Monday, July 20, 2009

thanks, but no thanks.

Dear Estranged Lover,

We met when I was three; your embrace came to me in the form of green and beige, colors of augmentation. It was then; I knew that I’d grow with you. You quoted Hurston, Hughes, and Salinger while I browsed your shelves of inner beauty. My parents knew you well, appreciated the old school knowledge you kicked back to me, the influence you had on my thoughts, and the people you introduced me to. They were never afraid to leave me alone with you. We’d sit in nooks and read for hours while the smell of vanilla bean and passersby drifted onto the pages of the book I was reading and eventually circled the flesh of my nose. Our threesome in life was inevitable; Barnes and Noble would become my completion. However, like Adam and Eve, the more I learned, the more noticeable your flaws became.

During my collegiate years, my stare landed upon the small table by the Starbucks labeled “African American Interest.” You’d placed Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” next to “Desperate Hood Wives” and the like. I tried to figure out what you were hinting at, “Is this all African-American’s were supposed to be interested in?”, “Had you no respect for the prominent minority authors who deserved just as much placement with the rest of the fiction?”, and “Why is it that there were an insignificant amount of copies compared to the ten or twenty of other authors?” On July, 12th, 2009 I headed to my favorite place in the world to obtain Stacey-Ann Chin’s “The Other Side of Paradise.” I’d flipped through the pages of the acclaimed memoir during previous visits to the store. However, at $24.95 (hardcover price), the recession side of me begged me to walk away. Next paycheck, I ran out to obtain it, first thing. At entrance to B&N, I walked straight to the information desk. A thin Caucasian woman asked me what I needed help with, and before I could mention the full name and author of the book I was looking for her she pointed me to the autobiographical section at the declare of “memoir.” After ascending the escalator, I browsed the section and could not find the book under the “C’s.”

Traveling back down to the information desk I assumed that Stacey-Ann’s book was probably so good, they forgot to restock the shelves with it, when it ran out. An equally disinterested, now black woman stood at the counter and mumbled that she’d take a look in the back for it. After a 30-minute wait for her to come back, she checked something on the computer. She said, “Ahhhh, it was sent back. I checked the Simon & Schuster box in the back and guessed that if it wasn’t there, it has been sent back to the publisher because it wasn’t selling.” I was annoyed, especially because I’d had the same encounter while looking for Junot Diaz’s “Drown” and Jill Scott’s poetry book as well. Apparently, after 3 months on the shelf, before people can even catch wind that a book is acclaimed, they are sent back, predominately the literature written by minorities. I left the store without as much as a glance at the journal section. (AND THAT’S SERIOUS.)

Afterwards I went straight to Borders Books & Music; I was on a mission to fulfill my memoir craving. There were two young teens working at the counter that I told of my problem at Barnes & Noble. They were hell bent on having me become of a satisfied regular customer so they started their search almost immediately. They couldn’t find the book in their autobiographical section where it was supposed to be. However, they checked the other subjects that the book could be categorized under. They finally found it in the World History section after ten minutes. I was so happy that I found the book; I even signed up for a membership and glanced the journal section.

As for you B&N, my disappointment in you has run long and deep. I appreciate the help within my upbringing; however, I refuse to be only a second when it comes to you displaying the talent of my people. After my calculations, according to how many times I’ve been to Barnes and Noble in my life, (Every weekend, practically) my parents and I have probably spent well over $42,000 within your store during my lifetime. I’ m sorry our love had to end this way. Maybe when I’m idle or in dire need of a journal and you’re all that’s nearby, I might come a’ calling. Until then, au revoir!

New Borders, Books, & Music Member


Militankerous said...

Oh America and your fickle manners as consumers. Pun intended. Lol.

Healingprose said...

Mmm I'm getting that book for my birthday. Can't wait to read it (amongst all this thesis stuff @_@)

DdotRENEE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DdotRENEE said...

Yeah...African American Interest...I wonder who came up with that category when they planned the layout of B&N. This was the very topic that screamed out in many of our discussions in Thesis. This category (because its not a genre) states the true feelings of so called literary scholars. Our writing/literature is still undermined and put to the side as a category. They might as well had called the section "child's play". Anything that has some sense to it will continue to be out of stock or sent back to the "factory". Whatever B&N!

Unknown said...

Enjoy your Borders membership, Borders is great! One of the best things about them is the constant sending of coupons to your e-mail, which certainly helps during these tough times. And they do have a lot of books that B&N doesn't have. I certainly hope that Borders does you better than B&N (that was such bad English just now).

juju angeles said...

i mess with its much cheaper :)

Happy reading and writing tho

riva. said...

I'm glad no one is mad @ me for abandoning my soulmate, lol. Thanks for the comments!