Why I Switched to Amazon Prime

Because of the recent actions of my once favorite bookseller, Barnes & Noble (B&N), I have decided to change my membership to Amazon Prime.

Rigid Book Return Policies 

I bought a cookbook from B&N earlier this year and about a month after buying it, I discovered that it had vital pages missing. I thought it was a simple solution – just take the book back and they will exchange it for me. It wasn’t that simple. They have a very rigid 14-day return policy – even if you have a defective book. They refused to exchange my book. When I contacted the publisher they said to get with the bookseller. I was stuck.

Fewer Discount Coupons

Being a long-time member of B&N, I would regularly get two 20% Off Coupons in the mail. Those have discontinued for some reason. I haven’t received any coupons for the past couple of months. I also noticed that their email discounts have gotten smaller and smaller, going from 20% off to 5-10%.

Online Prices Are No Longer Competitive

My last visit to B&N, I discovered that their online prices are no longer in line with Amazon Prime pricing. Here are some examples from my Wish List:

  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century – Retail: $28.00, B&N: $22.40, Amazon: $16.80
  • The 5 Second Rule – Retail: $24.99, B&N: $19.99, Amazon: $16.99
  • The House of Islam – Retail: $30.00, B&N: $27.00, Amazon: $19.40
  • No Mud, No Lotus – Retail: $14.95, B&N: 14.54, Amazon: $12.76
  • The End of Alzheimer’s – Retail: $27.00, B&N: $21.60, Amazon: $17.18

Goodbye B&N! 

I always wondered why B&N sold their books for retail at the store when you could go to their online store and buy the same book at a 30-40% discount. If you were a member of their Book Club ($25 per year), you would receive the book within three days and the shipping was free. I read a lot of books and just cannot afford to pay retail at $25 to $30 a book. I will continue to visit B&N as long as they’re still around, have a cup of coffee, and peruse their books. If I happen to have a coupon, I may buy a book or two. If I don’t, then Amazon will get my order online. Not B&N.

The Butter to My Bread

Imagine you’re reading a mystery novel and you’ve reached the part where the killer is just about to be revealed. You turn the page to find… that the next page it’s missing! What the heck!

That happened to me recently! Only I don’t read mystery novels. I read cookbooks! Yeah, I know! Cookbooks! I turned the page to reveal that the master bread recipe page was missing.

When I called Barnes & Noble to alert them of my dilemma, they reminded me that I had gone way past their 14-day return policy. But, it’s a cookbook! You don’t read cookbooks like you do a novel. They apologized but stuck to their guns.

Book publishers don’t like you calling them but I did manage to get information on their website. “Any defective book must be returned to the bookseller,” was the message on their website. What do I do now?

I’m stuck with the book and all I wanted was the master recipe for the bread recipe. I know. I’ll just head over to B&N, pull the book off the shelf, and take a picture of the missing page. After visiting two different stores and not finding this particular book on the shelf, I was beginning to wonder if there was some kind of cookbook conspiracy going on here.

Then it occurred to me. Just order another book and hope that it has all the pages intact. Return the book that has the missing page (within 14 days, of course). And we’re done!

To make this long story short, I received the new book and all the pages were there. I physically took the defective book to B&N and talked to the manager. “No problem,” she said without even looking for the missing pages. “We’ll just send it back to the publisher!” She credited me for my purchase and next thing you know, I’m sitting down in their coffee shop perusing a couple of books, drinking coffee, and eating a blueberry muffin. Life is good!

“You are the butter to my bread, and the breath to my life.” – Paul Child to Julia

Moral of the story: When you purchase a book from B&N, make sure that it has all the pages in it before placing it in your queue of books to read. Or, just read the book right away!

Climate Change Is Affecting Your Coffee Flavor

 

Here’s a story I ran across while sipping on my favorite dark roast this morning. Because of drought and extreme weather conditions due to our changing climate, the flavor of coffee is degrading. Would you be willing to pay more for coffee in order to preserve its rich robust flavors? That’s the only way to get the farmers to switch to varieties of beans that can withstand the changing climate. Read more here.

Source: Climate change could be bad for your coffee » Yale Climate Connections

Barnes & Noble Bookstores Are Closing!

Barnes & Noble Bookstores are closing! Not really! I just wanted you to read my blog. Sorry!

Let me tell you how I walked out of B&N with a book in hand and only paid $5.98 for a book that still sells for its retail price of $27.00 on the shelf. Yep! How can that be? Read on!

I go to B&N once a week on average. My wife will say that B&N is my place of worship – and I won’t disagree with her. Let me share with you what I found at our B&N store in Hendersonville, TN, just two days ago.


