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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • February 24, 2006


    Borders Rewards Program

    I have been a subscriber to Borders e-mail newsletter for a few years. The weekly bulletin briefs the current events at Borders and promotional items. The real motive to sign up, of course, is the priggish anticipation of the store coupons that slashes up to 30% off on any one book. Changing business climate and the shifting in consumers shopping habit might have forced Borders and other chains to retain as many customers as they can (recently it has been very aggressive in sending all these in-store coupons that used to be sent only once a month). I don't know since when Borders came up with this customer-love-bombing tactics known as the Reward Programs. You're supposed to pick up a Rewards card with the cashier and earn points from every purchase. What pisses me off (and thus adds to my snowballing pet-peeve list) is Borders now relegates the 30% coupon and reserves the discount for only Rewards cardholders. It means I can no longer just print the e-coupons and redeem at my purchase because I'm not part of the Rewards Program. Borders is trying to exercise control over its customers by locking them into this reward program. I never pay, and I refuse to pay, full price for any of my books. I always look for the coupons, specials, and perks. For example, independent bookseller Green Apple Books waivers sales tax on Independence Day every year. Online vendors like Amazon cuts the prices of almost every item by 20%, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Maybe it's time to let Borders go. Going in there now is just for the sake of scouring for the my next online purchase.


    Blogger Jef said...

    I used to love Barnes & Noble, but then they began selling their discount card and cutting back on sale items. Then I started shopping at Boroders, and I have had the same frustration. I do like being able to into a bookstore and browse--especially when I'm not sure about a book. Then I would normally order from Amazon. However, now since my partner opened his bookstore, I can order it through him and get free shipping and 30% off with my employee discount. Unfortunately, the big boys have run many of the independent booksellers out of buisiness or online, and now we're paying for it. A good independent bookstore nearby may offer many of the same services and offer special promotions for loyal customers.

    2/25/2006 4:34 PM  
    Blogger Matt said...


    I used to make at least one purchase at Borders until I was fed up first with their selection then the organization around the store.

    The nearest Borders store from my house is Union Square - which is always packed with tourists and people walking around glued to their cellphones! The way staff takes inventory, at least in the fiction section is bizarre - they would slam and slide some of the books onto the floor and leave them there for a morning (think it's Tuesday or Wednesday) until they finish checking new titles in.

    Then 4 out of my 6 recent visits Borders didn't have what I was looking for. Now it launches this rewards program and terminates the weekly e-mail coupons which I have faithfully use over the past few years. I shift over to local independent bookstores with more savvy staff and people who love books.

    2/25/2006 9:06 PM  
    Anonymous iliana said...

    Hi Matt - Came over here via another lit blogger. I was at Borders just this weekend and lo and behold they quickly signed me up for this Rewards program. I didn't realize it meant they would no longer send you the eCoupons! Argh. Frankly, I just wish all stores would stop with the Rewards thing - I hate having to carry all those cards. Anyway, nice place you've got here :)

    2/27/2006 8:12 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...


    Thanks! I think Borders will continue to send the eCoupons but I won't be able to get the 30% or 25% discount until I sign up for the reward program. *sigh* Help me! I might just succumb...

    Check out your "nightstand" and it's very cool and neat :)

    2/27/2006 10:07 AM  
    Anonymous Danielle said...

    No wonder I haven't gotten any coupons for a while. I haven't gone in there since Christmas. I hate being sucked into these things.

    2/27/2006 10:44 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...


    Well, I got this Borders shortlist thing that says 30% off on any one book for ***Rewards program member*** and 5% for everyone else.

    5%? I rather wait a few days for my Amazon delivery. I just ordered The Accidental, Arthur & George.

    2/27/2006 3:15 PM  
    Anonymous Danielle said...

    Sheesh, 5% doesn't even cover the tax!! I have The Accidental started--not sure when I will get to Arthur and George though I have heard it is good.

    3/02/2006 7:12 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Your comment about the Borders Rewards program is absolutely ridiculous, considering that it is free to join! The net effect for a customer is really no different than before (maybe even better considering the increased distribution of coupons), provided you take the 10 seconds required to request a card and register it online. I could see your point if we had to pay to join the Rewards Program, like you do at Barnes and Noble, but for a free program - come on!

    9/08/2006 5:47 AM  
    Blogger Jarman said...

    I like Borders Rewards program. I came to know about this store from the CouponAlbum site. It's a great store.

    8/29/2007 4:31 AM  

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