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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Have You Heard About This??


Ok, we've all been there, right? You start reading a series of books, and you just fall in love. The author does everything (or nearly everything) right, and you can't wait to get your hands on the next installment. So, you sit impatiently counting down the days until your next sure to be favorite book is released. You get to the store, wait in line with the other nut-jobs who love the series as much as you do, go buy an overpriced iced coffee so you can sit in the cafe and read because you certainly can't wait the 8 minutes it'll take you to drive home to start this wonderful, fantastic, amazing book you've been eagerly anticipating, and then....eh. Apparently that's what a pretty sizable group of people are lamenting about Stephanie Meyer's Breaking Dawn.

So, what would any sane biblio enthusiasts do in said situation? Well, according to the message boards over at Amazon, they'd return the book. Yep, you heard me. Well, at least some of them. There's actually an even more disappointed sect that's determined to burn their copies, but I'm not even going to go there - I don't have the time or the inclination to deal with that kind of crazy.

I'm not saying I'm unsympathetic to the plight. I've been let down by authors before. In my opinion, James Patterson has phoned in a few of his more recent Alex Cross novels, but do I stomp back to the store and demand a refund? Um, no. I don't buy the next book. And then I tell the world (or at least the few of you who actually read my blog) how I feel about my disappointment. And...well, that's it. I just don't know where the expectation comes from that if you start to experience a little buyer's remorse, you are entitled to return a book once you've read it.

So, maybe I'm wrong about this, but I feel like buying books is always somewhat of a gamble. You read reviews, you get recommendations from people you trust, you read a few pages while browsing the shelves, and you go with your gut. Sometimes, though, it just doesn't work out, and you end up selling your $30 hardback at a garage sale to some other unsuspecting reader for $1. If you're unhappy with this scenario, perhaps you'd be better off to get your books from your local library. But, be forewarned. If you burn a library book, you'll have to pay for it.

8 comments:

Michelle said...

I agree. I thought it was crazy when I heard people were returning their books. I was disappointed with it as well, but I already bought the thing.

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

I believe I heard someone on LibraryThing say they had returned this book and I was shocked. I share the same philosphy of book buying as you do.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

I read something or heard about this, but didn't believe it or thought it was overly exaggerated. Reading your post, my mouth fell open.

I am not going to go to the message board because I don't want it to give me any BREAKING DAWN spoilers. (My copy is on the way.)

I have asked for a refund because a book that was stated new wasn't and my money was returned. But that's not what you are talking about...to be honest, I didn't think you could do that. I mean, they read it. You can't use up the merchandise and then return it, can you? If that is how it works, then I could buy all my books from Amazon, read them and then return them. I'm really not okay with doing things like this.

So glad you blogged about it...totally wild.

Traci said...

J. Kaye,

I don't know how exaggerated it actually is, but if you read some of the posts on the message board (which I wouldn't suggest for you as there are a few spoilers), there are quite a few people who mention that they've already returned their copy. One person mentioned that the cashier at Borders told her she was the 15th person that day who had returned the book, and the next poster stated that when she returned her copy there was "quite a stack of them in the return pile." So, statistically, if you figure even just a dozen returns in the larger chain stores, that's got to add up.

There's actually a petition about it, too, with at this moment 791 signatures. What exactly they're wanting, I'm not so sure. I'm hoping the gang of book-burners was more exaggerated talk than anything else, though.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Traci ~ I feel like I have landed on an alien planet...lol! I don't understand this at all.

sally906 said...

I just don't get it - I am wondering if it has anything to do with the full moon this week - some sort of mass hysteria that has got out of hand.

The book is good - I really enjoyed it - not a 5 out of 5 but a good 4.

Any book over 350 pages that keeps me riveted is OK!!!

Literary Feline said...

I'm with you. Once these people read the book, it is used. It's wrong to "return" it back at full price at that point. And you really do take a chance when you buy any book. It just makes me sad.

caite said...

I have never read any of her books, but I saw Ms. Myers in a piece about her on TV, the 'Sunday Morning' show I think. She seemed very nice and the series sounded interesting. Perhaps not..

Gosh, to have this many fans of her work feel this strongly negative about the new book so as to go so far as to return it..that must be very hard for an author.

Not easy on the reader/fan though either.

But no matter how bad it was, I never 'returned' a book.