is it fraud?
Today I spoke on the phone with my friend Wes while he was browsing in Barnes & Noble bookstore. I asked him if he was reading through entire chapter books. He laughed heartily, as he usually does at the “silly things [I] say [Jasper].” (thats what he says) The question did sound rather funny but I have actually done it! There might be nothing better than reading through an entire chapter book of novel in one sitting, save reading through an entire book that you believe is ONE OF THE FINEST WORKS you have ever read! I am only lucky person that can say she has done both. Yes, it’s true, I have read through an entire book while sitting in Barnes & Noble. It was a fine book. I’m sure you have heard of it: “The Secret Life of Bee’s” by Sue Monk Kidd.
A few moral question I have, though, are “Should I have purchased the book after having read it?…” “Has fraud, already, been committed once a person reads the book without purchasing it?…” I happened to LOVE this book but what if a person who reads the novel does not like it – should they buy the book anyway after having read it in entirety?
Obviously reading an entire book goes a bit beyond the implications of “browsing before buying,” but where does one draw the line on browsing? One page? One chapter? When is the browser obligated, morally even, to become the buyer?
I even visited the Barnes & Noble site to investigate this moral web I’ve seemed to weave. Nowhere could I find, not even in the “About Barnes & Noble” link, information or guidelines on “browsing: how much is too much?” Ya know?! I promise, the next time I step foot into a Barnes & Noble bookstore, I am going to ask the first clerk I see about this dilemma. I do these kinds of things all of the time, so the promise is an easy one to keep. And I might even document the task using the latest technologies including my camera phone.
Funny, one time I found $240 cash IN a Barnes & Noble parking lot. I went into the store to try and turn it in but they would not let me, for they could not distinguish if anyone in the store was missing wads of cash. Barnes & Noble has given me a little too much in life I think. I should have used that cash to purchase “The Secret Life of Bee’s” that I read but never bought.