Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Your Local Bookstore

I went to my local bookstore tonight. It was like smoking a cigar or having a beer with dinner: I wanted so bad to love it, but it sucked.

That place sucks bigtime. I left wondering why that place is actually good and what it has to offer. I discovered that it offers very little. I was disappointed, because that bookstore, according to Yelp reviews, is "one of the best in the city."

First of all, all I wanted was Frank Herbert's science fiction novel, Dune. And they didn't have it. So that sucks bigtime, because, according to the lady whom I spoke to last week, they had Dune in stock. Thanks for not having Dune, dorks.

Secondly, the dude who works there is a dicksquad. His spectacles had an aggressively-angled green frame--they were a hip, quasi-masculine perversion of old maid librarian glasses--and he looked to be the type of man that snivels. He was a real bespectacled sniveler. A squirmy, bookwormy jerknose of a man. I could picture him sniveling on his little swivel chair behind the cash register and consoling himself by sniffing the books. Snivel, swivel, sniff. That's his move. The move of a jerknosed squirmworm of a man. My interaction with him went something like this:

ME (holding a copy of The Brother's Karamazov that I wanted to sell): I'd like to sell you this book.

DICKSQUAD McDOOGLESTERNZ (listening to world music, he gives my book a cursory glance): I will give you $3.00 for this, or $4.50 in store credit.

ME: That's it?! It's brand new!

DM: I will sell it for half the retail value. I have to make a profit on it.

ME (understanding where he's coming from but disliking his tone of voice): Okay. I'd like the store credit. I'd like to buy Dune.

(He looks around for the book and tells me they don't have it.)

ME: I talked to the lady last week and she said you had it.

DM: Well, that means we had it last week.

ME (joking, sort of): So you sold it between then and now? Who buys Dune? No one buys Dune.

DM: People buy Doomsday or else we wouldn't sell it.

I thought I heard him say "Doomsday," but I wasn't sure, and then my girlfriend confirmed to me that he said "Doomsday," which then made me think he misheard me and that maybe Dune was somewhere in the store. So I double-checked. They still didn't have it.

After we left, my girlfriend and I discussed local bookstores and the small business versus big business battle, and this is what we realized:

A. Small local bookstores have very little to offer outside of being quaint and charming.

B. Certain types of small businesses make a lot more sense than others. For example, small, local bars and restaurants give you better drinks/food than chain bars and restaurants, and aren't much more expensive, if at all.

C. If you get a product (book) at a small, local bookstore, you are getting the same exact product you would get at a chain bookstore, except it is more expensive and less convenient.

Therefore, small, local bookstores are pretty worthless, especially when they don't have Dune and the dude behind the desk is a jerksqueeze.