Do You Love Bookstores, But Hate The Disorganization?

United States
March 19, 2007 4:33pm CST
I love the smell of new books, so I love Borders Books and Barnes & Noble. However! Every...single..time...I go to get a new book, I...can't...find it! Let's get to the beginning of why I get crazy over this: I was a librarian for a few years for a major publisher. As a result I learned the dewey-decimal system, learned how to alphabetize rationally, and kept all my books in good order. So, let's say I was looking for a new book by a specific author and I had both the title and author before I even set foot in the store. I happily went to the store computer, looked up the book, determined that there was more than one copy in the store, and looked up its shelf location. Wandering thru the stacks, I first freaked out when I noticed how badly the books were alphabetized. Sometimes it was by Author, sometimes by Title, and sometimes by Genre! Okay. I checked all of them. Where was the book?! Taking into account that the kids working there were complete idiots, I checked the whole section. I can scan stacks faster then anyone I know. Still not there! Now you or I have to go to the info desk, ask where the book is, escort the info-desk person through author, title, the entire stack and finally, the info person gets an "Ah HA!" look on his face, and runs to the very furthest shelf in the back of the store, and comes up with the book. Solution? "Oh," he says, "When we get new books in and don't have time to put them on the shelf, we put them here." GAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Oh, *sigh*. Have you had this experience before? Do you have a problem with this, or other problems, like a store that orders only one copy and it's already been claimed, or the book is just plain missing? Tell us about it.
1 response
• United States
19 Mar 07
Hi. I hear you loud and clear!! I love going into book stores and I don't mind wandering aimlessly....UNLESS I'm there for specific books. Then, after several wasted minutes...hours...days...looking; it starts to feel like I'm lost in a vast wilderness of clumped together volumes that have no business whatsoever sitting next to each other on the shelves. I don't mind having to get used to a certain system in order to find a book; I just wish these stores would get one specific system that they could use. I agree, the dewey decimal system is the oldest system around, and for good reason; it works! Another thing that peeves me to no end is when, after a long time searching and finally finding civilization again; you give up and decide to go ask the sales associate (and I use the term very loosely) for help, they look at you and act like you are bothering them! I hate that to no end!!! I mean honestly, why can't these stores hire people who at least love books and know how to read! I know there are some who do, but the vast majority of them are just there for a paycheck, and it kills them to have to help. It likes they can't believe someone would have the audacity to ask them to do their job! Oh well....until the day comes where going into a bookstore can be a pleasureable experience every time, I guess I'll spend my time roaming the shelves... Happy hunting! :)