Saturday, February 10, 2007

happy weekend

no- we are not the ones getting hammered with snow- that's the north country. thankfully for us- not so good for those folks. no, i spent the day shopping with my sister on one of her rare days off. we went to barnes and noble- and i decided that it was just cheaper to get my books through amazon. seriously. i am a book lover. anyone who has ever been to my apartment can see the mini library. if i had enough room for another shelf- i would go and get my other box of books from my mom's attic. sigh. i just cannot pay $35.00 for a book. if i did, that thing damned well better be in 24 carat gold! so- we looked around and bought some paperbacks for mom and jane eyre for my sister. she saw it recently on pbs- and decided to get the book.

all well and good- but wal-mart is in the same plaza- and since i wanted to save gas- my sister and i went in to do some light shopping. i bought energy saving lightbulbs and she wanted to get a card or two- and as i was standing in between 2 racks of blouses in order not to get run over- i decided to really take a look around. what i saw was a whole bunch of folks who looked like they couldn't afford indoor plumbing who were doing their part to keep our economy afloat. there they were like good minions spending their dollars in the never ending quest of the american dream. now, i know that some folks do their fooding there and if you have 8 kids it's cheaper to buy their clothes there and whatnot. i do shop there occasionally because they do have just about everything under the sun at mostly cheaper prices.

my thought is- i wish that there were less chain stores and more stores. we try to shop locally when we can- we have a hardware store that we go to as much as we can for just about everything. it just isn't possible for most things simply because the chain stores have driven away the competition. no- i am not waxing nostagic because frankly, i can't remember a time without mcdonalds or kmart or wal-mart. i just know that when i go to the local hardware- those folks know who i am and they do their level best to help with whatever questions i have- and laugh and joke about the big brown spot on the lawn that they helped fix. it is a unique spot in an increasingly homogenized and generic landscape. maybe that's it. maybe i am longing for more individualism from the country that personified it. less conformity and more individuality. not likely when i can get a lightbulb for $2.00 in binghamton and $2.00 in boise from the chain.

7 comments:

FreeCyprus said...

All our libraries have a section where they sell withdrawn books - $1 for hardcovers, 50cents for paperbacks. I've found a lot of great books this way and the money goes to a good cause. I actually give them a bit more cause I feel guilty the books are so cheap!

Peacechick Mary said...

I also buy from the library and I'll bet you'd love Half.com. Lots of great bargains there and if I don't want to keep the book, I donate it back to the library for resale. Hey, they have the real estate to keep all the books. I just read 'em.

Obob said...

one of my greatest pleasures are the library booksales. It was so bad my wife wanted me to teach so i could get the cases of books out our house. they no infest my classroom and its closet

Ingrid said...

books aah.. I usually get some for christmas and birthday and in between and somehow I never have enough time to read. There are loads of books I have that are on my 'to read' list..lol
don't you just love having a mini library? I still dream of having a 'proper' library room a la those you see in british tv shows/films/houses..
Ingrid

No said...

I'm in the middle of six books right now...the library is my castle! I'm there all the time..Check 'em out and bring 'em back..that's my motto!

EAPrez said...

Your post is a perfect example of why I don't shop at Walmart and every chance I get I tell someone Walmart is bad for America!!!! Hard to convince people to shop somewhere else and pay a bit more. Most people don't want U.S. jobs to go overseas yet at the same time shop at Walmart which is part of the blame for that.

I started using the library about 3 yrs ago - has saved me tons in CD and book costs. I have TONS of books - I started getting rid of lots of them. Yeah they're nice to hold and look at but the reality is if I wont read them again they're just taking up space so I forced myself to get rid of lots of them. I still have three to the ceiling library style bookshelves FILLED with books but I am making a dent - one book at a time.

Dizzy Dezzi said...

Betmo, I think you hit the nail on the head. Shopping the big box type stores has become so impersonal. It's nice when you can walk in somewhere and they already know what you want/need the minute you walk in a room...they already know your tastes, so they aren't going to try and peddle something just because it's on sale, but also because they know you will appreciate the item. That is definitely missing from the Wal-Mart type stores.

I also wanted to add that like Ingrid, I literally have an entire shelf of books that I "intend" to read, I just have not gotten to them. I guess you could call me a book collector. But thankfully, my husband and children read enough for the whole neighborhood (the library LOVES us). I buy my books on sale or at private/used bookstores (particularly ones that let us trade old books for credit towards future purchases...aww, the good old days).