Traditional Friday browse and I came across this precious little hardback book in my "local",
Singing for Mrs Pettigrew a Story-Maker's Journey by Michael Morpurgo.Mr M is up near the top of my list of current children's authors to revisit.
This one looks interesting, a compilation of short stories and brief essays on why and how he writes and plenty of observations from his reign as Children's Laureate.I ummed and ahhed for longer than usual, perused and had almost decided.Usual arguments with self which I always win, what's money - you can't take it with you, you don't smoke, no holiday this year etc etc. I think we could have had a luxury round the world cruise in suite with balcony already on this year's expenditure, but no matter.
Something then made me check the inside back cover.
This shop sticks in a 2 inch square white, electronic, anti-theft patch in the back cover of each and every book.Flashing sirens will be thine if you pass through the international airport style security panels without it being de-programmed. The patch looks like it could double as nicotine replacement or HRT depending on need but, and here's the bit the annoys me, it can't be removed without ripping the paper attached. If you buy the book you are stuck with this mini-wiring system inside for ever and I've been watching too much Spooks to be happy about that.
Here's a fine example just to show I occasionally do pay full price for a hardback book!
I don't want a nice hardback book (that could just end up as a valuable first edition one day, who knows)complete with electronic gadgetry and when I checked on the handful of Morpurgo paperbacks I had chosen and found the same, I put them all back on the shelf and walked round to WHS for undefaced copies.Sadly though, no Mrs Pettigrew.
Singing for Mrs Pettigrew is predictably half the price on Amazon, I'm doing my best here, I really am and I was ready and very willing to pay full price for that book but they don't make it easy.
I realise shoplifting must be a terrible problem but only I deface my books, I don't want the shop doing it for me. By all means tell me I'm being far too pernickety, but do other Independent booksellers do this as a matter of course?