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Bored at the Bookstore

Surprisingly, Bloodsuckers may sometimes be found in environments other than commissioned sales rooms. Sometimes, needing an urgent fix, they will troll through small businesses dependent upon ANY trade whatsoever to survive. They have recently discovered the attractive combination of small bookstores and technology; i.e., the practice of "showrooming". Here is an example, compiled of two separate but similar incidences, combined for clarity and completeness.

"Showrooming"! Students, is the art of using a brick-and-mortar shop's stock in order to see, feel, touch, heft the product desired, and then purchasing the thing online in order to, possibly, save a little money. The finer points include using the store's hopeful clerk/slave to find said books. Such a Bloodsucker visited friends of ours recently. Sounding its traditional cry, "Can you recommend some books for me?" the Bloodsucker proceeded to monopolize the retail bookslave's time for at least half an hour or more, as the running-up-and-down-the-aisles commenced. At long last, a satisfyingly tall pile of books was deposited near the register. The clerk returned from one last search to ring up this business-sustaining large sale, only to hear the second (corollary) part of the Bloodsucker's cry: "I'll be right back - I just have to run out to the car to get my [purse? money? tote bag? Nope.] Kindle, so I can order these from Amazon."

Surprisingly, the bloodsucker was not immediately rendered unconscious -or dead- by the exhausted bookseller. But the stack of books was immediately removed from the Bloodsucker's reach, sequestered behind the counter, and the Bloodsucker was told in no uncertain terms that such an action was completely and utterly not permissible. The cry of the Uncustomer sounded through the air - "Well!! I'm _never_ shopping here again!"

The response was, "You haven't shopped here yet!"

The Bloodsucker was encouraged to leave, amazingly still breathing, and the bookseller was left to seethe in private.

This has happened to many, many booksellers. I had a modified version myself, when a pair of Bloodsuckers pulled a couple dozen books from the shelvesand nested in our comfy chairs to look them over. They had a smartphone out, and I thought they were checking lists, as people often do. At length, the two Bloodsuckers stood, one saying to the other, "There, I've ordered them all on Amazon - let's go!" They walked calmly past my gaping self, leaving a mass of books tossed all over the floor around the chairs for me to pick up and put away. If they thought of that part at all, it was, no doubt, "Well, that's her JOB, isn't it?"

The Last Archimedean

To avoid "showrooming", some small bookstores in my area are banning the carrying of cell phones into their establishment.

Trucker Bitch

I've rarely ordered books from Amazon and then it was because the book I wanted wasn't carried in the local bookstore. Plus, all but two books on my Kobo(Chapters version of Kindle) are ones I already own. The two that aren't: one is a short story that's part of series of full story books, the other I'm waiting to come out in paperback to add to my physical collection.

I got my e-reader because it's easier to have it then to carry a dozen or so books in the truck while I'm out on the road. Just because I have it doesn't mean I'm going to stop buying real books.


There are some things I will never understand about show rooming or blood sucking. Personally, I like brick and mortar shopping. It's more satisfying, I guess you could say. Plus the Internet sometimes ISN'T the cheapest place. The sales and clearance of some physical stores can be different than online and I've found several places (mostly athletic stores) where it was cheaper in store. An example: I found some name brand athletic shirts for $5 on a clearance rack in store and the cheapest ones online (new) were $10-12.
Internet shopping does have its benefits, like I use it to buy used textbooks, but most online shopping isn't really for me.

Former Grocery Slave

I had a lady come in to shop for her sister-in-law. Her brother and sister-in-law's husband had just passed away, leaving her 20-something year-old sister-in-law pregnant with her first child and the child's father now deceased. Horrible situation. The custy though the appropriate action to take in this situation was to purchase almost $900 of clothing for her sister-in-law. She came back a few days later to return all of it except for one $30 item that the sister-in-law did decide to keep.

NC Tony

@ Bored: That first story (where the Bloodsucker was denied access to the books so she could order them) was full of win. The second one sucks and people like that should be denied access to their smartphone for a month. Every time they cheat, it's extended another month.


I will shamefacedly admit to occasionally going to a store to physically see something I was thinking of buying online. But when I do, I never take up a retail slave's time asking questions. I do sometimes find that it is a better buy in the store or that the store has something different that I like better. And NEVER for books. My Amazon use is for things my local bookstore doesn't carry and takes forever to order.


I SO need to find my local library. I just priced a paper back: $10! I just don't have the funds for that! And if I don't have the funds for the real version, I don't have the funds for the digital version. Besides, with the way things are going, kids are only going to know libraries for their movie rentals *sigh*

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