28 December 2010

Book purchase experience

I'm a bookworm. Browsing book store has been my habit for many years. In Hong Kong, there are 3-4 major book store chains. They are usually located in major shopping malls. Sometimes I go to book store because I want to get the book to stimulate thinking. Sometimes I just pop in because I am in the shopping mall for other purposes, and it never hurts to visit my second home. Basically, every book store is my second home.

I am member of all book stores, but I am not loyal to any one of them. Although discount is given whenever purchase is made, there is no reward system based on purchase history. It simply makes no sense for me to stick with one particular book store. The book store is just a place for me to get the book I want. As long as the book is available, and it is not reasonably expensive, then where to get it is not my concern. However, I do expect the book store to be decently designed because I usually read before purchase. I do not want to be disturbed while reading.

One day I was in a shopping mall waiting for movie, so I decided to visit the bookstore nearby. I had no plan to buy any book but if there's anything good one I'd definitely be interested.

And what exactly is my definition of good book?

It's not necessary on the best seller list but it has to be relevant to the topics of my recent research. Sometimes I am attracted to the book name, and sometimes the book design. I seldom trust book reviews, or to be more exact I seldom read any. I know what I like, and I don't need anyone to tell me what's good and what's not.

I was in the book store. Since time was limited I quickly went to the new arrival section. I spotted a box set which was interesting. It's a book on presentation skills. I've already got loads but the box design really impressed me. Also, it got CD teaching you how to do presentation. I tried to open the box to read more but it was wrapped. I didn't bother to ask for assistance so I walked to the business section. I still ain’t sure if I would like to keep the box set as my collection…

There was another book on business strategy which was related to my recent research. Basically the book was just another business book but I liked the way it presented the ideas so I decided to take it with me.

Just before I walked over to the counter I made a call to another book store I frequent to check the price of 2 books I intended to buy. The other book store didn't have the strategy book but the presentation book priced $100 more. No questions asked. I decided to get both books at the current book store.

I've forgotten to bring my membership card. In order to enjoy the discount, I proposed that the customer service rep should use my mobile to check up my membership number which is the usual practice of other book stores. Sadly, the book store said it’s not their practice, and refused to offer any discount. Instead, they said that they could keep the books for me for a day, and I could come again the next day with my membership card to enjoy the discount. It's completely absurd because that insignificant discount definitely was not worth the traveling time I’d need to suffer.

I paid and left.

I was uncomfortable with how I was being treated, but I would still visit this stupid book store for book update. When they have book not available elsewhere, I’d probably get it from Amazon.

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