So. Discussion time.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I’m a huge BookTube-addict. Like, literally. Every second that I’m not studying or reading, I’m watching some bookish video which I know I shouldn’t (because it doesn’t really affect my life) but I still do.
So, lately, I’ve seen a lot of booktube videos which target Book Depository (online bookstore) . Now, personally, I’ve never ordered/used Book Depository (because it doesn’t deliver in India) so I don’t have any personal, first-hand experience. So please forgive and correct me if I say anything inaccurate.
So what have these videos been about? When I say that I saw a lot of videos targeting Book Depository, what do I mean? Basically, these videos have been attacking this site for sending them books in poor condition, or delivering the books late, or messing up their orders.
Now, I totally don’t want to talk about the latter two points, about the late deliveries and messed up orders, because those are probably issues which are worth complaining about. Let’s put that aside, and talk about the first thing I mentioned, i.e., books being in poor condition.
Naturally, when I heard this, I wanted to know what exactly this ‘poor condition’ is. What this condition turned out to be? A mere smudge on the cover, or some kind of small cut, or a small break in the spine, or a small part of the cover folded. Obviously, the book – the words and the pages in the book – were NOT harmed in any way, but that tiny break in the spine was enough to make a whole complain video about that site?? Hilarious.
I know that a lot of people like to keep their books in pristine condition, I’m not holding anything against you guys. You have your own rights and desires, and ofc everyone else needs to respect that. I too, if given a choice between a tattered copy and a new shining copy, would definitely pick up the the new one.
But when did appearance and such trivialities become so important, that they actually have an upper hand to our reading experience? When and how did all this become so important? When I watched those videos complaining about how there was some smudge on their book cover or something of that sort, the one thing going on in my mind was, “how is that affecting your reading experience? Is that smudge making it difficult for you to read? ”
As long as you can hold the book in your hands, and read the words and soak up the story, why would someone care about something so trivial? It would have been a completely different matter, had it been something major such as pages not there in the book, or words not properly printed, or something which literally obstructs your reading. But things which have to do with appearance, it just seems a bit too much to me. I mean, it’s okay to be irked at something like this (I too get irritated when I see something wrong in the book) but to make a full blown-out video complaining and talking about the website is way too much for me. Somehow, it just doesn’t sit well with me, how things like that can matter so much.
A lot of people might argue that after all, we’re paying for it, so we deserve to get perfect, pristine books. But, technically, we’re getting all these books at huge discounts. You’re paying less than half the price for the book, and you’re irked by a small little mark?
Being from India, we don’t have a lot of such amazing sites available. There’s Amazon and Flipkart, and they’re cheaper than full-price, but not cheap enough to buy 15 books a month. And when I see people shopping from Book Outlet and Book Depository and such amazingness at prices like $1 per book, a small part of me wails inside. Here, at least in Mumbai, if you want really cheap books, you’ll have to go to those roadside booksellers who keep stacks of books and boy, they are in really bad condition. But over the time, I’ve become used to this, dismissing this as trivial and concentrating on the fact that at least I have the book.
So, maybe it’s the way I’ve come to live, and maybe it’s my problem alone, and some of you probably think I’m mad, but since I see a problem here, I felt the need to address it.
According to me, what is the use of investing such thought and effort into trivialities likes these? As long as you have the book, read the book and enjoy! It’s not a crime to want a perfect bookshelf (ofc not) but where’s the limit? Do we attack anyone or anything which kills this beauty, or do we learn to overlook it and concentrate on things far more important than that (like reading.)
Please feel free to leave any kind of opinion/s below. In fact, I urge you all to leave your opinions/your take on the issue down below. I would love to read everyone else’s thoughts!
I still love BookTube; I’m a total addict. Also, I’m not trying to target/attack any specific Booktuber (IT’S ALL GENERALISED GUYS).