Hawk's Nest

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Waldenbooks - Preferred Reader Program: The Passing of An Era

I had a sad day today. I used my Waldenbooks Preferred Reader card for the last time. They've discontinued the program even though I've been a faithful customer for over twenty years. The SciFi club, which they still recognize, is called Hailing Frequencies and I received a discount for buying Scifi just because I was a member. When the Preferred Reader Program started, you had to pay up front to get a discount for a year. It was always worth it and loved going to the stores to get my Star Trek book(s) for the month. I've been reading those since 1981.

I even got a chance to work at Waldenbooks over a decade ago and loved it to death. Being in charge of the Science Fiction section, I had the opportunity to make it the cornerstone of sales at one of the local malls. But alas, those days are gone as well. We live on Internet time and that's changed a lot of things. But I digress.

As I handed my discount card to my favorite bookseller (Go Rob!), I told him to cut it up. It seemed only fitting that a Waldenbooks employee do it for me. He did.

So now I don't have a card...I won't save any on the books I regularly buy (hardbacks are discounted 15%-30% and I do get e-mail coupons). I could move to buying from Waldenbooks on the web, but, oh wait, that's Amazon/Waldenbooks. How does that work??!! Anyway, I've decided I can't do that. Not as long as I know the booksellers at my local store. Stephanie, Rob and the gang take care of me by putting aside my monthly ST books when they arrive and giving me a call. That's service. That's friendship. So I'll help keep their store on the map, doing my small part...which makes me feel good.

Why? It's my tradition and loyalty...to the place and the people.


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