The Old Switcheroo…

The other day I went to the bookstore, armed with a gift card that someone was kind enough to give me.  I was looking to re-re-buy Jitterbug Perfume since it is the missing piece to my Tom Robbins collection.  I looked around for a bit, wandered up and down the aisles and eventually settled into the spot where his books are kept.  Despite his “Greatness” he does not have his own room, or wall, or shelf; which was almost enough to make me leave and go find another store where they recognize his brilliance…..but then I realized that “other” store would most likely not accept my gift card.  So I pressed on.

I found the book I was looking for, the last copy of course.  It’s not like I expected them to be able to keep it on the shelf for long.  I immediately picked it up before the hoards could steal it from under me, oh I didn’t see them but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there …waiting…watching…ready to pounce.  After looking it over I was horrified.  When I got to the back of the book I saw that the price was $1 less than my blessed gift card!

What’s that you say, it’s $1 less, what could be the problem?  Taxes!  That’s what the problem is.  I still fail to grasp why they insist on showing us the before tax price on everything.  Okay that’s a lie.  I understand exactly why “they” show the before tax price….what I don’t understand is why we ALLOW them to show us only the before tax price?  It’s not like how much something costs before tax matters to us, I mean, what the hell do we care?  The only price I need to know is how much is it actually going to cost me!

I digress before this becomes a completely different post.

So, without thinking too hard, I came to the conclusion that the after tax price was going to be about $1.50 more than my gift card.  Which normally would be fine except…..I didn’t have any money on me, not a dime.  My options were limited.  I could use a credit card to purchase the difference, although the looks I imagined I would get from the clerk were enough to persuade me from that.  I could pay with Interac.  Somehow giving the banks $2.50 or whatever it costs to use Interac for a $1.50 charge didn’t sit well with me.  I could drive somewhere to use a bank machine I suppose, although that would probably cost as much in gas as the Interac did in fees.

Reluctantly I set the book back on the shelf and quickly turned and walked away.  It’s best to make a clean break.  You know, like ripping a band-aid off.  I wandered over to the next aisle and what did I see before me?  To Kill A Mockingbird!  Which oddly enough, despite having read it numerous times, I’ve never owned.  The price was within my gift card budget and so I whisked it up and took it to the register.

As disappointing as it was to not end up with the book I wanted, at least I got “a” book I wanted; even if I didn’t realize I wanted it until I saw it.


6 thoughts on “The Old Switcheroo…

  1. When is it that the HST kicks in? That obviously will drive the cost of books up once again.

    I don’t know. I read a lot of books and prefer to get them when they come out – so that can get a tad expensive. Our dollar reached parity with the U.S. sometime back in 2007-2008 right? And publishers never were able to catch up, before our dollar went down (slightly) again. Here we are, almost at parity again – but I haven’t checked. Are our books nearing the American price?

    My answer: ebooks. You can get some pretty decent deals, even across the border, and the Sony eReader seems to handle them fairly well. Of course if you prefer the heft and dynamic of a paper book, the reader won’t help.

    Congrats on getting Mockingbird! 🙂 Great blog!

    1. I’m not sure, but I think the HST starts, in Ontario anyway, on July 1st this year. I’d almost forgot about that rip off.

      Yeah the difference in price between Canadian and American books is way different than the exchange rate. We, in Canada, get ripped off large for books. To Kill A Mockingbird was 25% more in Canadian dollars than American. I don’t know what the rate is at right now but I doubt it’s that much of a difference.

      I do prefer actually having a physical book though, I just can’t get into e-books for whatever reason. There’s something about an actual paper book…the smell, the feel…I don’t know?

      Thanks again.

  2. Way to go. You got a great book and within budget too. I only go to libraries anymore or I would be penniless. 8)

  3. Ha! To Kill a Mockingbird…aaaah, brilliant! You’ll pick up Jitterbug soon enough. Goodness knows I’m starting my Robbins collection as we speak. — thanks to you that is! Happy reading!

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