Wherein I am Annoyed by Rude People

Monday, October 17, 2011

I live in a tiny town. Tiny. Search for it on a map, and if it's not Google, you won't find it. (However if you do put it into Google images, one of the first that pops up is a sad, yet beautiful photo of my Aunt's late-father-in-law's home as an "abandoned" farmhouse.)

This town is so tiny we have no bookstore. We "technically" have a library, but it's in the public school. (Not near, IN. As in, you have to go in, let the principal scan your ID and then browse while kids are doing schoolwork "in". I've never done this, but as it's the "public" library for this town, I imagine others have. It honestly gives me the creeps.)

Thankfully, this year, a Half-Price Books was built in one of the closest cities to where I live, but for a "real" bookstore, with new books still wearing their shiny dustjackets, I have to go many, many miles. It just so happens that recently I was in a mall with a Barnes & Noble... YAY! There's a very particular book I've been wanting to buy for someone who wants it, but also can't get to a place with shiny dustjackets, so I skipped (not literally, stop looking at me funny) over to the YA section and was happy to see three copies.

I picked one up, but there were wrinkles in it, so I figured it had been thumbed through and put it back.

The second copy was also wrinkled. Wrinkled and creased - with dogeared pages.

All three "new" copies of this book were in the sort of condition you usually find at a rummage sale.

Someone, or many someones, had completely disrespected the store, the books, and the people who might have purchased them. (And I'm not naive enough to assume it was a child who did it. There are a lot of adults out there with less manners than their children.)

Please don't do things like this. Books are ideas taken out of the Aether and put on paper (or into electrons, for those of you with e-readers). They're not something to abuse or manhandle. They're precious things, and should be treated accordingly.

7 Chiming In:

Sarah said...

Yeah, that's just simple bad manners. It seems like a basic courtesy issue. And particularly annoying for all the trouble you went to!

vanyelmoon said...

I have the good luck to live in area with two libraries, and three bookstores in a 5 mile radius. I am always amazed when I go to the bookstore and see people sitting around in overstuffed chairs with a cup of starbucks, reading the books for sale. My nephew worked at the larger bookstore and he said literally people would be there all day. They would come in at opening and leave at closing. No wonder so many booksellers are going out of business. They are paying for utilities and rent to be a glorified library when there is a very nice public library right around the corner.

Anonymous said...

This exact thing happened to me about two weeks ago. (Although it's not nearly such a jaunt for me to get to a bookstore.) I had to go about four copies deep to get to one without a crease in the jacket. Then, of course, before I could even get it to the author to have it signed, I creased the freakin' jacket myself. UGH! (In my defense I did have to travel out of state with it and wander around a book fair for several hours to find her.) I find it excessively hard to keep jackets in pristine condition. I take them off to read. But I'm super careful in the bookstore because, like you, I want shiny and perfect when I buy.

Matthew MacNish said...

Don't dog-ear books, period. That's just annoying.

Carrie Butler said...

I feel you. For me, the nearest "real" bookstore is an hour in either direction. *Sigh* A little respect goes a long way, doesn't it?

Lindsey R. Loucks said...

At the beginning of the school year, I read What Happened to Marion's Book? by Brook Berg and Nathan Alberg to the kiddos. It's about what not to do with books. It should be required reading for everyone who steps through the door of a bookstore/library.

Brent Wescott said...

I'm with Matthew. Can't you use a bookmark?

And, don't they have Amazon.com where you live either? :)

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