Look, it's not hard, surely to all that's wonderful. In this world of always on, hi-tech, Overdrive, Amazon, eBay, umpteen other bookshops online all I want to do is read. a. book. Well, admittedly, not just any book. If I wanted just any book I could manage that - that's not the issue. I particularly want to read 'Gods and Generals', which is the first in a triology of books about the American Civil War by Michael and Jeff Shaara.
Is it on Overdrive in Essex Libraries? No. Can I reserve it then, to pick up? No, because they only have the DVD, not the book. Right, strike one. OK, let's hit Amazon and get it on the Kindle then. Nope, it's not on the Kindle. "Tell the publisher you'd like to read this on the Kindle" What use is that to me? I want it NOW, not in twenty hundred and frosty weather! OK, they sell it. How much is it? £8.69. That's reasonable. Foyles have it for over £9, and Waterstones - just don't get me started on them. 'Unavailable' is not the message that I want to get. It's available at Amazon, it's available at Foyles, why isn't it available at Waterstones? In fact, none of the triology is available at Waterstones. None of them. Is it any wonder that bookshops are getting a bad reputation? Oh, I can have the audio book, I can have the DVD, I just can't have the books! Waterstones - you are a joke. A sad, pathetic joke.
By now, as you can tell, I'm getting a tad peeved. I want my book by God, and I want it asap. I vaguely wanted to read it - by now I want to lick the print off the page. eBay - maybe there's a copy on there which I can get. There is! Hurra... hang on... £12? £22? Did these people KNOW I was after it? Is there some sort of supernatural book buying department that knows when I want something and hikes up the price before hand? Right, that's eBay stuffed.
So.. it's Foyles, which is where I'll be on Monday, which is ok... but remember... I want. it. NOW! Or I can order it from Amazon, and get it almost instantly. Do I actually care that I'm not helping out a bookshop or a library at this point? No - I really don't think that I do. They had their best shot and failed me. Of course, if I'm buying the book, I may as well get the entire triology. That'll teach 'em. £32 for a boxed set. Cheaper to buy all three individually. Great, thanks Amazon, thanks for nothing.
So, eventually, I admit defeat. The interwebs and the shops and the libraries have not helped me one little jot. So I do what I should have done in the first place. I fire up my XLS spreadsheet, locate the books - all three of them - and they're in Box 67 in the garage. That'll sort me out.
There's a moral in there somewhere. In fact, there are several morals in there, but if you'll excuse me, I just have to dust off the cobwebs, and I'll get back to you in a few days. When I've read my books. Oh yes!