Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Twice Sold Tales: Seattle book shoppers beware

Attn. to anyone who may, at any point in the future, shop at the Seattle-based bookstore chain Twice Sold Tales. This bookstore's current anti-theft system consists of sticking big plastic RFID tags on the pages of every single book in the store. The particular variety of RFID tag they use is a 1.5 inch plastic square, and uses a glue that makes it incredibly hard to peel the tag off the page without both peeling off a layer of paper pulp (and, sometimes print) and leaving a sticky glue residue that makes the pages stick together. I speak, here, from bitter experience. They don't stick the tag on the inside cover, where such peeling would be relatively harmless and where leaving the tag on wouldn't make your page stiff and hard to turn. They put it on a page --- usually an interior page, which therefore has text on the alternate side; I've even gotten books with the tag stuck over printed portions of a page.

There are other bookstores that use RFID tags, but they usually use relatively harmless "blow-in" tags tucked between a couple of interior pages or hidden in the book's spine. I don't object to the anti-theft technology. I object to the fact that they use a technology that inevitably damages the book that I am paying for.

Twice Sold Tales is a sentimental local favorite, for the attitude, the atmosphere, the all-night hours, and the friendly cats. Unfortunately, I cannot patronize a bookstore that rewards its book-loving customers with damaged books. Until they change their policy, neither should you.

No comments:

Post a Comment