I'm an avid book worm and hardcover book collector. I understand the risks associated with buying from Barnes and Noble and Amazon seeing as they never put any real packaging in their boxes, but every once in a while I get the itch to TRY to get an undamaged book, and every single time I'm let down again and again.
Barnes and Noble doesn't put any protection in their packaging, just a simple little air pillow on top of the books. How is this supposed to protect the spine or the corners from being crushed? Simply put, it doesn't protect anything at all. It's a waste of plastic.
100% of the time when I order from Barnes and Noble online, I receive damaged hardcover books with not just bumped corners but smashed corners and spines on the top and bottom of the book. Ripped dust jackets. Creased dust jackets. Broken spines.
Pages falling out. This happens every single time I order. I always complain and nothing gets done about it. So I've just stopped ordering from Barnes and Noble all together.
I sometimes visit the physical locations when a book I want is to be released. Trouble here is, the books are never actually put on the shelves on release day... EVER! They have them in stock but they never put them out on the day of release.
It's always a day or two later that they finally get around to doing it. AND when they finally get them on the shelves there is only maybe 3-4 copies per location AND THOSE ARE ALL DAMAGED TOO!!!!!! Even large orders of books have crushed tops and bottoms of the spine. You may say well, maybe you're just too picky.
You'd partially be right, I am picky, but I also want to get what I pay for. If others are satisfied with a damaged book that won't hold any value whatsoever in a few years, that's on them. I, however, COLLECT. And every minor flaw can take hundreds if not thousands of dollars off the value of a book years down the line.
In this particular instance, I'm not talking about little dings or dents, I'm talking crushed spines and corners like the book has been dropped from a third story building and they decided it was still good enough to sell. For instance, I ordered 7 books from Barnes and Noble online back in February. UPS left them in the rain and there were puncture holes in the boxes. When I opened them up 1) there wasn't any protection whatsoever in the box and the books were flying around freely 2) there was sand, gravel, and dirt in between the soggy pages of each hardcover.
I took all of them back to the store to show someone and the cashier woman gave me the evil eye while returning them as if to say "they may be soggy and dirty but you could always dry them out." I was so angry after this... but not as angry as I would be going back to the store a month later to find the once soggy books that came to my doorstep dried out and put back on the shelf. THEY DID WHAT? That's right, they put the exact same water-logged copies back on the shelf.
With the sand and grit still inside them to boot. I was furious at that point. It was about 8 months later when I saw a Barnes and Noble special edition of Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff on the shelves with artwork on the end pages. I loved it and decided I wanted one.
Needless to say at all 4 locations all the copies were damaged on the top and bottom so I decided to order online. The first one came completely smooshed on the top right corner. The replacement came damaged at the top of the spine where the spine AND dust jacket were totally ripped. Back to the store they went today.
Now as I was there I found a MINT condition copy of another book I'd wanted desperately. I was so glad to have found it. I bought it and took it home. When I tried to remove the Barnes and Noble exclusive sticker it wouldn't come off all the way, and left super sticky residue behind, ruining the dust jacket.
I've pretty much had it with EVERYTHING about Barnes and Noble.
I'm done shopping with you. Everything about you sucks and I'm so fed up I feel like I'm going insane.
Product or Service Mentioned: St Martins Press Godsgrave Jay Kristoff Book.
Reason of review: Damaged or defective.
Preferred solution: You need to package your books properly or at least add an option on your website for packaging instructions. Also the books shipped to the stores need to be packaged better because the tops and bottoms of the spine are always smashed in, it's a mess..
I didn't like: Damaged books, No protection in packaging, Issue was not resolved, Damaged books in store.