an open letter to barnes and noble (subtitle: when something good goes horribly awry):
barnes and noble, you owe me nothing. i have not shopped at your houston-galleria location ever since i had a run-in with one of your employees — that snivelly, bad-shirt-wearing gentleman whose lunch still clung to the corner of his mouth — over special ordering a jane austen novel. yet despite my loyalties to amazon and half-price books, i respected you. until now.
you have recently bought out rice university’s campus bookstore. this was a good move, as you decided to go quality over quantity in the apparel department. since you’ve arrived, i can make it to the cash registers without impaling myself with a stray hanger or forcing my way through a jungle of midguided pink-glitter baby tees and sweatpants, destined to be worn at all hours around campus, that say “go owls!” across the hienie. and because in most situations i don’t buy my books at the campus store, your prices did not much concern me.
HOWEVER. your new campus store website does not provide ISBN numbers for textbooks. this would not be problematic if i wasn’t reading books that come in, perhaps, 25 editions — books published by every press from dover thrift to oxford to — hell — probably petfancy and the fred savage fan club. and i have learned that at the great institution that is rice university, it behooves the english grad student to buy the correct edition. if you think simply not providing the ISBN will prevent me from buying all my books used from half-price, you are wrong. i will go through a LOT of trouble to avoid buying my books at the campus store, barnes-and-noble-owned or otherwise.