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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Bloody Whitcoulls

Whitcoulls, the book store is in trouble.  They have gone into voluntary liquidation, and are no longer fully honouring their gift cards and vouchers. 
As I have a $150 gift card with them, I'm not amused.

I'm also not surprised. 

Even though it was perceived as the biggest book store in NZ, it had a terrible reputation for dodgy offers and it's on-line system really sucked.  It was clunky, difficult to use, and biggest problem of all was that it didn't stock enough titles.
It was competing against Amazon and The Book Depository (TBD) and Whitcoulls was losing.
Amazon had far more titles, was cheaper (so much so that is some cases it was cheaper to buy in Amazon, pay for the postage, and still be cheaper than Whitcoulls. ) and TBD had more titles, easier to use web site, and free delivery.

With the advance of e-books, I wonder how long the traditional book shop can continue?
The new ebook readers are getting closer to duplicating the book-reading experience, with much better contrast graphics, the ability to work in strong sunlight (a major failing of the earlier models) and reducing cost and size.  Some of the more advanced book readers can also store your music files and playback, so you can read your favourite book whilst listening to your favourite music.  Just add your favourite drink for complete bliss.

At least it would be complete bliss except for the $150 owed to me by bloody Whitcoulls.

11 comments:

  1. Never mind TSB (of RBB), you can always use the school library.

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  2. I really like that Absinthe poster.

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  3. Thanks Richard [of RBB] that really makes me feel better.

    TWG: Yep, one of my favourites too. Imagine staring into the luscious depths, dreaming of possibilities and pleasures, and that's just the absinthe (I was surprised to see it advertised and on sale in France last month. I had always thought it had been banned because of the mental effects of the wormwood)

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  4. It will be a sad sad sad day when book shops are taken over by e-readers. I will never read a book that way. I love the smell of a new book and even an old one for that matter, i love turning the page, i love the feel of it in my hands. Not to mention I LOVE a bookshelf - the way they look all filled up and brimming with possibilities. A page listing books on line just does not hold the same appeal for me.

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  5. I meant a page online, not just a page

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  6. Gift vouchers are one of the world's biggest rorts. Companies weasel out of obligations when going into receivership, voluntary administration, bankruptcy or whatever they want to call it. It is very low-spirited. Millions of dollars are owed to millions of people through this. The worst is that the vouchers are given to them from others in the name of love or reward. This to me exacerbates the situation. I don't trust them and, if given one, redeem it as quickly as I can. I don't give them as gifts either, knowing that they might go belly up. Bastards!

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  7. I chewin' the carrot over that one, The Curmudgeon. By the way, did you know that the wine guy hurt his arm too? Probably did it while he was pissed.

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  8. You are wrong there Bunter. The Wine Guy was helping me through two days of heavy gardening activity. The nearest I saw him to alcohol was trading on the fermenting Huia and Kowhai berries on the ground.

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  9. Ringo ain't just a people guy, like you mentioned he is just oblivious. He can't help it. Did you watch the politically incorrect guide to teenagers? That guy said teenagers ain't right in the head, this is why they are they way they are. Well - maybe this is why Ringo has a job where he is surrounded by them. As for us? I'm in for small triumphs and the money.

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  10. Sometimes I feel that Ringo and I have a lot in common. Maybe he'll start a church too one day.

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  11. There's a chance you are qualified to receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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