Thursday, June 30, 2011

Today is the Day: So, Where's The Book?

I am a huge Michael Moorcock fan. I've been avidly reading the Elric stories and finished Hawkmoon in April. As an official fan of Michael Moorcock--and in the process of making this blog one of the many places for his fans to read about his work--I just have one question for the bookstores out there: where is the book?

I ask this question on release day, mostly because it doesn't make much sense for a book to come out and bookstores not carry it for weeks after the fact. Why is it that when I need a book (Gail Z. Martin's new one,  or Katherine M Valente's new masterpiece, God forbid a new Lumley doesn't make it into my hands on release day), the bookstores don't stock it? Tor.com announced Moorcock's new one, The Sunday Book, to be released today. Well, here it is, release day, and not a single bookseller can provide me with a copy of the book.  I know I keep repeating it, but it just doesn't make any sense? If they're not going to order any copies of The Sunday Book, why even have it available on their sites? Why advertise selling a book if do not now, nor will you ever, have the intention of selling it? Okay, maybe I shouldn't say that because I don't know the first thing about selling books (nope, just everything about buying them). If what I learned at Horror Con. is true, then I'm way off base. I suppose that, if B&N and Borders don't think a book is going be as popular as, say, the crap already littering their shelves, then I don't suppose big name bookstores will waste valuable (?) shelf space on it.

At least I didn't get to a bookstore and yell at some poor soul who has no control over these things. In my *searches for word* eagerness to purchase the new book currently being released, I have a tendency towards bookstore terrorism. They see me stalk up to the door and shudder. Oh Lord, its release day. In a perfect world, booksellers can read my mind and just know what book I want before I get there, then have it ready for me in a bag and then not charge me full price for it. As it is, the poor person usually taking care of my needs begs to be spared, cringing as they deliver the bad news.

"We don't have your book in stock," they squeak, "Please, don't hurt me."

I currently have The Sunday Book on order from the expensive big name bookseller I chose to purchase it from. Unfortunately, if it takes a week to get here, like the little clerk told me it would, then I may not have time to read and review it for "The Ninth Day of the Month". July 9 happens to also be Mervyn Peake's birthday, and since this book is dedicated to Peake, you can see why it is so vitally important that I have The Sunday Book by that day. 

Why didn't I pre-order it? Well, in my eagerness, I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that an author as popular as Michael Moorcock would definitely be in stock on release day. Apparently, the booksellers do not share this opinion, perhaps also wrongly. Usually, I can just make one trip to the bookstore and not have to worry about it. When I have things ordered, however, I have to ask myself: do I ever truly want this item? If I have the book sent to The Squealing Nerd's current base of operations, I'll likely never see it. My apartment complex has an odd habit of sending my packages back to their respective stores. I must, therefore, have  my packages delivered elsewhere, where I must then drive to, wasting valuable time and gas, not to mention getting raped on shipping, as if paying the store mark-up on my purchase isn't bad enough. At least at B&N I have a membership and get a discount that takes care of the tax if nothing else. Every little bit helps you know...

So here I am, waiting at home, reading Star Trek, hoping The Sunday Book doesn't take too long to get to the store. All I have to say is thanks to the big name booksellers for wasting my time. Now that I have to wait a week, I have get a job to fill the time gap, because it won't take me a week to finish To Reign in Hell, even if I drag it out way longer than it should go. I guess I should also fill this time with packing up my things and moving them to Austin, writing my fiction and otherwise making myself useful. I lay the blame for all of this on corporate fascism of the type that doesn't order books for in-house sales on release day.

Angrily Waiting,
--The Nerd

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