A slightly overdue post in response to a Daily Post Prompt.
Around 15 years ago, I came to know of an offer that a certain bookshop/publishing house in Kerala decided to put forth in order to promote reading and attract customers on the side. An initial deposit of 1000/3000 rupees would make you a Silver/Gold member respectively of a so called book club for a period of four years during which you were entitled to a certain number of free books and discounts on all the others. And the best part was, the money got refunded after the period expired!
Being a voracious reader and neurotic book collector with limited allowances, it seemed like a dream come true. I became a Gold card holder and went on to renew my tenure after every 4 years, walking away with my choice of paperbacks every time with my wallet none the worse for it. It was quite a happy affair.
Yesterday when I went over to collect my bounty for the year, they gave me the grave news. After all these years, it had suddenly come to their notice that giving away books for free without any monetary benefit whatsoever was not really a good marketing strategy. The whole selfless Book Club idea had been put to rest and a simple discount plan introduced. So I would be required to close my account prematurely. And instead of the money getting refunded, I would get free books for that amount too. Plus the interest drawn up over the years. Plus the yearly lot. The whole thing came up to 4400 rupees (around 70 dollars)!
Needless to say, the next one hour was spent running around the store in euphoric mania, rummaging the shelves in a frenzy. My yearly purchases are usually well thought out and heavily influenced by reviews on goodreads, but with the princely sum at my disposal to squander as I wished, the spendthrift in me ran amok, piling my cart high with fanciful jackets and unread authors. I felt rich enough to be benevolent and even bought an overpriced collection of fairy tales for my niece.
It was a very happy day indeed. I am sitting amidst my spoils now, wondering what to read first.