33 Revolutions per Minute and the perils of buying online

Cover imageI tend to buy new books in bookshops and backlist online, partly because it’s become more and more difficult to track down less popular titles that have been published for a little while on the High Street. One such, Dorian Lynskey’s history of protest songs – cleverly called 33 Revolutions per Minute – had been sitting on my wish list for around two years. About time to buy it or strike it off, I thought, adding it to my order. When it arrived I was dismayed to find it weighed in at a chunky 843 pages, although it has to be said that the epilogue ends on page 685. It’s not that it isn’t a good book – the bits I’ve read so far have been interesting – but its length is intimidating and I would have thought twice if I’d picked it up in a bookshop. It opens with Strange Fruit – I’d already read a whole book on that, my fault not Lynskey’s, you can’t have a book on protest songs without Billie Holliday’s chilling classic – and ends with Green Day’s American Idiot. I’m on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Ohio, taking it steadily, one day at a time – well, more like a couple a week. It’s not my first online surprise, and I’m sure it won’t be the last – only the other day I had to wrestle a 935 gram jar of olives into the fridge, part of a hasty supermarket order. Please, make me feel better – tell me about your little online surprises.

10 thoughts on “33 Revolutions per Minute and the perils of buying online

  1. jacquiwine

    Hi Susan. My biggest disaster was a purchase of bananas from a certain online retailer beginning with ‘O’. I thought I’d ordered 7 bananas, but ended up with 7kg! They were very nice about it, though…
    I’m interested to hear about ’33 Revolutions…’ as I’ve got it in mind as a possible present for one or two friends. No rush, but I’d love to hear more at some point.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Oh Jacqui! Thanks for that – I had the opposite when ordering sprouts. Just one turned up. I imagine they had quite a laugh about that in the wharehouse. As for 33 Revolutions, it will take me months but if your friends like social history and music it would suit them well. Lots about the Civil Rights movement in the States so far.

      Reply
      1. jacquiwine

        Oh no, what a calamity! Thanks for the info on Lynskey’s book, it does sound as if it would suit my friends as they’re interested in the sociopolitical side of music, too. I expect it would make quite a good present, something to dip into and nibble away at in small chunks.

        Reply
  2. Alex

    I am in the middle of a similar sort of disaster although not exactly on line. Mine is to do with a mattress which was recommended for my back problems and has simply exacerbated them. I’m off later in the week to visit a specialist showroom, which is what i should have done in the first place!

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Much sympathy with that, Alex. I hope the specialist showroom will sort you out. Our bed comes from a local independent shop who let us loose in their showroom and left us to make our own choice, taking as long as we needed. It was expensive but well worth the investment given that so much of our lives are spent in it and how miserable life is without a decent night’s sleep.

      Reply
  3. litlove

    When I first read Dorothy Whipple, I thought she was so magnificent, I wanted to buy everything she’d ever written. I did mean ‘novels’ though when I wrote ‘everything’. Unfortunately, one of the books I purchased from amazon turned out to be her poetry, which I found disconcertingly awful. I just think tastes have changed…

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      It’s a nasty ittle shock when you’ve been looking forward to something and it’s not what you thought it would be at all.

      Reply
  4. Annecdotist

    I’m sure I’ve done this, but can’t think at the moment, and certainly couldn’t beat the 7kg bananas and the single Brussel sprout.
    Had three separate book deliveries yesterday via different postal services, seems so inefficient, but at least I was at home to collect them. Reminds me of making the mistake of ringing up Royal Mail to ask for an undelivered parcel to be redelivered, as if I was back in the old days when it meant a 30 second call to the local depot. This took 10x as long being taken through the different options by the automated system. One thing I really should’ve done online.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      I loathe that press 3 if you want this, 5 if you want that so-called customer service. I always feel sorry for the poor person on the other end when you finally get through to a human being by which time most of us are in a state of low-key fury.

      Reply

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