December 6, 2010

Be you ever return purchased books?

I'm in a bit of a quandary.

Last week, I finally got my hands on a book I've been salivating to read for over six months. I was really giddy to find it at the bookstore and stake a claim on my own copy. Then I went home and read, read, read until well-past midnight. 

When I finished the last page, however, I felt...kind of disappointed. Okay, I was really disappointed. The characters fell flat, the pacing seemed off, and the plot became predictable. All in all, not a terrible read but not a terribly good one either. 

So here's my little quandary. Should I return this book to the store? 

On one hand, I think this would be okay because I really didn't care for the novel and I'd be more than willing to exchange it for something else. Plus, I've taken good care of it---no creased edges or folded pages. It's like new. 

But on the other hand, I feel guilty about returning something I've actually read. I've already used the merchandise so wouldn't it be dishonest for me to return it? 

Decisions, decisions! Why is my life so hard?! Hahaha. 

So what do you guys think? Do you return books that you haven't enjoyed? I'm over-thinking this, aren't I?



  1. Hate to say it, but this is why I usually get books from the library instead of the store (well, also my bank account demands it! one day, right?). If I do buy a book and not enjoy it, I don't think I've ever returned it - I just don't buy books from that author again.

    Usually the books I buy are from authors I know I like, or books I've already read and loved and want for my shelf :) Then again, for Christmas I take a chance on a batch of new stuff!

  2. THIS is why I never see movies on opening night. Maybe I rely too much on other people's opinions, but the last time movie I saw on opening night was that space alien Indiana Jones and you know how that turned out. And on books, I'm with Lynn. I only buy books from authors I've already read or if several of my writer friends have gushed about it.

    Out of curiosity, does this book have a really awesome cover and a movie deal? Cause I've been wanting to read it too...

  3. I've started reading one of the way-hyped-but-disappointing sorts myself. I'm about 80 pages in, and if it were my own purchase, I'd return it. That said, it's my housemate's purchase, so I'll probably keep reading.

    I'm not sure if I'd return a book after finishing it. I think I would have to REALLY dislike it though. This is more a reflection on my laziness than anything else... it would take a serious negative reaction to make me angry enough to get off my butt and go back to the bookstore. (Or ship it back to wherever I ordered it from.)

    Perhaps it would be better suited to something like Paperback Swap? That way you can exchange it for another book you might like better.

  4. I've never returned a book for a refund or exchange. Then again I work in a library so I can get a heads-up, a sort of 'try before I buy' kind of thing.

    If you don't want to return it, you could always pass it on to a relative or friend who might like it. Or if it's in mint condition, wrap it and give it as a pressie! (yes, I have no shame).

  5. I don't think you can in Australia?

    I use the library :) And when I don't want to keep a book I give it away (to someone who wants it), swap it or take it to the second hand shop - i can swap it there or get a few dollars :)


  6. I don't think you should return it. It's like wearing a dress to the prom then returning it the next day. If you didn't read it I would say, sure, but what I usually do is just resale the book on ebay or amazon (or donate to the library) your trash, someone's treasure.

  7. Wow, thanks so much for the advice!

    *Sigh* I guess I need to set aside my selfishness and keep this book. You guys are right--I read the novel in its entirety so it doesn't feel quite right to return it. It's not Border's fault that I didn't enjoy the book!

    Ian, love the idea of gifting this to someone! I have no shame either! Haha.

    Lisa, no comment... :) But yeah, the author totally went to our alma mater.

    Meagan, I haven't heard of Paperback Swap so I need to check that out!