Almost a Month of Books at Once

Today’s post sort of illustrates that sometimes you should be careful what you wish for, or indeed what you ask for. It is also a post to apologize to any publishers who think I am frightfully rude, please read on.

I had a little manic blip back in early May where I thought if one more unsolicited book arrived through the door I might scream/cry/have The Converted One move out/have a breakdown/have to build an extension. I think it was a book either about golf through the ages or maybe an autobiography of John Barrowman (I don’t include these in book arrival round ups for various reasons) and I had a little flip, not quite a somersault, more a cartwheel.

Rather than just sulk and whinge (because I do love books arriving, there are only so many Katie Price volumes you can handle though) I sent a few polite emails to the publishers of the particular books and asked if one of them would mind taking me of their mailing list, I have yet to have written about one of their books so it seemed a little crazy and costly for them, and the other to maybe wipe me off any ‘golf list’ they had. I then emailed several other publishers (not all as some very cleverly and wisely send me random unsolicited books they think I will like based on what I have read and enjoyed – very wise move, saves them money and makes the person receiving the books feel rather special) a general email along the same lines. And then something awful happened… no books arrived for just over three weeks! Though its meant have got a wriggle on with my TBR I was most perplexed and a bit worried I had offended.

Then last week on a fateful Thursday I came home to one of those wonderful red ‘we missed you’ notes and I got a little excited. There was a post-it note attached too, asking me to go to the shop next door so off I toddled and was greeted by a rather annoyed man who said ‘oh I see you’re the Simon I should be charging rent to’. I was mystified. That was until he dragged the pile of parcels you see above from his shelves and then went to the backroom to drag two post sacks to my feet )I haven’t a picture of them as a) thought that it could tip the shopkeeper over the edge for me to stand there and get snap happy and b) I had to hide them from The Converted One) with the words ‘these belong to you I think’. Any joy I had had for Royal Mail left me instantly. Can you believe they have been dumping my parcels on the doorway for anyone to nab and not leaving a note? I live on a main road – though high up above it, and the shop keeper was a rare kind fellow who had been saving them. I have bought them a very expensive box of biscuits as a thank you.

So that’s why there has been no update on books arriving for ages, and why publishers might be thinking I am an ungrateful tool! Has anything similar happened to any of you? What bookish horror stories do you have? Oh and if you want to know what did arrive then you can pop just here if you don’t like posts with lots of books you may wish to move on though…


Filed under Book Thoughts

22 responses to “Almost a Month of Books at Once

  1. Simon, that’s hilarious. And what a nice neighbour to rescue your books for you — just a pity he didn’t tell you sooner.

    In the days of BOL (remember that — it was a rival to Amazon in the very early 1990s), I used to buy loads of books that never got delivered. When I queried it with BOL they promised to resend. Eventually, all the books I ordered were replaced. Then a few months down the line the manager of our estate knocked on the door and suggested I visit the management office to collect all my parcels. What parcels?

    Yep, you guessed it — all the original books I’d ordered that had got lost in the post had been delivered to the management office but no one had bothered to leave me a card to say that’s where they’d been left. So I ended up with two copies of about a dozen books I’d ordered over the course of a few months!

    Later, everyone on our estate got a very stroppy letter say the management office would no longer accept Royal Mail deliveries on behalf of residents!

    • They are very, very kind and a present has been given to them for doing what they did, being on a main road what could have happened to those books doesnt bear thinking about!

      I have never heard of BOL, back then though I didnt really ‘get’ books or the internet. How times have changed.

      Management offices in buildings like that can be a nightmare. I always feel bad if I get doubled books and have to give them away to someone worthy sharpish. Speaking of which, you wouldnt want a copy of The Passage would you?

  2. You just gave me a wonderful image of a shopkeeper “saving” his neighbor’s books from the stoop. Thank you for that. 🙂

    I’ve been having a little trouble with the post office myself. Some packages have to be claimed–and paid for!–in the central post office, which is two hours from where I live. AUGH. And corruption is rampant, so I have to get all snooty and flash my ID and make people think there’ll be hell to pay if they don’t hand over my books. Which could actually happen. Argh. Don’t the post office people know they’ll bring a large dose of sunshine just by bringing in the books? As is their jobs?

