Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Can't Be Had At Any Price

When you listen to as much fine-art music as I do, and read as many books for entertainment, you are bound to run into a few roadblocks in your plan for pleasure. Books will go out of print. CDs get yanked out of circulation and bricked into a basement wall somewhere, apparently, between Indianapolis and Terre Haute, Indiana. Sometimes even used book dealers are no help. It's one of my "pet peeves" (a phrase I have trouble saying with a straight face after reading Tanith Lee's unicorn trilogy).

Right now, I'm having particular trouble getting hold of two items. Amazon keeps asking me to confirm my order for the book Aunt Maria by Diana Wynne Jones, because they never seem to be able to find a copy of it and they want my permission to delay its E.T.A. rather than letting them cancel the order. This is more than Arkiv Music does when it comes to a CD of Gustav Holst's Cotswolds Symphony. I have repeatedly ordered it, and repeatedly been informed that my order was cancelled because they ran out of time before they were able to find a copy of the disk. Nevertheless both items are being sold as if they are available for purchase. It's very vexing.

The Holst symphony is vexing, because I keep hearing bits of it played on St. Louis' fine classical radio station, KFUO-FM. The very recording I am trying to buy, which seems to be the only recording in print, keeps teasing me with tantalizing excerpts as I drive to and from work.

The Wynne Jones book is vexing because I once had a chance to buy it at a Barnes & Noble in Escondido, CA, and didn't bother. Now I can't find it in any store, and I can't get Amazon to cough it up. The one time I did get my hands on a used copy (courtesy of an outlet store in Osage Beach, MO), it turned out to be missing 50 of the first 100 pages of the book, thanks to a misprint that replaced those pages with an identical copy of another 50 pages from later in the book. If I ever do get Aunt Maria from Amazon, and if it has the same misprint, I will probably just buy a plane ticket to wherever Diana Wynne Jones lives, knock on her door, and ask her to loan me her personal copy. I would be that vexed.

1 comment:

Marie N. said...

Sometimes I have better luck with Alibris dot com and abebooks dot com than with Amazon. Amazon takes forever to fulfull some of my home school orders and ends up canceling others.

I don't know what to suggest for the music. I've never tried the "Want to Buy" feature at Ebay so I'm not sure how it works.