Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Doing My Part for the American Economy

Ah, consumerism.

Tuesdays are big days in the world of media. That's generally the day that new music, movies, and books are released. This can lead to a lot of hype and a lot of sales. If I'm excited about a release, I like to go get it on opening day, and I'm definitely not alone in that regard. Besides, generally there's a good sale price for an item on the day it's released, if you know where to shop.

Occasionally there comes a Tuesday when several items are released that I'm interested in. Yesterday was one of those days.

On my lunch break, I stopped in at Circuit City to pick up Velvet Revolver's new CD, Contraband. I heard them perform their first single "Slither" on Letterman a couple weeks back, so I was looking forward to this release. I was a big fan of Guns N Roses, so I was glad to find out that some of that band's principal members had a new home. Simply put, Slash is too good of a guitarist/musician to be unemployed. The CD had a release-date sale price of $9.99, which is a great price for a CD. I didn't get a chance to listen to the whole thing, but what I heard of it is pretty good. It's been a while since I've gotten a good hard rock CD.

I like Circuit City a whole lot, but I have to say that their sales receipts are just ludicrous. I bought one item--one $10 CD--and the receipt was probably a foot and a half long. I'm not kidding. I have a hard time seeing why that's necessary.

That wasn't the only thing released yesterday that I wanted to pick up, so on the way home yesterday I stopped in at the BG mall to visit Waldenbooks. There I picked up my brand new copy of Song of Susannah by Stephen King, the sixth book in the Dark Tower series. The release-date sale price for that was 30% off the cover price, and I get an additional 10% off of that with my "Preferred Reader" card. Of course, in my excitement, I didn't bother looking to see exactly what the cover price was, but it was probably around $30 for a hardback book.

You know the slogan for Lays Potato Chips, "betcha can't eat just one"? Well, that's what it's like for me in a bookstore. I can't buy just one. In addition to Song of Susannah, I also picked up Survivor's Quest, a Star Wars novel by Timothy Zahn. I probably won't be ready to read it for a while, but Zahn's books are so good that I like to have them in hardback, so I went ahead and got it while it's still available. It's not a new release, so it wasn't on sale, but I did at least get my 10% "Preferred Reader" discount.

I started reading Song of Susannah shortly after I got home, and it's pretty good so far. Intriguing, to say the least. I got 58 pages into it, and then I made myself put it down. I plan on taking this one at least a little bit slow. The next (and final) book in the series won't be out until September, so there's no need to rush. I can take my time with it, and probably still have time for at least one re-read in preparation for The Dark Tower.

Incidentally, that book shares a release date (September 21) with the Star Wars classic trilogy on DVD. So that will be another day like yesterday.

Given my financial situation, it probably would have been prudent to hold off on one or both of these items. I knew I would get them eventually anyway, though, and I figured I might as well get them while they were on sale. Besides, it could have been worse. I was tempted to get a new cell phone while I was at the mall, and also to inquire about having my laptop repaired. I think I showed admirable restraint by forgoing these extra non-planned expenditures.

Isn't spending money my patriotic duty anyway?

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