Vs. The Barnes & Noble Bargain Section

Posted: July 26, 2011 in Books
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Here’s the deal.  The bargain section at Barnes and Noble is a literary graveyard.  It’s where poorly selling Iranian cookbooks, how to guides to the things no one on Earth needs to know how to do, and autobiographies from twenty something, fifteen minutes of fame reality stars go to die.  It’s a sad, lonely aisle.  But, then again, you can’t beat a bargain.

I stopped by earlier today and arranged a few of my favorites on a shelf –

I know the titles are a little hard to make out, so let’s review.

Firstly, we have Uses for Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil, written by John Grisham.  Just kidding.  This was actually written by Random Person Paid Handsomely By Reynolds Wrap.  It’s published by a sweet little company called Publications International (their parent company, I assume, is Generic Industries Incorporated).  They have a whole series of these product placement gone crazy books.  I opened this one up and read one use for Reynolds Wrap – after swimming, wrap your wet clothes in aluminum foil to keep other items from getting wet.  And then I closed the book.  And put it down.  There was really no need to read anymore.

Next on the bargain shelf is King Size Towel Origami: 50 Fantastic Folding Projects for Your Bath Towels, Bathrobes, and Beach Towels.  The author is Alison Jenkins who, I kid you not, has also written: The Lost Art of Towel Origami, Towel Origami Pack, The Little Book of Towel Origami and Jurassic Towel Origami.  Not only is this woman making a living out of personifying absorbency, but she’s written an entire book about making your towels look like dinosaurs.  And that’s what makes America great.   

Towel Origami No. 2 - Dog

Image by Kevin H. via Flickr

So, if you have a drawer full of googly eyes and no other conceivable way to occupy your time, you can purchase this book and roll up your towels into animal shapes.  Look, it’s been a slow summer.  I haven’t had a copywriting job since May.  I don’t do anything.  I sit on the couch.  I watch TV.  I write a blog and try to complete two screenplays.  I stare at the wall.  My life is nothing but free time.  And I still don’t have enough free time to consider creating a panda out of my bath towels.  I think, by definition, there is always something better to do than towel origami.

Lastly, there’s How To Silhouette Your Pet.   I think a better title would have been Why To Silhouette Your Pet, because I, for one, can’t think of a single reason.  Only after I finish folding all of my beach towels into a grazing family of Triceratops, will I even begin to consider a schnauzer silhouette.

So, why should these books bother me?  Simple.  It’s the fact that this kind of crap is flooding the marketplace that makes it so much more difficult for me to ever publish my kind of crap.  I’m not saying I’m Faulkner over here, but I’ve got to be more entertaining than a book about how to wrap your bathing suit in aluminum foil.  Come on.  

So, how am I going to do it?   How will I clear out the bargain section and replace it with volumes authored by yours truly?  I guess I’ll just give them what they want.  Starting tomorrow, I’m putting my screenplay on the backburner and I’m writing Makya McBee Presents 1,000 Non-Kitchen Uses for the Spatula, Makya’s Guide to Even Bigger Origami: Folding Your Sheets, Quilts and Comforters Into Fabulous Landmarks for No Particular Reason, and Pet Collage!  The McBee Plan for Turning Household Pets Into Priceless Art With Only a Spatula.

Make some room in the bargain section Mr. Barnes, I’m on my way.

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Comments
  1. Michelle M says:

    I would read your spatula uses book because people who live with me get mad when I use it as a fly swatter. Something about cleanliness or something… Those are probably the types of people who buy towel origami books. And I think you should just self publish a few books and put them on that display to see what happens. If any of the employees start yelling at you, just tell them to be quiet; it’s a bookstore and people are reading.

  2. Oh, I disagree! You just never know what you’ll find in that box until you get in and dig–wait–that is a yard sale–or American Pickers. But you do find great bargains, because they’re on SALE!

  3. I forgot to mention that I would love a book on folding towels! I could put the little critters around on my pillows and feel just like I was in a ritzy hotel!

  4. Angelina says:

    Personally I like stacking my shelves at home with discount books of whoever heard of’s, and trashy reality stars. I am just now leafing through the 24 page picture book on shapes and colors written by the “situation” that only cost me $2.95. Thats quite the deal since it was $12.95 when first released.

  5. heathersnyder1 says:

    I try to stay away from the bargain section and go for the classics. Although, there are some interesting How To books found in the bargain section of B & N like: How to Enjoy Your Mother-In-Law, How to Kill Your Husband and Do-It-Yourself Coffins.

    I would love to see your books in the Best Seller section 🙂

    • Makya McBee says:

      Michelle – Self publishing is a lot of work, maybe I’ll just scrawl a few chapters in a notebook and see if anyone will buy that. I like where this is heading…

      Elizabeth – Yes, but you’re not trying to make a living as a writer – that might give you a different perspective. Nonetheless I wish you nothing but happiness with the towel folding.

      Angelina – I hope you mean that they paid you $2.95 to take the book out of their store.

      Heather – Do It Yourself Coffins – who’s the target audience there? Sick psychics?

      • Hmmm, very interesting that anyone would think of wrapping their wet bathing suit in Aluminum Foil. Very sad even that they were thinking of that in the first place. What can I wrap this wet bathing suit in so it won’t make my other clothes wet in the bag? Oh, I know, I’ll just take this aluminum foil that I had my bake potato in and wrap my bathing suit in it. Bingo!

  6. Jennifer says:

    The How to Kill Your Husband book & Do-It-Yourself Coffins books that Heather mentioned might be quite useful. Other than that I agree with you Makya, Aluminum Foil should only be used for food, that and maybe a really wild looking alien transmitting helmet.

  7. JP Feed says:

    Same goes for the free tracks in the iTunes marketplace. I mean you can’t really expect much with things being bargained or free but come on.

  8. jakeorcutt says:

    Hahahahaha you have no idea how much I laughed reading this article! I love it, I’m definitely going to subscribe to your blog.

    I totally know what you mean, the bargain section at Barnes and Noble is laughable at the least!

    • Makya McBee says:

      Jake – Just got “freshly pressed” yesterday and it’s strange – thousands of people will read that specific post and then maybe fifty people will scroll down and look at the others. “This is so funny,” they write, “But I dare not read any of the others.” I kind of wish this one had been pressed as I think it’s a little stronger. But I ramble. Thanks for the compliments and your impending subscription.

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