I always look in the bargain section of the store first. That’s just being the cheapskate that I am. Oh, and I’m also retired. I found this book titled, Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World by Adam Grant, that I was interested in at one time but never got around to buying it. The clearance price was $5.98, down from its retail price of $27.00 (a 78% markdown).

I assumed that the paperback must be out and walked over to the shelf where the book is marketed. And sure enough, it was! The retail price of the paperback is $17.00 but you can buy it online for only $11.73. But the clearance price was still better – and it was a hardback. If you wanted to buy the hardback edition online it’s still $19.98 but only $9.00 through Amazon.


But, guess what? They still had the hardback edition on the shelf for its normal retail price of $27.00! What?! How can that be?! If I grabbed the one off the shelf and took it up to the counter to pay for it, would the cashier tell me that there’s this same exact book in the Bargain section for only $5.98? Any gamblers out there? I doubt it!

Here’s the breakdown on the pricing of this particular book:

B&N hardback on the shelf for $27.00.
B&N hardback online for $19.98.
Amazon hardback online for $9.00.
B&N paperback on the shelf for $17.00.
B&N paperback online $11.73.
Amazon paperback online $9.39.
B&N Nook for $10.99.
Amazon Kindle for $10.99.
B&N hardback on the Bargain Shelf for $5.98!

Are you as confused as I am about the B&N Bargain Books pricing when they still have the same exact book on the Retail bookshelf?


Here’s another weird one for you! I’ve been eyeing this book titled, 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos. It’s priced at 30% off in the front of the store. But if you happen to run across it where it’s normally stored on their bookshelf, it’s at the retail price of $25.95. By the way, it’s listed as 40% off online. I’ll have to investigate this next time to see if they would give me the discount if I took the book off the retail shelf and tried to pay for it. What do you think?

Portfolio Dietary Pattern Reduces Heart Disease Risk | The Physicians Committee

A plant-based dietary pattern can prevent heart disease in people with high cholesterol, according to a new systematic review and meta-analysis published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. Read more here

Source: Portfolio Dietary Pattern Reduces Heart Disease Risk | The Physicians Committee

Chiavaroli L, e. (2018). Portfolio Dietary Pattern and Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Trials. – PubMed – NCBI . Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 8 June 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29807048

What You Eat Matters – Now Free to Watch 2018 Documentary H.O.P.E.

“HOPE What You Eat Matters” is a new, life-changing documentary uncovering and revealing the effects of our typical Western diet on our health, the environment, and animals. Featuring Jane Goodall, T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Vandana Shiva, Melanie Joy and many other experts, the film is now free to watch all over the world.

“This important film highlights the choices we must make to help protect this planet and all its inhabitants.” – Paul McCartney

Find out more: Hope – The Project

Never Pay Retail for New Books!

I hate paying retail price for new books! I am a bookoholic and my name is Vic Leathers.

What’s the best way to find a bargain on books? Now, I’m talking about newer books that have been written in the past year or so – not something that you’ll find at a used bookstore or at a library sale. The example I’m using is a book that I found at Barnes & Noble yesterday titled, Simple Green Smoothies. And I walked out of the store paying only 70% off the retail price!

I frequent Barnes & Noble Bookstore and you can pay the retail price of $24.99 for this book any day of the week. But if you go to their website and you can wait a few days to get it, they’ll sell it to you for $17.49, or 30% off. If you prefer the Nook version, it’s only $9.99 (40% off). If you prefer Amazon they have the same book for $15.68 (37% off) and the Kindle version for $9.99. I don’t know about you but I prefer the book version versus the electronic version.

The other way of getting a bargain is to look at the “New and Used” sections on both websites. Barnes & Noble has a vendor that will sell you a Used copy in “Very Good” condition for $9.93, but remember, you’ll have to pay $4.99 for shipping. So, that really makes the purchase at $14.92. Amazon has a Used copy in “Good” condition for $10.21 or $15.20 with shipping costs. Not the best way to buy newer books online.


So, how did I get 70% off and only pay $7.98 for my copy of this book? This same book, same edition, that is on the bookshelf at Barnes and Noble for $24.99, was also in their Bargain Books section of the store. YES! The Bargain Books section! This is not the first time this has happened to me and I don’t care to make a scene by asking the manager “why” they do things like this. There must be a reason, but I just don’t care! If you find a book that you like, always check the Bargain Books section to see if they might have it there before buying it at the store or online. Cheerio!

Sources:

Simple Green Smoothies at Barnes & Noble

Simple Green Smoothies at Amazon