May 23, 2007

Shear Genius, Kite Runner, Amazons and the Demise of Barnes & Noble

This post is another loopy product from Ms. Place's mind, so once again, bear with me.

I can't wait for a fresh installment of Shear Genius tonight. Tabatha made the show truly exciting, but she was booted off for taking her eye off the top prize and getting sidetracked by a small gnome named Tyson. Never mind. I'm hooked. And I shall watch Shear Genius until the bitter end. (Click here for my Tabatha quiz on Bravissimo.)

I love popular culture and find that crud t.v. is good for the soul. Truth is, I love trad as well (a new word I learned from a tweenie. It's short for traditional.) In regard to trad, I must finish Kite Runner by Khaled Hoisseini for book club tomorrow.

Run, don't walk to your nearest or library and read this 2004 novel. I rarely gush over popular literature, but this book is guaranteed to please and teach at the same time. It is worth every penny I spent and I haven't even finished the darned thing yet!

I bought Kite Runner at Barnes & Noble about a year ago. It sat in the front of the store, proudly displayed amongst other best sellers.

Today I walked into Barnes & Noble after work, wanting to find the Annotated Pride and Prejudice and to purchase an expensive gift certificate for a colleague who is leaving. I could not remember the title or author, so I provided some search words to the young person at the Reference Desk. After searching the store's intranet, she came up with nothing. Zip. Nada.

Worse, this so-called reference expert didn't know what I was talking about. Bad sign. I asked her to google the terms. She said they were not connected to the Internet. Then I whipped out my lap top to do the search myself, but Barnes & Noble does not offer free Wi Fi. Huh? I gotta pay to search their product?

After the sweet young thing futzed for 10 minutes, I said never mind, made my $89 purchase, and raced home to my computer. I googled the following words: pride and prejudice companion book Jane Austen. And, Voila! Amazon came up with the right book in less than a blink of an eye.

Sayonara, Barnes & Noble. With gas prices soaring, I think I'll stay home, watch Shear Genius, finish Kite Runner, and order from from now on.


Anonymous said...

I have read that book too in Dutch “De Vliegeraar” and I do agree with your post about this book. I am looking forward to read his next book too “A thousand Splendid Suns” in Dutch “Duizend schitterende zonnen” which seams to be just as marvellous.See

Marius said...

I haven't been to Barnes and Nobles in ages. is where it's at!

Linda Merrill said...

Your tale reminds me of the scene in "You've Got Mail" when the customer has gone in the big box book store looking for a children's book, but the sales person doesn't know it and the Meg Ryan charachter is sitting there mourning the loss of her little book store. Only, I guess this is in reverse. The computers of Amazon can't suggest a book without a prior buying history established, but it can help you find a book with key words. I do think that a combination of local mom & pop bookstore and Amazon is the way to go.

The Kite Runner author was in my town last year giving a talk, I'm still kicking myself for not going!

Marius said...

Linda, don't get my started about "You've Got Mail." I cried the first time I saw it. I haven't been to Barnes and Nobles in ages, but I love going to those small (often forgotten) book stores--you'd be surprised what you can find there. I discovered a little shop in Houston years ago; I found two (old) psychology books that turned out to be real gems. The owner was very helpful--very knowledgeable and pleasant. And I love Meg Ryan, with or without the shag.

Ms. Place said...

Love Meg, too, Marius. I own just about all her movies, including You've Got Mail. Good call, Linda. I miss the independent bookstores. We have so few left.

Els, I just saw Khaled Hosseini's new book sitting out: I am definitely going to get it. Did you ever fly your kite op the duinen? We lived in Den Haag, and I recall those windy days in the duinen.

BigAssBelle said...

i haven't even heard of it. yay! a new book for my list!

Delphine said...

Coincidentally I just had a conversation with my mom about Barnes and Noble. One just opened near us, I haven't been to it yet but my mom said that it is not very nice as it feels more "cutesy" instead of walking in and feeling like wow there are a lot of great books here. So, I guess we are sticking to Borders :)

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid we spend our summer vacations in Zandvoort and of course we fly our kites at the beach.

Linda Merrill said...

I just wish Meg would leave her face alone! So what if she's aged? Good makeup and skin care will help that - but those oddly puffed up lips are just too distracting!

eric3000 said...

Last year I read the 2003 Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Pride and Prejudice. The introduction and notes by Carol Howard were very interesting and helpful. I guess this new edition you ordered has even more notes. Let us know what you think!