Monday, January 3, 2011

Border's Books & Music, Part Deaux

As promised, an update on what I finally bought for reading material and listening material with my Christmas gift card from Border's.

As everyone is no doubt aware of, I am somewhat incapable of doing things the normal way, and that includes shopping. Saturday, after gathering up the necessary implements of destruction (in store coupon for 50% off of one book, gift card) and asking Joanne to pick two numbers between one and six (she chose 3 & 6), I took off for my local Border's store to purchase my chosen book.

When I got there, I did a brief reconnaissance mission, and after not finding my initial choice or my backup choice, I went to their handy-dandy wayback machine....ummm...internal website to look up my first choice. My first choice, "Effigy" by Alissa York (as suggested by Sparkling Red), was unfortunately only available as an e-book. Since I do not own a Nook/Kindle/Sony E-Reader, that choice quickly fell by the wayside.

Moving on to choice number two was Mark Twain's Autobiography (as suggested by David Cranmer). Unfortunately, that was sold out and there was a backorder wait of about 4-8 weeks.

Betcha thought I was stuck for something else to buy, right? Wrong. My memory that morning wasn't entirely shot, so I looked up what became choice #3, "The Lady Matador's Hotel" by Cristina Garcia (as suggested by Riot Kitty). After a brief two minute search, I found the hardcover copy, which was priced at $24. Considering that I wanted to buy two items with my card, and even though I had a coupon that would've dropped that price in half, I went searching for choice #4, "Blue Highways" by William Least-Heat Moon (as suggested by Lynn), which after ten minutes of searching, I found. The cover price of this edition was $15.99, and since the coupon brought the price down to $7.99, it became the reading material of choice.

Now, doing the brick-and-mortar thing was ridiculously easy, compared to Sunday morning's adventure at Borders online store. After asking Jenelle (my lovely and talented daughter) to pick two numbers between one and eight (she chose 3 & 6), I went online to buy my listening material of choice.

Choice #1 was a band called "A Pale Horse Calle Death" (as suggested by Charles Gramlich), but after a nano-second search that brought up nothing, we moved on to choice #2. Choice #2 was "The Family Jewels" by Marina and the Diamonds (as suggested by Sparkling Red). Apparently this is a rather buzzworthy debut c.d. as this was sold out as well, but being that I'm more picky about waiting for a book than I am for a c.d., I decided to buy the c.d.

Now here's where things immediately went downhill. I figure I might as well set up an account so in case I want to order future things when I actually got money, I could do so. A major problem cropped up the minute I try to checkout. Apparently back when I signed up for the card (prior to 2004), I was living someplace else at the time, so after I put in both a billing address and a shipping address (neither were the same), the little "continue" button vanished, and I had no way of finishing my check out. Even after I refreshed about five times and kept the billing and shipping address the same (among other things), the button simply would not come back.

At this point, I was getting really ticked about the entire process and I was ready to say "F** this Sh**" and move on to something else, when a blinding case of the obvious struck: option #2 was to have the c.d. ship to a nearby store.

Ah la peanut butter sammiches! I clicked on that link, and lo and behold, I was able to purchase the c.d. with about 40 cents to spare on the gift card. Strangest thing happened when I finished though, in that a survey popped up asking about how my shopping experience went.

No, I didn't fill out the survey because I certainly would've given them a profanity laced tirade on how non-user friendly their website is.

In any event, this is what I recommend that you do should you decide to shop at Border's online store.


Shop elsewhere. Do Amazon. Do Barnes & Noble. Do CD Baby. Do any other reputable online music or online book website. But don't do Borders online. Too much aggravation for too little reward.

So....the end result of my excursion on Saturday and Sunday was a brand new book called "Blue Highways" by William Least-Heat Moon (which will be stored at work), and a brand new c.d. called "The Family Jewels" by Marina and the Diamonds (of which I hope it lives up to the hype from AMG), which won't be stored at work, but will be played at work, once I finally acquire it.


  1. Wow - that was quite an ordeal at Borders. Let me know how you like that book - I love it. And the good thing about listing the books you tried to get is that it gives us all a reading list.

    My reading list is long and I'll never finish it, I guess, but consider that a good problem to have. :)

  2. Blue Highways is considered a travel classic by many. Good choice.

  3. Lynn: Will do.

    That is very true as well. I'm more than will to share what other people have suggested for me.

    A long reading list is always good. :D

    Chris: Thanks.

    Actually, I remember checking the audio version of this book of my public library back in '91 or '92, when I needed something to do during my off days from working the overnight. I found the hard cover version much later, but I thought the audio was very good.

  4. I *hate* what a pain in the ass it is to order online from Borders. Ah, spoiled 21st century us! Someone told me today that he thought people got more impatient as technology advanced. I'm pretty sure that's true.

  5. I rarely shop on-line. One bad experience sort of tainted the whole thing...but I did get a gift card for my birthday in October for my favorite bookstore and nothing beats loading up with new books and wandering the aisles checking them all out...

    I sort of wish you'd filled out the survey, G - it would have been great to read your responses to the questions - lol! That would have been a whole other post, wouldn't it?

  6. R: I don't mind 21st century technology, but the fact that the website started acting like one of those stupid MAD magazine flowcharts pissed me off 100%.

    Talon: Reading your comment brought back the memory of another online ordering fiasco. I went to purchase a debut western by Gary Dobbs (who is also a blogger) and I had a heck of a time trying to get Amazon UK to accept my c/c. I finally had to call up my c/c company in order to get my c/c to work on the website and I had to wait a day in order to complete my purchase.

    And yes, it would've been a wickedly nasty blog post at that.

  7. Sorry you couldn't find "pale horse." I actually won my copy in a contest. I think it's an independent release. I'll have to post about it on my blog once I get settled into the semester.

  8. Charles: Will be much appreciated.

    I think one of my resolutions for this year will be to explore indie music. Connecticut has a thriving indie music scene and my local paper had their rock critic's top 5 best of CT releases for 2010.

  9. Cool! I hope you like Marina. Apparently "the Diamonds" are not her backing band, but is a reference to her fans. She's an unusual girl, that one.

    I'd send you my copy of Effigy once I've finished reading it, but it's on my Kindle. :-p

  10. You are a seriously dedicated reader!

  11. S.R: Thanks. I'm willing to listen to most music with an open mind (I've mentioned before I have an Alicia Keys c.d. in my cabinet), and the review I read of this artist does give her some major props so we shall see what transpires.

    Thanks for the offer of "Effigy" but I'll pass. Although I do like historical fiction.

    Rick: Not so much as a dedicated reader but someone who is willing to explore other genres that in my younger years I wouldn't even given a second glance to. Thus the reason for the original post. In years gone by, I would've bought some non-fiction or stock up on some particular artist without giving any thought anything else out there. Since I started blogging, a lot of the blogs that I've read have opened up my eyes to other genres so I wanted to get an idea of what everyone else is reading these days.

  12. Sounds almost like Gullivers Travels thru the instore search engine...
    At least you got a decent book! Hope the music is a good listen surprize for a later winter mood enhancer.

    I don't do online often- TG

  13. Snaggle: A little bit, yes. This is why I don't do online shopping. I don't mind browsing through a website to see if something is available, but to purchase it is a different issue all together.

    I'm looking forward to the music though.

  14. I always feel sort of guilty when I order a book online. When I was child free and working, I would love to cruise the bookstore for my next book. I miss those days.

  15. Kelly: I very rarely order anything online, simply because I don't have the credit cards available to me to use.

    My speed has always been and always will be, walking into a bookstore to buy a book.


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