Saturday, March 11, 2006

Right to Read

It is ok to read. I fully support it. I also fully support reading comics. I don’t even mind if you read them in my store. However, if you spend an hour reading, and then leave without buying a single thing, let me say, I DON’T APPROVE.

I can understand if you are new to comics, or coming back to them after a few years, you might want to read or page through some, to see what looks good to you.  I can see if you are buying comics for a child you might want to page through some, to be sure they are appropriate for the child.  I can even understand a regular comics reader reading a book in the store if it is a new title, just to see if it might be something they’d like to try.  One might even read a few issues if he just wanted to do a quick catch-up on some book they hadn’t read in years, but a big event was going to happen, so he wanted to get back into it. (although I’d just recommend picking up some of the trade paperbacks to read and catch up). Or maybe you pick up a bunch and read them, and then decide on a few you want to buy.

What I don’t understand is if you are a self-proclaimed comic book reader/fan, and walk into my store and spend over an hour reading the new books on the wall. But then only complain about how nothing looks good and then walk out.  Page through some, if they don’t look good, call it a day. Don’t sit on a stack of boards in the new comics section and carefully read all of the recent issues of your favorite comics.  Especially don’t do it if you are just going to walk out empty handed.  And then, if you do, don’t come back two months later and do the same gosh darn thing.  If you want to read books for free, go to the library, or go on-line and see what’s happened with your favorite comic book characters.  But please don’t waste my time and space reading through all of my new comics and then not buy a single one.  Be polite, and at least pick up one, especially if you are a comic book fan.  It is just rude to assume you are entitled to read several stories off of my shelves without paying for them.  Sure, if you worked here you could, in fact I’d want you to. But you don’t do you.  Where does someone get off thinking it’s ok to just camp out and read comic book after comic book without buying any, in a business that makes its money by selling them?  Do you take a bath at Bath & Body Works with their samples? Do you spend an hour in front of the “free sample lady” when she’s at the grocery store, and then leave without buying anything? What gives you the right to read, for free, comic books that someone else would like to buy?

3 comments:

Scott said...

I will admit that I spend many many many many hours at B&N and I read LOTS and LOTS of graphic novels for free there.

And you know what? I don't feel guilty at all about it.

All the Cafe' workers at B&N know me by name and I spend so much money buying drinks and books that I just don't feel guilty reading things for free. --but again remember anytime I'm there I spend between $9 to $60.

The other thing people bring up is not how reading things for free hurts the stores... but what about the creative talent and the industry? Don't they get hurt by me reading for free?

You know what? Don't care. Lisa can testify how many trades I get... and when I read one for free in B&N and it clicks with me. I'll buy it and I'll keep buying the series. If anything, reading for free makes me buy more than I ever would.

Lisa said...

But you buy what you like Scott! The guy who prompted this rant comes in every couple of months, reads for an hour or so, complains that we don't have a chair to sit on, reads some more, then complains that he can't believe what Marvel or DC is doing with this or that character, and then he heads out.

I don't object to reading items - really! But this is a store, and that kind of implies a purchase of some kind. If I go into a B&N and just page through books, I'll at least stop at the Cafe' and get a coffee drink and newspaper.

Maybe he then goes off and buys the comics he likes in trade - from someone else. I know he claims to be former friends of another store in town, maybe he still is friends and gets a "deal" from that guy, but because his store is so horribly stocked, he has to come here to read them. He's only bought one comic book in 3 visits here, each about an hour long, involving a LOT of reading of comic after comic. I even made a comment to him this time, but I don't think he got it. As he was making his complaints about what he'd just read I said, "after ALL THAT READING you didn't find a SINGLE thing to buy?" Next time I'm going to have to get up the guts to allow him only a certian ammount of time, and then ask him not to read all the books.

As far as the talent, they get their money when stores like mine buy the books. What happens to them after that doesn't really make a difference to them, except that if no one buys it from me, I won't buy copies of future issues.

scott said...

oh I meant to say, but i guess i got off topic... I feel the same way about him as the annoying talker. Give him the boot. lol