I think I am brilliant.
Well, no, I donâ€™t, actually. I think that generally, I scrape by and look a lot better to others than I see myself. But thatâ€™s not the point, here. The point is that I have come up with a solution to a problem that has been grating on me for a while now.
My book buying has taken a severe hit in the past eightish years for a variety of reasonsâ€” lack of time to read, my interests shifting, less satisfaction with the kinds of books I used to enjoy, andâ€”the largest issueâ€”a lack of funds with which to do it. The library has helped a bit, but I tend to read stuff that libraries donâ€™t buy for their shelves. (Or not my library, anyway.) My money gets saved for books I really want to read, from specific authors I really want to support.
I used to love browsing in a real bookstore. But theyâ€™ve been stocking fewer titles Iâ€™m interested in as well, which, again, I can sort of understand; the stuff I read isnâ€™t necessarily stuff that lots of people would buy, and so my kind of books donâ€™t make it onto the shelves very often. Theyâ€™d take up money and space, an investment with an un-guaranteed return. And while I love supporting independent bookstores, they are fewer and further between than they used to be, and so that isnâ€™t as critical anymore. Shopping at the big-box stores in person is pricey, and I get cranky when I could buy the same thing via the website of said store for 30% less, which can be a significant saving. Shopping online is cheaper, the books are almost always in stock (unlike the bricks-and-mortar shop shelves), we both save gas and get mail that way (yay, mail!)â€¦ but the drawback is that I have to pay for it via credit card or gift card, and the former is now emergency-only while the latter is confined to after Christmas and birthdays.
Until now. You see, this brainwave I had addresses both the online shopping, the disparity between the online price and the cover price in person at the store, and the payment issue. There is nothing stopping me from buying a gift card for Chapters/Indigo with cash, and using it to shop online. That way I get my online discount, plus mail (yay mail!), and my credit card is untouched. I also get to, you know, buy books, something I only do less than a handful of times per year. That’s made me pretty depressed, seeing as how I’m a writer and editor and general word person, you know?
I am a bit dazed at the simplicity of the solution, to be honest. And somewhat suspicious, as well. It seems so easy, after all, so something has to go wrong, rightâ€¦?
I will let you know after my next freelance cheque arrives, and I use a bit of it to buy a gift card to the bookstore.