Last week, Debra Webb's latest installment of her Faces of Evil series - RUTHLESS - hit the shelves all over the country. So I went to Walmart to get my copy. It wasn't there.
I figured, 'okay, fine - it's only release day and first thing in the morning to boot, so they haven't had a chance to put it on the shelves yet.' I went back to Walmart on Friday. It wasn't there.
I went to Walmart to get it because they've been so good about having these books when they come out. You know, a why wait for delivery when I can drive down, walk to the shelves and choose a copy kind of thing. (If I had a choice, I'd always pick out my own copy rather than be left to the hands of some shipping dude who may or may not care if he creases the cover corners when he jams my books into a box.)
So, yesterday I went back to Walmart. I rolled my cart up to the book aisle. IT WASN'T THERE. But the book stocking dude was. I said "You're killing me here."
"What are you looking for?" he says.
I walk to the last book in the series that's still on the shelves - REVENGE - and say "The next book in this series. RUTHLESS. Looks just like this one, but I think it's got a yellow cover. You can't miss it."
He says that he hasn't opened all the boxes yet and he won't know what's in them until he opens them. He's also got some boxes still in the back he hasn't touched yet. "How long are you going to be here?" he asks me.
I tell him I just started shopping, so I'll check back when I get everything else. In the course of our conversation, I also let him know that according to many people on Facebook other Walmarts in America have the damn book on the shelves already - ya know, since it came out LAST WEEK. His reply, "That's strange."
So, I go do all my shopping - which actually takes longer than usual because I was a scatterbrain yesterday morning and ended up walking all over the store because I didn't group the items on my list. Way in back for the printer cartridges, then back to the middle for toilet paper, then three rows up for these stick-on scent thingies (like Stick-ups, but not), then all the way over to the other side of the store for suet and all the way back for grocery items. It was like some weird ballet of "oh shit, I forgot the cat food which is over there" and "crap, where the hell are they hiding the stick butter again?"
When I finally get to the last item on my list - a birthday card for Mom - I head back in that direction. (The cards are right by the books.) Even before I pick out the card, I can see the book's not there. Like I said, it has a very distinctive cover. Still, after I get the card, I peruse the shelves. It's not there.
Book dude still is, but now he's talking to the Pepsi dude and there are still like three boxes sitting on the floor unopened. I bet he never even went in back for the other boxes. So I stand there, being polite enough to not interrupt what had to be a riveting conversation about their weekend activities or some such. At one point, the book dude looked right at me, standing there, and then turned back to his chat. I waited another couple minutes and then left - bookless. :sniffle:
I would order this one to read on my Kindle, but I have actual copies of the others and they look so nice in a row on my shelf that I know I need to have the next one up there, too. Argghh.
I guess I'll have to order from Amazon and take whichever creased copy they can shove into an envelope.
These people are killing me. And now that I think about it, they're probably what's killing the physical copy book industry, too.