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For Some People, If It’s Not On Paper, It’s Not A Book

, , , , , | Right | August 27, 2021

A young woman has come in looking for a particular title. I can’t find it in our system nor on the database, but after a few minutes, I am able to track it down. It turns out that this particular book was only published as an ebook and was never physically printed. My store does not deal in ebooks, so there’s nothing I can do.

Me: “Ah, looks like that one was never printed; it’s only available as a digital ebook online.”

Customer: “Oh, well, can you order it for me?”

Me: “Unfortunately, no, I can’t. You’ll have to buy a digital copy through [Website] or [App] if you want it.”

Customer: “Okay, but I just wanted to look at it before I buy it, you know?”

She isn’t upset or angry or being difficult in any way at all; she just genuinely doesn’t seem to understand the concept of an ebook. That said, I am fast running out of ways to explain it to her.

Me: “Ma’am, it’s only available as an ebook,  as in electronic. It was never physically printed.”

Customer: “I get that, but it’s an expensive book, so I want to look at it and make sure it’s what I need, so can you just order it for me?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but it’s only available through digital download. I can’t get a physical copy because no physical copies exist.”

Customer: “Okay, but if you order it they’ll send it out, right? I’ve ordered books here before.”

This went on for a solid five minutes. I kept trying to explain that ebooks are ONLY digital and that, short of printing out the PDF, there was nothing I could do. She ended up leaving saying she would just look for it online.