In Which She Outlines A Plan

I think I am brilliant.

Well, no, I don’t, actually. I think that generally, I scrape by and look a lot better to others than I see myself. But that’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 reasons— lack of time to read, my interests shifting, less satisfaction with the kinds of books I used to enjoy, and—the largest issue—a lack of funds with which to do it. The library has helped a bit, but I tend to read stuff that libraries don’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 they’ve been stocking fewer titles I’m interested in as well, which, again, I can sort of understand; the stuff I read isn’t necessarily stuff that lots of people would buy, and so my kind of books don’t make it onto the shelves very often. They’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 isn’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!)… 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, right…?

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.

11 thoughts on “In Which She Outlines A Plan

  1. Blade

    You could also get a refillable visa from canada post. Its not the cheapest option but could serve you well for more then just chapters/indigo etc. That way you could only buy when you could afford to. I’m sure it would help for your weaving stuffs as well.

    Also, as for you not being brilliant, I recall the tale of your Masters thesis “defense” and call horseshit to you not being brilliant, amongst many other reasons.

  2. Autumn Post author

    I love you guys.

    Blade, interesting idea on the prepaid Visa. You’re right, it would help with my online ordering in other places, too, while I pay down the regular credit card. See, if I was truly brilliant, I might have thought of that myself. :P

  3. Annika

    Pre-paid VISA is what I also have – and the beauty is, you don’t have to go to the store in person to pay for a gift card. You just transfer money from your bank account into the pre-paid VISA – and voila!

  4. Ceri

    Watch the pre-paid Visa cards. They’re unregulated and can carry hidden fees. If you don’t spend them right away some of them take a percentage off the amount you’ve stored on them on a monthly basis.

    (I hate to be the voice of bode & woe when people are recommending them, but there’s been several pieces about those cards on the news recently, amid calls for government regulation.)

  5. Autumn Post author

    No, the prepaid CC isn’t the type of thing I’d carry a balance on long-term. I’d load it for a single use as needed.

    ETA: My bank offers one that has no maintenance fees or monthly deductions, and has no expiry date. There’s a small fee to purchase the card, but after that it’s just like any other gift card. It can’t be reloaded, but the purchase price is so small that buying a new one isn’t a problem. Excellent.

  6. Pasley

    I add my voice to the rebel yell—YAY BOOKS!

    But I hope I don’t seem (terribly) disloyal when I say that my kobo has brought me more joy than I ever expected, and has already saved me lots of money in terms of book buying. Not that I don’t buy paper books any more–just not as often.


  7. Blade

    Slow gettting back here

    For the one i have which is with Canada Post, nothing is hidden in the fees, its up front. 14.95 is the initial activation fee. No annual fee, but there is a 3$ a month fee and a 3$ fee everytime you drop money onto the card. Theres one for pulling cash from it back but i dont know it as thats not what i do with it. I did say it wasnt the cheapest option.

    Also, caveat emptor. it’s all in the fine print.

  8. Autumn Post author

    Paze: How can it be disloyal to read books in any format? I just wish eBooks were actually cheaper enough than print books to make switching a valid savings for me.

    Blade: Yes, having looked at all the different kinds, caveat emptor indeed. The one from my bank that I will probably end up going with for occasional online purchases other than books is just like a gift card: buy it for $3.95, put desired amount on at time of purchase, and when it’s empty it’s done, no other fees.

    Also, in case people didn’t know, Indigo offers a direct payment option from your bank account now, if your bank supports that kind of thing. I used it once or twice, but so long ago I didn’t remember that it existed.


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