Anyway, I didn’t mention in my earlier post that my book-buying started in Waterstones. I came across it in the hour before we had lunch, and I thought I would see what their SF shelves were like.
Actually, they were pretty good, and I could see a number of books I hadn’t heard of before that might be interesting. Spurred on by the “3 for 2” displays all around the store, I ended up selecting 6 books. Only to be charged for 6 books at the till.
The cashier was embarassed and apologetic as she pointed out that below the big “3 for 2” display banners and shelf decals was a tiny line of type saying words to the effect of “stickered items only”. She admitted it caused no end of complaints, but was down to head office.
“Would you like to speak to a manager?” she asked.
“Will it make any difference?” I replied. She admitted it wouldn’t so I took my purchases and made my way to the door. Then I stopped and walked back.
“I’m sorry, but I really do feel strongly about this. I know it’s not your fault, but the displays are deliberately deceptive. I’d like my money back, please”.
Which is why I left Cambridge with 6 less science fiction books than I would have. The really annoying thing is that it occurred to me afterwards, that I could have used my phone to scan the barcodes of the books, so I could order them from Amazon. I can’t recall the details of any of them, now, other than “oh, that looks good!”