    I am ranting here, haha, so I apologize. Hope you have fun with your sackfuls of books. I envy you, actually. Just seeing the parcels makes me wish the world was a perfect place that doesn’t require slyness to get packages that are rightfully yours. Thank goodness you have kind neighbors. 🙂

    And yes, I hide books from my boyfriend too, haha.

    • It gives you hope in your neighbourhood and the honesty of people too doesnt it?

      The paying for thing angers me, my Mum sent me two delightful yet overly heavy birthday cards and I had to pay a fortune… they were 10p un paid but the surcharge for ‘handling’ was crazy.

  3. novelinsights

    Oh I think it’s criminal for them to have left them on the street but hilarious that the PO man thought you should be charged rent hahaha. Must have been fun opening that new stash!

  4. Darla LaRoche

    As I read this, I was wondering if the store keeper is a reader also. It would be so wonderful if you could share books with him. You could have mini book discussions on the steps when you run into him as you come in and out. If he is not a reader, you might be able to turn him into one! Good neighbors are treasures.

    • It’s a DVD shop, he said he ‘didn’t do books’ I nearly said something but then thought best not, he might chuck them away next time if I lecture him on books vs film.

  5. Ti

    What a nice shopkeeper! I don’t receive any unsolicited books and I only request the ones that I really want to read so my pile is usually manageable, unless I request too much at once which may have just happened yesterday.

    Anyhoo, the only book package nightmare I had was that I was waiting anxiously for an ARC of The Day the Falls Stood Still, but when it came, it was literally RIPPED IN HALF. I have no idea how it even got to me. I had to read it that way too. You’ve got to wonder what happened to it and why the mailman would even deliver such a thing, without a note or anything.

    • I request a fair few, I can’t lie Ti. Lol. I had actually been saying to one of the publishers that I was most puzzled where their latest loot had gone and then low and behold I find out.

      I have had a few things arrive in a seriously shoddy state, what goes on behind the scenes in these postal places?

  6. Maybe the shopkeeper would like some free books? Haha. I do understand the anxiety felt when more books arrive than you could ever hope to read. I don’t like to feel like I owe anybody anything, but that is the way it goes I guess. I don’t get many unsolicited books, but they do show up, plus a bunch of others that I don’t remember winning!

    • I just wanted to explain to any publishers why they wouldnt even have had thank yous for the ones I had asked for until now.

      The shop keeper isnt a book kind of guy… I asked.

  7. You always share the best stories! And yes, I have had books go missing off my doorstep to the point I asked the mail carrier to just go ahead and push them on through the slot from now on. Problem solved. Always makes my day to see a book amidst the rest of the mail. Enjoy the new loot!

    • Oooh the pushing through is risky business though Frances. I have an over zealous postie on occasion who will do this and its been detremental to some lovely dust covers sadly.

  8. What a nice neighbour! Very relieved you got your books! And I checked your stacks, wow, great ones (at least no golf books, lol).

    • No golf, no rugby (though I am reading a very interesting book about cricket in victorian times which I never thought would be to my tastes) and no blinking c/z list celeb biographies, hoorah!

  9. That’s a lot of books to not have delivered! Your neighbour’s very kind, now at least he’ll know who you are so perhaps if books get left again you’ll get them sooner and he won’t have them taking up space (assuming he’s still up for saving them for you).

    One of our postmen kept putting parcels in the recycling bin and it was by chance that one was saved a few hours before the bin men came.

    Good luck on getting through the piles!

    • He has my number now Charlie. They were very kind indeed.

      The recycling… good god! Oh the visions of what could have happened then are too much. Mind you least they might have been made into more books, maybe?

  10. Too funny! What a brilliant story. How kind of the shopkeeper and how infuriating of Royal Mail (that doesn’t surprise me in the least).

    I’m lucky and don’t receive that many unsolicited review copies/ones that aren’t suited to my tastes but, like you, I still try to hide some parcels ;o I’m desperately trying to curb all book parcels until I read and cull more from those I already own.

    • Royal Mail never cease to amaze me with all the random things they do. And then they wonder why no one is using it so much anymore. Mind you those strikes last year… in fact lets not go there.

      The lack of incoming has given me some great reading and culling time, though now it all seems a little less worth while, it made room for the arrivals I guess hee hee.

  11. Nice of him to take them in but why couldn’t he find you and tell you that he had them?

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