Let’s Talk | Pre-Orders

I’m spoiled.

I’m ruined.

I had Amazon Prime for two years.

Know how long it takes to forget how slow Amazon’s normal shipping speeds are? About two years.

I got tired of paying for Prime. No-thank-you, I do not want you to automatically withdraw a hundred from my student-budget checking account. I quit, cold-turkey, thinking I could support my local businesses a lot better without Prime Shipping breathing down my back.

Which makes pre-ordering such a pain in the neck. Firstly, I don’t like pre-paying for things. I really don’t like pre-paying months in advance. I especially despise when Amazon charges my account so I think I won’t have to worry about paying later, then cancels my charge until the day they ship out my pre-order.

I really hate pre-ordering anything. I can count on one hand the times it’s turned out well for me.

The first time, I was about 14. Amazon was still pretty new to me. Heck, the whole world of online shopping was new to me. I put in an order for four books. One was Rampant by Diana Peterfreund, the rest were apparently much less important than killer unicorns because I definitely do not remember them now. I checked the “as few boxes as possible” option because it was cheapest. The package took so long to arrive, I had totally forgotten what I ordered, or that I placed an order in the first place. It was like Christmas to myself. This is probably why I get warm-and-fuzzies whenever I think about pre-ordering things.

The second was just this past February, when I put in an order with my local bookstore for A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, and because of a pub. date mix-up, I ended up with the book five days prior to its official release. Pretty rad, right?

I’m pretty much reciting these two instances in my head lately. I put in a pre-order with Amazon in early September, sans Prime shipping benefits, for Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch. These are all three books that I’ve been coveting since I became aware of their existence.

And, like a nostalgic idiot pining for that first pre-order experience, I checked “as few boxes as possible” (also, you’re nuts if you think I was prepared to pay same-day shipping on all three of these purchases).

It’s been nearly a month since Zeroes was published, two weeks since Carry On, and my package finally shipped two days after Ice Like Fire‘s pub. date.

Maybe this is the experience I should remember while staring at A Gathering of Shadows, the second book to A Darker Shade of Magic, sitting in my shopping cart already.

Note to self: Just because you order it now doesn’t mean you’ll get it before February.


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