Living in a small town has its drawbacks, especially when it comes to shopping. Whenever I’m in the market to purchase something the choices are few – if there’s a choice at all!
Last weekend we decided to go to our local bookshop. I had some cash in my purse that needed to be spent and I reckon spending it on books makes good sense. Besides, I was in the market for a good Australian grammar reference book. I had spent an hour or so searching the internet but felt reluctant to purchase without being able to flick through the pages first.
The first sign of a problem was when I noticed the bargain bins were not outside the store. They are always there, spines pointing upwards, tempting passers-byers with titles that just might grab their attention…but often didn’t. As we got closer to the shop I noticed something else disturbing, no posters or books on display in the window. Admittedly my heart gave a jolt then but my mind told me confidently that the bookstore owner was simply in the middle of changing the display. It happens…sometimes!
Finally we came to a stop outside the vast windows and discovered, to our pure horror, an empty shop. Everything gone! We stood gaping through the windows for several seconds in silence. How could this be so? When did it happen? The small sign on the door told us “Sorry, I’ve retired”.
What can I say? I’m gutted. I didn’t feel happy that he could retire, or he felt he had to retire. I gave no thought about why he’d closed down; my only thought was “what are we going to do now?” We turned around and glanced across the road at the newsagency, but I’ve seen the small selection of books they carry – a few romances and a handful of biographies written by people I’ve never heard of. Even the books in the bargain bins would be a better choice. The only options now are the Post Office, which carries a few classics and some travel books, or the two second-hand bookshops, but I’ve rarely seen books in either of them that I really wanted to buy.
Yes, we did head to the second-hand shops but the only grammar reference books they had arrived on the Arc so were completed useless to me. I guess I have no choice now but to make more purchases from the internet, unless I want to travel to larger towns some 35 to 45 minutes drive away. I know it’s not that far to go, but it’s a nuisance.
My problem with purchasing online is the cost of postage. I’ve said it over and over again, postage to Australia is so expensive it’s not worth buying the book. With this in mind I set about finding Australian resources. There’s got to be somewhere online that is Australia based where we can buy from that isn’t going to cost us an arm and a leg.
The search results showed me it was difficult to find one place where 1) the books were a reasonable price, and 2) the postage was reasonable too. I could find one or the other but not usually both. Yet, having said that I did find one place that would give me both. It’s called The Nile. The prices are good and the postage is low – $2.99 for any number of books up to $50 (in total) and then postage is free. This means I’m back in the book buying market, because I don’t mind paying $3 for postage. That’s a fair price.
Now, where’s my Wish List?