Support Your Local Stores or Not

It wouldn’t have been too difficult to have ordered a couple books on-line, most likely it would have been cheaper as well. And with the disappearance of one of my favorite haunts – Borders – I decided to support our local independently owned shop here in town.  The owner is a friend of a friend, and I felt regretful that I hadn’t checked out the place sooner.

I was a little surprised by the clutter in the store and made a quick decision to simply ask for the books I was seeking rather than search the shelves and walk amidst books stacked on the floor.  As I suspected, the owner had neither book in stock, even though one was a newly released memoir (James Garner’s The Garner Files for my sister-in-law and Tim Gunn’s Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons For Making It Work for me).  The owner put the books on order for me, promising them in a few days.  I felt proud in doing my part to help out a local, small business owner. 

Everything else appeared to go well.  I received the books on December 16th and put them in my closet.  When it was time to give my sister-in-law the James Garner book for her Christmas birthday, I wrapped it up, but left the Tim Gunn book undisturbed to savor after the holidays.

Today, I pulled the book out.  I didn’t notice right away until I put the book down, but there it was like graffiti on a newly painted wall – a thick black permanent marker slash at the bottom of the closed book pages!  This, the symbol for a used book, not the brand new treasure I paid for in full price and believed I was receiving.  I felt disillusioned and cheated at the same time.  There is a chance that the owner didn’t catch this glaring error, but I seriously doubt that.  I got taken, plain and simple.  And at this point, 18 days after purchase, there’s nothing I can do about it. 


Since I didn’t catch the mark right then and there, it would be my word against the owner’s.  But why would it have even crossed my mind to check for a mark on that pick up date?  I trusted this owner to deliver in a forthright manner, and he did not.  I’m hoping the James Garner book wasn’t similarly marked, though am confident that since it was a new release it was unscathed.  Luckily Tim Gunn’s book was for me, because it would have been embarrassing to have given a used book as a gift.

I have learned a lesson.  Supporting local businesses may seem to be the right thing to do, but based on my experience, I will be much more cautious before even deciding to enter one of these stores again.  I am still going to enjoy the book of a man I admire very much, but the marker slash is a blatant reminder of a bad transaction with someone I put trust in.  Words to the wise – always check over carefully any order before the sale is final.

About andreamarjulie

Just trying to navigate a life circumvented by chronic migraines. Sometimes I write about managing with those, but at other times I am prone to deviate a bit.
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2 Responses to Support Your Local Stores or Not

  1. rose says:

    Too bad that happened to you. I am trying to shop local as much as possible too. We have a charming used book store here in our town. Hardbacks are $2.00, paperbacks $1.00 and you can trade books back – 2 for 1.

    • Thanks Rose. Despite my disillusionment, I will still look for other stores in town. Not only does it help the locals, but it saves me gas as well. Enjoy your used bookstore. Now that sounds like a great stopping place!

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