An Afternoon Raid

The Barnes and Noble nearest to me is closing. This isn’t surprising, because it’s in the same neighborhood as a in-Walmart McDonald’s that someone on Google Reviews helpfully described as “The closest thing to the Mos Eisley spaceport you’ll ever find in real life”, and none of the creatures therein strike me as big readers.

Fortunately, this is not the Barnes and Noble I usually go to for my peace and quiet. Unfortunately, everything in this store is on sale, and I am as unable to resist book sales as I am able to reach things on high shelves (not).

So when my friends treacherously informed me that everything in the store was on sale, I sprinted over as early as my job would permit.

Of course, everything in the store was on sale by Barnes and Noble standards. 30% off plus my 5% member discount. In total, this means everything in the store was only about 5% cheaper than it would be new on Amazon, but never mind that. Books!


I was going to save for my future, but it turns out everything with a white sticker is 30% off, so forget that. My future is a nest of books.

Now, I had just returned from a trip to Disney World, the Land of Enchantment and High Pricing. I didn’t even pay for the tickets, food, or room and I had spent a considerable amount of money. And so even as I darted through the store, I had to constantly ask myself, “Do I need this? Do I really-“


Oh my God, all the journals are on sale!

I have a journal problem. The problem is that I love them too much. More specifically, I love to look at them, but not to actually use them for anything. “What if I mess up the pretty cover?” I always think. “Better to buy a lot of dollar store notebooks to go with the journals, so I can fill the notebooks with all my scribbles and save the journals for something cool.”

And then I never, ever use the journals.

I have several blank ones right now. In all fairness, they make my bookcases look classier.

I narrowly resisted buying an armful of journals, and when I turned the corner I faced another problem.


Oh, good. More things I can buy and never use.

Puzzles are very similar to journals in my mind, but I’m more likely to use one at least once. Because once > never, I bought a set of four.

And the worst thing is, soon even more things in this store will go on sale as their date of closing draws nearer, and I will have to go back again and buy more books and puzzles I don’t need, and I will probably own ten new leather journals by the end of the year.


But my bookshelf will look ten times as classy.

The Best Way to Waste Money (It’s Books)

Barnes and Noble recently sent me a small packet of coupons for their store. This is because I am a Barnes and Noble member, which is the very definition of Not Worth It.

This packet contained four coupons, of which two were 20% off any one item, one was some amount of money off a full cheesecake (which I very much do not need to buy), and one was so forgettable that I threw it away and can’t even remember why.

Now, I love Barnes and Noble and any other bookstore, independent or chain. Bookstores are where I go when I’ve had 13 hours of screaming boys in my life and I feel like taking my own internal screaming to somewhere quiet.


I’m glad to see YA novels are moving past one word titles like “Temptation” and “Bloodmoonangst.” This is probably because the industry has run out of single words.

But as I’m quickly discovering, a Barnes and Noble membership is not worth it because even after the 5% discount on books you get as a member, everything in the store is still an additional 20% cheaper new on Amazon.

Nevertheless, I had a coupon. For BOOKS. What an excellent opportunity to buy something I don’t really need! I thought to myself. After all, this coupon would probably expire someday, and I couldn’t let that happen.

So I went to B&N in search of a new children’s book.


You can tell you’re approaching the kid’s section when there’s Suddenly Potter.

The three to six boys I take care of aren’t really interested in reading. This is due to all sorts of ordinary factors, and these boys are destined to be just like most other non-readers these days, and that’s all right. But darn if I’m not trying hard on the littlest ones. I read to them whenever I can make them sit still long enough. I try out all sorts of books. As long as I can get some kind of foot in their mental doors, I’m happy.


I considered Blueberries for Sal, which is an adorable book that I remember my mother reading to me all the time. All the time. Presumably because the book featured canning, blueberries, and bears, which could be the title of my mother’s autobiography. I finally decided against it because I can’t imagine getting any of the boys to sit still long enough to listen to a lengthy book about two girls (ew) picking blueberries.


A newer Jan Brett book made me pause. I reeaaally love Jan Brett. Her illustrations are stunningly detailed and beautiful, and they feature a lot of trolls which I consider a plus in any circumstance.

Sadly, ‘detailed and beautiful’ is not really what these boys look for in books. And there were no trolls in this one. I passed on it.


I paused to stare wistfully at the ‘Pinkalicious’ section and wondered what it would be like to read Pink Fairies in Sparkle Princess Unicorn Land instead of Destruction Road Rage Monster Truck Alpha Squad.

In the end, I decided I might as well get a book that I would enjoy reading to my children someday, instead of an instant classic in this house like another Paw Patrol book. I picked The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, because I can never resist books about books. It’s like having a lot of books all at once. It’s Books2.


It’s not especially lengthy, so I’m relatively confident I can get the youngest to sit through it, and they might even enjoy it because they seem oddly delighted that I like books and libraries so much. This is a somewhat foreign concept to them, but they enjoy reminding me that I like libraries, in case I’d forgotten.

Happy with my choice, I took it to the register and purchased it for 25% off with my membership and coupon combined. The final total was $14.63, which is only $1.29 more expensive than buying it new on Amazon! Quite a bargain.

Whatever. There are worse things to spend money on.



Like drugs. Drugs are worse.