Friday, 14 November 2008

The Little Guy Wins.

When I was a kid, there was a provincial lending library in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan, being a very, very rural place, did the sensible thing in a land with relatively few roads, a lot of space and people far and few between. The library was a mail order library.

We used to select from a list of books, mail that in and in a few weeks you would get the book, and a new list of available books. You could have it for 2 weeks to read, and then you mailed it back in the envelope provided. Since I was fairly young when I first began getting books from the provincial library, I did not imagine I could ask for anything more.

They changed the mail system when I was 9 or 10, and had small libraries in any town that wanted them. The library rotated between the towns all over the province, so every 6 months or so, you had an entirely new library. Now, when you did not know what to read, you just asked the librarian for help. I will never ever forget the luxury of being able to pull the books off the shelf and just take them home. Even though it was only open a couple days a week, it was so good having it right there at my finger tips, it was almost sinful.

Today, with mildly improved finances, and a little bit of choice in the matter, I like to buy books for just me. Lately, many of my purchases have been knitting books (but you knew that).

My latest quest, continuing in the tradition of lovely things, is for the book Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. I had an opportunity to get the book signed. A couple of friends were going to the Make One Yarn Studio retreat in Calgary, so I went out to Chapters for the book.

The book was not even in their system. It did not even come up on the list under the authors name. If it wasn't on the list, I couldn't even order it. Harrumpppppppph.

My friends brought me back an autograph from Nancy Bush, which is awaiting fixing in the book when it arrives. Because I like to support local book stores - I'd like to keep them in business - I went back just the other day and finally, the book is in their system showing a release date of November 30th. I ordered it.

I checked with Interweave. The book was released on November 1. It is just Chapters. They show the book slated for release on December 1, shows its release date as December 1, but at the same time, my favourite online needle work book store, a Canadian operation, The Needle Arts Book Shop already has it. ( For all my American friends, the exchange rate is in your favour again)

I'd support my local book sellers, but it seems they are not ready to step up to the plate and sell me that which my heart desires. If they intend to stay in the book business, they are going to have to do better. This is of course why the little guy will stay in business, and I would whine at the big stores, but I'd rather keep my little online place in business.

Next book purchase, I'm buying online. It feels like a step back in time.

1 comment:

Pikachu said...

Denise, just a comment about the lack of roads in SK. Being as how my sweetie is an engineer, and while he was an eng. student at U. of S, he worked summers, surveying grid roads.

He tells me that, statistically, Saskatchewan has more roads per surface area than any other province or territory in Canada.

I don't know why this little tidbit stuck, but I wish it had been a question in Trivial Pursuit!!