Dear Chapters/Indigo Bookstores,
I have had cause to be inside two of your stores on recent occasion. I have to admit that I did feel some trepidation upon crossing threshold of your property and under your magnificent façade. It’s not everyday that one gets the opportunity to bask in such greatness as your august self. Upon entering a bookstore I expect to be greeted with the scent of ink, paper and just a touch of mildew. Instead, I’m subjected to an aromatic stench of unnaturally scented candles, bad coffee and expectation. As I stand in a teary daze and peer agape at the vastness of the cavern wherein you sell your wares, I’m overwhelmed by the perfect symmetry reflected by every display and architectural detail. I quickly realized that nothing is out of place and that you employ the strictest adherence to the straight line. The prevalent hum of thousands of fluorescent lights is like a calming mantra to my tumultuous soul and the stark contrast of your interior to the life that bustles by outside is refreshing in it’s absence of character. I’d like to thank you, Chapters, for saving me that trip to the hospital to receive my yearly dose of sterility, it’s nice to know I don’t have to travel so far.
It amazes me that you employ people to ensure that every best seller display has the exact same number of books in it or to ensure that a pile of books on a table is geometrically perfect as I would assume you would hire people to aid customers in finding the item they were looking for. Upon scanning the books contained in your meticulously manicured shelving units, I realized my error. Of course one wouldn’t need to employ a human to aid in the search for knowledge when the same task can be performed by a machine with an Apple logo on it. Thank you, Chapters Mac, for telling me that the book I was looking for was indeed within the store. I just wish you could be more specific as to where in the ten thousand square feet of literary lineage I could find it. Nevertheless I will continue to search for the next hour because computers are infallible so it must simply be my lack of sleuthing ability that is at fault. I do appreciate that your shelves are kept to a height that doesn’t interfere with my vision of the various hipsters and assorted other human catastrophes. Do you sell knitted toques? That’s a shame but I do approve of your policy to build out instead of up. Why minimize your footprint by building a second floor beneath your fourty foot ceiling when you can just take up double the space? You’re like a Wal Mart for the literary without the low prices and brilliant fashion sense and that, good sir, I can appreciate.
Due to your extensive selection of tomes and your requirement that I search high, low and rectally for what I’m actually looking for; I’ve found some other items that I would like to peruse before I decide if I wish to purchase them. Would you mind if I had a seat and casually, but gently, skimmed the pages before I make that which is fast becoming a capital outlay of funds? Oh, obviously you do, as you haven’t provided any seating that would be conducive to this activity. Well, never mind, I’ll just sit cross-legged on the undoubtedly bacteria free and freezing cold tile here in the corner and occupy myself with my determination of this book’s worth. Oh-ho! What’s this? An actual human approaches? To what do I owe this honour? Please don’t sit on the floor? Yes I’m aware that this is a bookstore not a library, libraries smell better. No I don’t know if I’m going to purchase this item that’s why I was reading a few pages. Have you never heard of the adage “don’t judge a book by its cover”? You haven’t? What does being only seventeen have to do with it? Fine, fine could you please help me find this title? Yes I did use Chapters Mac and it was incorrect. Oh, pardon me; I didn’t know you were going on break. Would you like me to help you change the stick you keep so firmly entrenched betwixt your cheeks? No, you’ve got it handled? Excellent! We wouldn’t want you to go into septic shock from leaving an old one in there too long.
You know what would make this experience complete? Some ridiculously over priced coffee from a company that tells me how awesome they are because they only use ethically sourced beans. What’s that Chapters? You have an in-house Starbucks? That must be the other smell that I couldn’t quite place when I walked in: the deliciously greedy topping. It’s pretty admirable that you team up with a coffee chain that requires its suppliers to provide evidence of how much the actual producers get paid for their product. This can only lead me to believe that the outlandish price you’re charging me for this Iced Double-Frappacino Malted-Milk Clusterfucked Mocha Caramel Swirl Produced by Virgins With Double Hymen Protection and Made With Mediocre Coffee is driven by ethics and not profit. Kudos to you, Chapters and Starbucks, for taking my money and still promoting moral capitalist values, as I feel much better about my choice. I must say that having said coffee made by a girl who couldn’t even begin to hide her disdain for my non-knowledge of coffee sommelier terminology was an added bonus. Having to stand there like the uncouth troglodyte I am while she finished her five-minute epic dissertation of the weekend’s events to her Ugg and scarf-wearing co-worker before making my order was a justified and an acceptable punishment. She must have been an understudy of The Soup Nazi’s and as such is an admirable addition to your staff.
As I make my way to the checkout with my Coffee of Virginal Descent I can’t help but notice that all your shelving is angled in relationship to the walls. It’s a rather odd design choice and one that I’ve not seen many times before. Well how’s that for convenience! The shelving actually acts as a funnel right to the checkout area. I’ve not seen that kind of thought put into a design since my field trip to the local slaughterhouse in the second grade. I’ll bet that KFC stole their design for the six-winged chicken processing line from you guys. (Note to self: get some chicken wings.) This really is fantastic, sir: there are ten different lines two feet from one another and only two cashiers to serve them. Honestly though, I wish you had installed the “now serving” sign and ticket dispenser to really drive home your commitment to customer service. I must also applaud your policy of hiring for looks over ability, as this young lady is a real knockout. It’s perfectly acceptable that she doesn’t seem to be able to use software meant for a child of four year, she’s new so I understand that she’s learning. What’s that? She’s been working here for two years? Well, that’s fine too. Pretty people can be stupid; it’s in the bible. I’d buy one to prove it but then I wouldn’t want to further confuse Miss Tights and Tits here by adding another number to the equation.
Mr. Chapters I just thought that you would appreciate a little note to let you know how much I enjoyed my excursion into your store. After experiencing all you have to offer, I don’t know why I would ever go anywhere else. I definitely wouldn’t go back to that other store with its two floors, haphazard piles of books, quaint little bistro, worn wooden spiral staircase around a tree, carpet, chairs for reading, aroma of printed paper, character and actual people to talk to instead of a computer. I mean really, what does that place have to offer me but everything a bookstore should be. Thank you, Chapters, for showing me the error of my ways. Please continue your business plan of crushing your competition and monopolizing the market.
Robert Sparkletits Admin Moosechoker Onlygayeskimoiknow Scott Esquire III
Emperor of Canada