Longing for BookMail

Having decided to forgo using Amazon to order my books (music and movies) from last year, I’ve been using the Canadian book seller, Chapters Indigo. I’ve always used them, and loved visiting their large store in downtown Montreal, till last year, that is. Sigh!

Unlike ordering from the likes of Amazon, where you know the prices are some of the best you are likely to find, Chapters is usually a dollar or so dearer, not a lot to quibble about, so I was happy to make the change, full-time, to using them for my book buys. Especially as you can still get free shipping on orders over thirty-five dollars. But there are a few caveats with using them.

Firstly, you cannot get a lot of smaller press publications, especially UK-based companies. So straight away I’m limited to only books published by the mainstream. And, it’s damn frustrating missing out on novels I read about whose premise sounds right up my dark alley and, being unable to get a copy.

Or, I should say, get a copy through Chapters. I could, for example, order from Amazon and feed the monster that is going to take over the world. Or, I could conversely, order from the Book Depository, but, as we all know, they are owned by Amazon. So, you see the problem.

Also, ordering from the book depository, despite what they say—that you get free shipping anywhere in the world—you don’t. Shipping is calculated into the base price of the book. So a book I should be able to buy here, at 23 dollars, is twenty-six from the Book Depository.

It’s frustrating. And makes me yearn for those days of yore, not so long ago, when I could go to the mall, go to my favourite bookshop, and order these books directly through them, at no extra cost, other than having to wait for them to be shipped in. Oh how I miss those days.

But back to Chapters.

I started doing a lot more pre-orders last year, eh, for obvious reasons. You are supposed to get the book shipped on the day of release, and have it in your grubby book-loving hands within days. How ever, that doesn’t always happen, and I have no idea why. Chapters is notorious (check the forums on them) at not shipping on time. As is the case with my order for THE SURVIVORS by Jane Harper. A book I pre-ordered months ago, which was published (supposedly) Feb 2 … and yet. We are now the 10th of the month, and I still have nothing.

I checked the online tracking status which happily informs me a shipping label has been printed. This was Feb 3rd. And … crickets and tumbleweeds. Which leaves me wondering why I’m bothering to pre-order in the first place, as this isn’t the first time I’ve waited days and yes, weeks, to receive a book.

Like last year, I never received my copy of THE EMPIRE OF GOLD by S.A. Chakraborty. Not even a sorry it’s no longer in stock. It. Just. Never. Arrived!

So, what’s a good bookworm supposed to do? Go back to the Monster to order her books, or stick it out? I mean, what would you do?