Monday, February 14, 2011

Sticker shock in a bookstore?

Thought I’d surprise Mr. Golightly this Valentine’s Day with the latest selection for his Man Book Group. This book was wait-listed at the library. He’d probably would not have had a copy in hand before the next meeting.

I went to the bookstore. It’s been awhile, though I used to practically live at The Tattered Cover, Denver’s largest independent bookstore. Then they moved.

I thought there was an error when the clerk said “That will be $17.95”.

I only purchased one paperback. That’s the price of hardback.

So I learned that, during my hiatus from the bookstore, they’ve seriously jacked up prices. $15.95 for a paperback, $28 buys a hardback!

Two feelings hit me at once: 1) I felt crotchety, whining about the current price of books; 2) I felt Jedi smart for buying best-sellers a la thrift, not paying full price for years. With the amount my family reads, I've possibly saved over a thousand dollars.

Mr. Golightly was happy to have his book but the price hike shocked him too, which made me feel less crotchety and even smarter.

Why? Because we’re accustomed to thrift store prices, $2 for a hardback, $1 for paperback and often less.

For more testimony on savings, here’s what I gave my family for Valentine’s Day.

Petite Poet received this darling cardigan. It was $5. She looks like a rose when she wears it.

Little Pie now has this darling hand hooked wool rug from Orvis in her room. Take a minute to look at it. It took me awhile to see. It’s a circle of cats drinking from a saucer of milk. At three times my Flinch Point, I though it worth it. Little Pie loves cats. We have three. We’re not against dogs but I refuse to allow any more animals that require clean up in this house. I can barely keep up as is.

Mr. Golightly received this pristine vintage mohair blanket from Scotland by Andrew Stewart for our sitting room. It was $5 and had just been dry-cleaned. We read a lot and find a nice blanket makes for good company.

The last is a bit of a joke. Mr. Golightly loves odd containers. I found this Valentine-like container for $2 and stuffed it with Biore pore strips. We secretly play spa. If you Biore, I know you relate. If you have not, you need to try it.

It's going to take some time for me to grieve about the old prices of books. I don’t have sticker shock in clothing and home stores. I just never thought I’d experience this shock in a bookstore.

At least our facial pores will come clean tonight. (I really didn't want to share this secret, but Mr. Golightly wanted the world to know this to possibly free a few clogged pores with Biore. I guess he's set on cleaning the world, one facial pore at a time - his secret superhero power.) I apologize for the cheekiness and candor. My husband made me do it, because it's Valentine's Day.


Marilyn said...

Hi, You should try Paper Back Swap @ It's a free service and after you post books you want to get rid of, you can order what you want from almost five million books. I love it and have saved over $1,000!! You just need to pay for postage on the books you send out. ♥♫

Christin@Pregnant with power tools said...

My husband wants your husband to know that he swears by Queen Helene's green face mask applied and washed off shortly before using the strips. I didn't want to, but he is making me tell you "it increases the strip's pore-cleaning ability".

Sigh. What we do for our men ;)
I think it's funny - he uses them WAY more than I do....

Angela said...

I hear you on the bookstore sticker shock. My husband and I love to go to bookstores for the atmosphere, and we have started keeping a list of books we find that we would like to read. Then when we're at a thrift store or a library book sale, we know some things to look for. If we just can't possibly wait long enough to find it in thrift, we buy it second-hand off of Amazon for a fraction of the retail price. :-)

Catherine said...

Love your finds - so sweet. And love that you are a family of readers!

I agree about the prices. I bought Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken for a book group since it's out at every library, and paid $23 with the 20% discount at my favorite independent bookstore.

While for books I library/thrift/book swap-it, once in a blue moon, I do buy because I like to support the main street, indie bookstore, and I want to vote for books themselves, which are facing competition from eReaders. Since I get so many I've read second hand that I love, I put some back into the universe as well.

Maeve's Momma said...

Yeah, I only buy books new when someone gives me a gift card - if not thrift, then Amazon used!

I wish I could get my husband to use Biore, lord knows his nose needs it. I feel bad bringing it up, though, don't want to make him self-conscious about his pores.

Anonymous said...

I'm a regular on which links the buyer to used bookstores across the country (and abroad, for that matter). I've had good experience with as well. I dread e-books and the demise of printed books. Do we really need one more electronic device?

grace said...

What great Valentine's Day gifts! I thrifted my partner's gift as well--a vintage knife sharpening stone in a little handmade wooden box.

Anonymous said...

I love; cheap when buying used, free shipping worldwide and helps literacy in impoverished coutries. I'm all for it.
hugs from Italy

Serena said...

It's been years since I've paid full price for a book. My real weakness are magazines, which, unless you have a subscription, are even more outrageously priced - up to $15 for an issue. Yikes!

I love the red cardigan and kitty cat rug you got for your daughters. Such unique gifts!

Joy said...

Cutest, most marvelous valentines, ever! I'm amazed to know that rug was thrifted!! (even with multiple flinches!) And...if I absolutely must get a new book, I always check Costco before I resort to the bookstore. Book sticker shock is the worst, cause eventually I will see that book in a thrifted setting & cringe. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

I love the hooked rug with the kitties! The cardigan is very cute and so appropriate for Valentine's day with it's ruby hue. Too bad we just don't have the quality of items in our thrift stores around here...

Cynthia in IN

Anonymous said...

BTW, I have been accumulating books for our church library. I have found sooo many books at the thrift shops here that are in excellent shape. A few have come from yard sales. I have also had a lot of them donated (can't beat FREE!).

Cynthia in IN

Daisy said...

I really miss my independent bookstore. They lost a university textbook contract, and that was enough to do them in. Maybe I didn't shop there often enough. I am a major fan of, I buy children's books at thrift stores (for my classroom), and only go to the bookstores for the latest and greatest that I simply must have.
It's a vicious cycle, indeed.

Darth Mama said...

My husband's a Biore junkie too. Looks like there is a considerable number of them out there from the comments here!

What a sweet little tin! I saw an idea in a magazine recently (maybe Real Simple? Martha Stewart Living?) -- put a magnet inside the tin, and then hang it on the fridge door for a cute little storage box. I'll have to hunt for a tin like the one you found to try it.

alphawoman said...

Regarding the book for over $17, many book stores have on line coupons that will discount 25 - 40% off one item. Oops!