Posts Tagged ‘Barnes & Noble’

Why can’t I pick it up at the store?

October 22, 2014

So, one of my kids is having a birthday and my mom wanted me to order a book she could give him – the Complete Calvin & Hobbes. My mom lives in the middle of nowhere, so we agreed that it would probably be easiest, and best, for me to buy it, wrap it, and give it to my son for her, rather than her try to find it and then give it to him whenever we get back in her general direction (though that’s happening next week).  If you don’t know, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes is a box set of either trade paperbacks or hardcovers.  Since I don’t really want to give Amazon my book buying business, I went to Barnes and Noble’s website and was thrilled to see it was about 40% off.  I noticed a button that said, “pick up in store.” Clicking this gave me a list of local B&N’s, and suggested I call them for pricing and availability.

wait, pricing? But I just got a price off of your website. Why would I have to call a store to see what their price is when you just told me your price?

Because the brick and mortar stores charge whatever the hell they please, that’s why. Instead of being 40% off, it was 0% off.  Contrast this to my buying experience at that company on the leading edge of online retail, Menards. I was able to buy a trashcan, a handcart, and a broom, click on an option to “pick up in store,” pay for it, and then magically pick it up at a service desk at the store. Memards can manage to figure out how to make this work for trash cans and push brooms, why can’t Barnes & Noble figure out how to make it work for books?

Needless to say, I saved myself forty bucks, ordered the book off their website, and had it shipped to my mom’s house at this point. Because, well, why wouldn’t I? I saved myself a good chunk of money, saved myself the drive to the store, and I didn’t find myself tempted to buy some stuff I didn’t need like I did at Menards when I got there and then shelled out for a back of Brach’s candies and some on-sale sanding disks. I guess the Barnes and Noble store I didn’t go to didn’t have to sell something at a lower than retail price, but then they didn’t get to sell anything at all. It’s still sitting on their shelf. On top of that, my order qualified for free shipping from B&N, shipping that has to cost them more in the long run than just chucking one extra box set of comic books onto a truck that would have been going to one of their stores regardless.

I get not wanting to take money out of the mouths of their stores, but they did that today when I couldn’t just buy my book and pick it up at one of their stores. It was silly, it was stupid, and it gives people no reason not to just go to Amazon, because they’ll mail the thing to your door just as well. Get in the game, B&N, and use your natural shipping/distribution hubs -your stores –  more to your advantage.

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Book Links

September 25, 2013

Bookstores…of the future!  Okay, maybe not of the future, but definitely a bit of a shift from what we’re accustomed to outside of a Barnes & Noble (or a Borders *sigh*).  Add a cafe, or a bar, or a children’s play area (maybe a Happy Meal, too, eh?).  A coffee shop I used to hangout at with friends in undergrad was attached to a Christian bookstore, and cafes have long been a staple of the national book chains. It’s also an idea the wife and I have kicked around in our more whimsical moments. “Hey, let’s open a bookstore!” “And then file for bankruptcy!” We even had a grandiose dream at one time of having a restaurant/bookstore/coffeebar. Yeah. I applaud anyone taking the leap of opening a bookstore and attempting to incorporate such things into their plans. I hope it works, and I would try to support your endeavor. That said, I think it’s a long haul through two feet of financial woe. Still, sell a good spice cake and I’m there.

Sticking to the UK, there is a massive piece in The Guardian centered on Stephen King. I’m an unabashed King fan. I have had a more difficult time getting into his newer stuff, which may in part be from my own reading interests shifting over the years, but King is the guy who got me back into reading when I was in middle school and came across Eyes of the Dragon on the school library bookshelves. to be honest, I’m still slogging through this interview, chipping away at it throughout the day when I have the opportunity.

