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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rock Bottom (or close enough to it)

I have an addiction, and I need to confront it. I'm sorry for you all to see me like this, but I have to address this publicly so I can be shamed like the shameful shame inducer I am. I'm a book addict. Sometimes, I can't help myself, and I buy tons of books at clearance because they sound GOOD! I need to seek help, but I also need to chastise those responsible for placing me in such a predicament. So it's time for me to take on Big Booksellers! That's right, Barnes and Noble are BOTH going to have to answer for why I have a cardboard box filled with books in my closet! They're pushers! Seriously, look at their Baltimore Harbor location...

Just look at it! IT LOOKS LIKE A FREAKIN' CHURCH OF LITERACY! So I have no choice, but to issue the following letter to Barnes and Noble.

Dear Barnes and Noble,

It has come to my attention that you are a book peddling pusher, a literary pimp, and dare I say you are most of all…one of the retail establishments I’ll not only seek consumer solace in, but I also like hanging around in your Starbucks lounges. Nevertheless, you are a purveyor of many bargain priced books, and good deals on anything with a spine and jacket copy. We need to talk about this.

Seriously, I can’t keep spending my money at your store. I’ve been ridiculed for buying tons of books but “never reading any of them”. I try, oh lord do I try to read them. See, it starts with the blurb on the book itself…the sales pitch. Chances are if it has anything from the following list on it, or deals with the following subjects, I’ll at least consider owning it:

- Anything by James Patterson, Ian Fleming or Michael Crichton
- Biographies on people I like/am interested in
- Legal/Political thrillers
- Dilbert
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
- Harry Potter
- Comedians I like
- Frank Sinatra
- Historical events/person I like/am interested in
- Something that’s become a phenomenon that I feel I have to read (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The DaVinci Code are two examples)
- Something my girlfriend would like

That last one is important because my girlfriend too is a Barnes and Noble addict, and she reads faster than me thus allowing her to indulge in her habit even moreso. Dare I say, we’ll need a whole wall of space to keep all of our books together when we move in with each other. But perhaps the greatest lure, like a siren to the ships at sea, is the Bargain Priced Books section. That’s where you bastards really hit me!

“Oh look…that Alex Cross books I wanted months/years ago…only $5.99? Mine!” You have all those hardcovers on display, stacked upon each other as if to say, “Please take these…we’re not going to use them and you know you want them”. I’m not made of freakin’ stone here, do you think I’m NOT going to look through this section? And then you populate it with books from bestselling authors, as well as other not so known books I might actually enjoy, along with very prestigious omnibuses of famed literary authors and their masterworks! (I got one of your Dickens compendiums this past Christmas, and I was amazed that not only does it have the “greatest hits” of his career, it’s also a hefty enough volume to kill a man, should the need arise to dispatch of some fuckwit decides to interrupt me whilst I’m deep in the prose of Oliver Twist.)

And what's more, your coupons and emails that highlight new works by old and new authors...completely baiting! I'm supposed to "resist" 15% off coupons?! Or 40% off new and bestselling books? I'm supposed to turn a blind eye to the email you sent me alerting me that James Patterson's new novel is coming out, since I've bought past books of his with my membership card? I know this is like writing to a baker and bitching that they are the ones that are making me fat, but if the baker didn’t try so hard to push his or her goods like a fucking money hungry hustler, then I goddamn well wouldn’t be sitting in front of your books with a Starbucks Latte and a Dunkin Donut at my kitchen table now would I?!

We’re friends you and I, but we must reevaluate this pattern of financially destructive and alluring behavior. I can't just keep coming back to you for the sole purpose of buying a book. Sometimes, I just like to look around. Sometimes, I'm just browsing. You don't need to display your wares like some rouge tinted harlot when I step into your lovely establishment. You can romance me, and let me take some time to look around and find a book I truly need/love/want. I don't hate you...I just want you to better undersand me.


Mr. C

P.S. I might be going back to your After Holiday Sale page again when I get paid…I saw a couple good books I didn’t pick up the first time…DAMNIT, I CAN’T KEEP DOING THIS!


Anonymous said...

You should look into getting a normal addiction, like opium or miniature poodle breeding.

Mr. Controversy said...

Ah, I never thought of those two before...though when you think about it one kind of leads to another.

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