So here is my rant: Self, WHY DO YOU SHOP AT BARNES & NOBLE WHEN YOU KNOW IT HURTS GOD? you have always hated Barnes & Noble. They're an evil corporate bookstore and you hate them and everything they stand for and the only reason you started shopping there at all is because they're right below your parking lot and you have to pass them on your way home and they're always open and not even with the best of intentions can you resist a bookstore that's open as you walk by on your way home, and the worst thing about this humiliating shameful cycle is that they never stock the first title in a series.
So here are the books I have stopped in to look for over the last 3 months, that I have been unable to buy when I wanted, not because B&N didn't stock the series but because they didn't stock the first book:
- Kiki Strike - they only have book #2.
- The Luxe - i have no idea why but they only have Rumors and Envy, not Luxe.
- Shanna Swendson's Enchanted, Inc. series - they have Once Upon Stilettos and Don't Hex with Texas, but do they have Enchanted, Inc? no, of course not.
- any number of romantic series titles by Mary Balogh, of which they have DOZENS of titles except the first book in each series.
- incidentally, they don't have the first Libba Bray and have not had it for a long time, nor do they have City of Bones, just Ashes/Glass. Not that I. You know. Make a point of checking. *scuffs toe* Though granted, they have a beautiful full-frontal display of City of Glass right now so it's hard not to notice.
- Larklight - nope, books 2 and 3, not book 1.
- the Lucifer Box novels I went to look for last night, lol, I didn't even try to find the first, just was grateful they had any of them at all, and consigned myself to reading them out of order.
I can certainly understand not stocking *all* of a series because of limited shelf space, but wouldn't a smart buyer realize the loss of all the potential new readers of a series, and stock at least the first and the last book as a matter of course? I hate reading things out of order. And constantly not finding the first book so I can dive right in is the most frustrating thing in the whole entire world. I HATE YOU, EVIL CORPORATE BOOKSELLER. I hate that I keep giving my money to you even though you're big and evil and I hate you and also I'm pretty sure GOD WEEPS WHEN I DO THIS. Fuck you for being open at 9pm and for being right there and open and shiny and I HATE YOU. PRETTY SURE GOD HATES YOU TOO.
(Though, granted, last night I discovered that they put Erastes - Erastes!! - right there in with the other historical romances, and this made me SO HAPPY, until I discovered that inexplicably they'd stuck Alex Beecroft in their catch-all gay & lesbian section, which was very badly organized. I can only assume the Still, props to someone out there for going, "M/M romance is STILL ROMANCE" - especially in light of - well, see below).
Since we're ranting about bookstores and failure: I'm not sure why people are accepting the "glitch" story as the truth when we have repeated proof from Amazon that this was and still is an Amazon policy being consciously implemented. Amazon has said nothing about CHANGING its policy; all they have said is that a "glitch" called the policy to be implemented wrongly. No one seems to even be questioning whether that policy itself is wrong, but clearly - and this is what I fail to understand - books with GLBT content have been targeted as "adult" since at least February. We already knew that, we knew it on Sunday.
I am still outraged about this. And I hope you all are too. Oh, and P.S. - blaming "faulty customer service" on this is not only ridiculous, it's an irresponsible way to look at the problem. Customer service is NOT going to just "tell a customer what's on their script." A) the person I talked to on Sunday from Amazon did not have a script; B) most customer service support reps have no scripts; C) having worked, unfortunately, in customer service I can say with firsthand authority that no customer service rep is going to tell you, the client, any false data just to get you off their backs or make you go away, because first and foremost, our job is to cover our ass and make sure you don't call our manager later. If Amazon customer service reps were telling you in February that this was a company policy, then by god it was company policy in february.
What kills me is that people are reacting as though amazon's failure was slow reaction time, or failure to issue a full apology.
BULLSHIT. Amazon's failure is that it is ever, at any moment, equated GLBT content with adult content. Our failure as consumers is that we're still letting them get away with it. Because the underlying assumption is that it's okay to block "adult content" from the search results to begin with, and I don't think that it is. Sex toys, yes. But books? No. I don't think it's ever right to make a choice about what information to keep and what to withhold from the public, period. Not when you've already proven that your judgment about what is and isn't "adult" is, at best misguided but still hideously offensive, and at worst deliberately discriminatory.
Letting amazon get away with just saying "oops, our bad," and then letting them simply continue on with the same policy is the real #amazonfail.