Sunday, April 23, 2006

Changing Habits

My book buying habit has gone through a drastic change in the past month - month and a half and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Like probably everyone else I note in advance which books I want and make a list of the books I plan to purchase in a particular month. Then until recently, I would haunt the bookstores at least once a week until I found each book on my list. I'm lucky in that I have two book stores and a Walmart all within a few blocks of where I live, but sometimes I'd drive to other parts of the city if I was feeling particularly desperate. At times this consumed me and I would be almost itchy until I had each and every book on my list.
Well, often times the book I was seeking wasn't there and I still had the "itch" so I would get compensation books instead. These are books I didn't plan on getting or books by authors that were either new or new to me. A lot of these buys were pretty cover buys. But I just had to get something. Bonus - often times these books turned out to be real buried treasures. That's how I found Ride the Fire - my fave from last year. I had read her two previous books, but it was up in the air whether I would get her third. Same thing for Lips that Touch Mine, another favourite. As were The Cobra and The Concubine and Blood Moon over Bengal. These all led to me add the authors to my list that I will continue to buy and led me looking for their backlists if they have them.

Well, I just discovered recently that I can check on line to see if the book I'm looking for is in stock in the city. I did not know I could do this before. See here in Canada, unless you buy your books at Walmart or Zellers, there is pretty much only one seller of books in the whole country - Indigo books. It didn't used to be that way. We had WH Smith books and Coles Book Store. But then the corporate world being the corporate world, one bought out the other (I'm not sure which) and now they are all owned by the same company. We still have Coles Book Store and now Chapters but both are owned by Indigo. So, when I check online, I get access to all the book stores in the city. This cuts down mightily on driving around and wasting my time and gas (which is a very very good thing these days). It also cut down on the frustration of not finding what I want. But - it also seems to be cutting down on the compensation books too. And I'm not quite sure how I feel about that yet. It's still in the early days. I'll probably still buy them, but I'll have to change the name from compensation books to just curious books.

So does anyone else buy compensation books and how have they turned out? I'm running about 75% good with this kind.

'til later


ames said...

I knew about the online thing for quite a while. A Coles employee showed me when I was hunting for a book - I still had to go all the way across town to get it! So, this has affected my shopping. I usually don't buy comp books anymore - because I won't even bother making the trip.

CindyS said...

Can you do that from home now? I'm going to go and see because I have been waiting for this to be the next step already!

I have horrible luck with compensation books because of my shoddy memory. I ended up picking up a book by C.T Adams (I think) because I remember thinking I had heard about it. Uh, yeah, turns out Keishon read it and hated it. The part she quoted made my skin crawl soooo, I tend to waste money doing stuff like that.

Moral of the story - never leave home without your list! And yet, I do.


Kristie (J) said...

Cindy - yep. It's easy. You just go to the Chapters web site and look for the book on line, click on the book. Then on the right hand side click on "find in stores/ pick your location" then put in the province and city and it will tell you how many, if any are in the stores near you. And voila! The book isn't there, no sense making a trip. It loweres the frustration level quite a bit.

Valeen said...

I've found many authors from compensation books. Or books I glimpse and like the covers while I'm actually buying other books. Julia London's Highlander series was one I found, Rachel Gibson another.

The one horrid thing about the Chapters online stock check is that it will say its in stock even if its out back in the stock room in a box. And the people at my Chapters aren't helpful enough to go back and get it.

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