I was feeling especially civic-minded after spending all of last week writing about Peter Watts’ trial. I’ve always intended to read Robert A. Heinlein’s Take Back Your Government eventually anyway so I decided to do it now. He might help me think about a citizen’s response to events like this. So I set out to order a copy.
First I went to Amazon.com. Three vendors were willing to sell me the 1992 paperback for $52. Others were willing to let me pay a lot more. Outrageous! Because I know these are not autographed copies. (Sherlock Holmes could not have deduced that more quickly.)
Then I remembered someone had written during last year’s campaign that Baen might reissue the book. What had they done since then? I checked the Baen website. Good news. Take Back Your Government was available as an e-book for just $5. A sweet deal, because Baen offers its e-books in multiple formats. I’d be able to load a copy on my Kindle.
There was an option to buy Heinlein’s book separately or bundled together with a book called Taxpayers Tea Party for $10. Why would I want that? So I hit the purchase button to order the Heinlein e-book. The shopping cart screen appeared — but it was empty. Well, I must have done something wrong. I worked my way back to the page with the purchase button and hit it once more. The shopping cart screen came back empty again.
The third time I tried clicking on the Heinlein/Tea Party bundle. This time the shopping cart showed my order. I said Aha! and started having conspiratorial thoughts. But because I’d have happily paid $10 just to get the Heinlein book, I rationalized going through with the purchase.
And I thought, I’m going to blog about this.
Then this morning I started wondering if I’d really just done something dumb? I’ve been happy buying from Baen all along. I’d hate to criticize them if it was my fault. So I returned to the Baen site and tried ordering a single copy of Take Back Your Government. And you know what? It worked perfectly the first time.
So I guess I just did something dumb yesterday. I will not get to name this post “Take Back My Merchandise.” Which just kills me.