00:17 AM1/16/02
to
>
> Why don't you find local people you can trade stinkers with? You may get
> a book you like, and if you don't like it, you can trade it again. You
> could even trade a book for a non-book item.
>
> That would seem simple enough, unless you live in Antarctica.
>
>
>

Wow--that's kind of glib and nasty.


eamonn clarke

unread,
Jan 16, 2002, 3:29:04 AM1/16/02
to
Plenty of returning books in
"If, on a winter's night, a traveller"
Italo Calvino

Keith F. Lynch

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Jan 16, 2002, 10:51:23 PM1/16/02
to
I've never returned any book to any store, unless it was grossly
defective, e.g. it fell apart on the first reading, or was missing
a bunch of pages.
--
Keith F. Lynch - k...@keithlynch.net - http://keithlynch.net/
I always welcome replies to my e-mail, postings, and web pages, but
unsolicited bulk e-mail (spam) is not acceptable. Please do not send me
HTML, "rich text," or attachments, as all such email is discarded unread.

Judith Trummer

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Jan 19, 2002, 1:00:55 AM1/19/02
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> On Tue, 15 Jan 2002 21:53:45 GMT, "rafe von takawa"
> <tabul...@aztech.com> carefully left the following thoughtprints
> where they could be seen:

>>I return books all the time. I use amazon's no quibbles return policy quite
>>a bit, both the UK and US branches.

Don't you pay a great deal in postage doing that?

rafe von takawa

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Jan 19, 2002, 2:26:16 PM1/19/02