And the BBC caught up with Bill Bryson who wants his cake…and digital books, too! He’s lobbying for publishers to package a digital copy with a normal printed copy, so when people buy an actual book, the digital book is packaged with it in some way. I get what he’s saying, and I’m not against it.  We’ve seen movies package a “digital copy” with their DVDs, and music CDs are so easy to rip that a digital copy isn’t necessary (especially since it seems most music is bought digitally – maybe they should start packaging CDs with each download?). Something I’d be curious about is a digital subscription to my favorite publishers. For ten bucks a month, let me “join” Penguin and be able to read a selection of their library.  Sort of like a Netflix for books.  They could limit what was available, though if it is too limited no one would have any interest, and control the distribution/downloading. Also, they would have an opportunity for a treasure trove of information about their readers likes, dislikes, and habits.  it would almost be enough to get me to buy an ereader.

 

Book Links 2/7/13

February 7, 2013

Alright, I’m trying to get back on the horse and start posting again. I have three or four reviews partially written, and I’ve been accumulating links in my bookmarks. The past week or so has just been a mess for me, though. Partly it’s an actual, physical mess.  The apartment is a random jumble of papers and detritus. We’re in the midst of a hopeful soon move, trying to buy a house on a short sale and waiting for a couple of banks to sort their stuff out. So an impending possible move just sort of looms in the background, along with an assortment of partially filled plastic totes and milk crates.  I’ve also had maintenance lounging about my bathroom for the past few days, tearing out about a two foot square section of bathroom wall to fix some plumbing and then trying to put the wall back together again. They need some more knights and men to help them, though. Just took a look at the job after the maintenance guy went on lunch, and it’s a lot of grout held together with some porcelain.  I think the guy is trying really hard to make it look decent, though. I get the feeling he doesn’t have a lot of experience with tiling. Anyway, some links…

Barnes & Noble has been getting some attention this week. Atlantic has up what is essentially a love letter and plea not to leave. Please evolve with the times but also keep all of your brick and mortar stores open! Yeah, I hope they can, despite not enjoying their stores as much as I enjoyed Borders, but I think it’s unrealistic. I think our hope has to be that B&N can keep a fair amount of stores open in the majority of urban areas, but not be a ubiquitous presence. At the same time, Forbes is playing the role of guy with a placard beside the road foretelling the end is nigh. They close with the oft repeated, “innovate or die.” It’s true, it’s necessary, but I really just don’t want to read doom and gloom pieces for awhile. It’s probably my own version of the confidence fairy, but I worry that our prognostications will have a bad habit of making themselves come true. In the meantime, go and shop at brick and mortar stores. It’s worth it. I just bought a collection of Jules Verne stories the other day, and it’s a pretty book and my kid likes it. It’s just far more enjoyable to pick these things out in person than to order it and have it show up in the mail.

The LA Times has a google hangout video with George Saunders up. I’m not a huge Saunders fan, though it’s changing a bit with his latest collection (more on that later this week)(hopefully), but this interview is enjoyable. If you’re fan, or if you’re not, give it a look.

Finally, flavorwire has 11 of the coolest museum libraries. In my dreams, my house would have all of them contained within its walls. My house would be a museum library.

Book Links 10-4-12

October 4, 2012

EContent has a good article about YA publishing and its ability to cross barriers to bigger audiences.  I’ve tried, but I just can’t find YA lit overly interesting. I know this is going to sound disparaging, but I’ve tried Hunger Games, I’ve tried Potter, etc. and I just don’t feel engaged by it. Still, if you’re looking for a place to write and make money in, YA definitely seems like the destination to be.
Over at BookRiot there is an article about the Musashino University Library in Tokyo. Not much to say, just a neat library to look at. They need to fill more of those shelves, though!

On a similar note, here’s a collection of home libraries from dornob. I thought my wife and I had a lot of books, but these folks put us to shame. Check it out, be envious.

Microsoft and B&N complete Nook Media. I will admit that I’m not entirely sure where this is going to go, but I find it interesting none the less. while Amazon and Apple have an all-in-one thing going with their own devices and stores, B&N and Microsoft have teamed up to (apparently) provide a similar service. Considering my distaste for Amazon, and my too thin wallet for Apple, I’m probably on MS/B&N’s side here. I prefer the Nook ereaders to the Kindles, and I really like the idea behind the surface tablets (though the possible price tags for the “pro” edition are a bit of a stumble for me).