Monday, August 3, 2015

Book Conditions and the Importance of Matching

I know I am not alone in saying that I like my books in almost perfect, unread condition. It is, after all, the sole purpose to go to places like Barnes and Noble and spending outrageous $10-$20 or maybe even $30 or more on a book you don't even know if you'll like! Why? Because it's new! The feel of a smooth, blemish-free copy that you are the first one to own!
Then there are those times when they don't have the particular book you are looking for in stock and you are forced to use the Internet. Some people actually purchase books through the Internet frequently, favouring the prices more than those at an actual store and some people are just forced to use the Internet, because they have no other choice. They might not live close to any bookstores, perhaps they're too impatient, no one really knows. everyone is different.
What's so wrong with ordering books over the Internet? To many of you, probably nothing. A book is just a book and as long as it's readable it doesn't matter what it looks like, right? Maybe.
I know I have recently been trying to procure a brand new set of the Artemis Fowl series in matching hardback that is proving astronomically more difficult that I would liked to have imagined. I ordered the first book via Amazon, no problems, the condition I ordered, all good and well. Then, I ordered three other books that I could find on Barnes and Noble's website (they don't carry the hardback in stores). Two out of three books that I ordered did not have the correct cover. I was forced to drive an hour out of my way to return the books in the hopes of them ordering the correct covers. I was shocked to find that apparently this happens quite frequently and there's no way for them to knowing order the book I want, because the ISBN numbers are identical. How very frustrating. I decided that maybe ordering from Amazon would work better, considering it worked so well the first time.
Apparently not.
I ordered three books, one from Amazon and two from sellers via Amazon. One of the sellers sent me the wrong copy, Amazon sent me the wrong copy, and I have yet to receive the third. So yet again two and possibly three of the three books I ordered are the wrong ones. Where does it end? Is it too much to ask for me to get the book that you advertise? If you have a picture of one book that you're selling and you send me a different copy, I'm probably going to get mad, because in my mind, that's false advertising.
I know what a few of you are thinking. Geez, get over it, it isn't a big deal. You already said the ISBN numbers were the same and you tried anyway? It's just books, they don't need to match.
Well, it might not be important to all of you, but to me and a few others, it's extremely important. How amazing would it be to have your favourite series, in new, unread condition, sitting on your shelves, completely matching? In a world like ours, I think that's pretty magical. The way that they almost seem to blend into one big story instead of separate ones.
Call me crazy (and I probably am), but don't you all want that? Just a little? Can you really blame me for wanting my series to match? Should it really be that hard to get the cover you're asking for?
Some might be wondering why I decided to create this post.
I'm not entirely sure.
To raise awareness? Maybe
To rant a little? Oh yes
It doesn't matter. I've never seen anyone talk about matching their books and I thought that it might be nice to write about it a little. To show those bibliophiles out there that they shouldn't feel bad about wanting their books to match or for their books to be in perfect condition, because tons of people feel that way! I hope that someday soon, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the other book sellers out there, make it easier for us to achieve this.

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