No! B&N Sent Me a Bent Book!

People who know anything about me know that I treat all my books as if they were the single last printed book on the face of the planet. If the immaculate conception was the birth of Mary, then the immaculate demise is the placement of a book - in pristine condition - upon my bookshelf after completion.

Consequently, it was with great dismay that I opened a recent package from Barnes & Noble (purchased with Christmas gift cards) and observed that one of the books’ covers was bent right in the middle. Due to the size and dimensions of the box in which the books were shipped, just large enough to accommodate all three books in the order, the bend in question is a permanent crease, irrevocable.

Barnes & Noble may as well have included a used condom in the box for all that the bent cover represented to my sensibilities. I’m not saying it’s rational; in fact, I fully admit to being somewhat OCD about my books. Nonetheless, my enjoyment of and pleasure derived from this book is going to be significantly hampered because of the knowledge in the back of my mind that the book is blemished and marred. I believe lawyers would refer to this as “diminution of utility.”

I can understand where you’re coming from. I like to try and keep my books in good condition, though I’m not quite so OCD as to try and prevent the spines from creasing as I read; I simply can’t. However, I try and make sure the covers survive the reading, even if I’m reading on the go; I like when they look good on the shelves.

Were it me though I’d be calling B&N to complain. A permanent crease on the cover is quite simple unacceptable for me. When I buy from a brick and mortar store I try and pick the one in the nicest condition ('cos you’ll always get the few wags who crack the spine or mishandle the covers when paw over it) and never buy one with a dog-ear or crease, even if it’s the last one in stock and I really want it. I’d rather go to another store.

Huh. Well, call and complain, I guess, or take it to a local branch, if there’s one in reach. For a new item, that’s pretty unacceptable.

That said, I prefer my books used. Not just because I’m cheap and poor (though I am both) but because I like the book to feel worn, loved, and broken in. It makes me feel as though I’m a part of some group who’s read the thing, not the first one on Earth to read it.

Thanks for the encouragement you two. At times I’m somewhat reluctant to go through the hassle of contacting customer service, but I just sent an email to B&N.

I’m okay with a bent page here or there, but I freak out about stains. Ugh. Some certain people need to be banned from libraries. When I lend out one of my own precious collection, I first make sure the person understands that they are NOT to eat while reading UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. If the borrower is my brother, I usually add something about mandatory beheadings.

’Camp’ Freddie: But Mr. Bridger, what if the Professor’s not bent?
Mr. Bridger: Camp Freddie, everyone in the world is bent!

You received an item of merchandise that was not in good condition. You have every right to complain and get an item that IS in good condition, or they should refund part of your money, at your option, not theirs.

Hmmm…I don’t know. I am kind of the opinion that if it matters so much that your book is in PRISTINE condition, you don’t subject it to the whims of a delivery company…you pick it out and purchase it where its condition can be known and take esponsibility for it from that point.

I understand your frustration here, though. This would probably be too much damage for me to tolerate if I were giving the book as a gift or something, so I would definitely try to return it.