Sunday, June 14, 2009

Never a Joiner

I have never been a "club woman", unlike so many women in this town. I have a friend who never met a club she didn't join. She is kept busy seven days a week with all her good works. I don't know how she ever manages to read a book for her book club or paint a picture for the Art League.

Maybe I'm not a joiner because I'm just stingy. All the women's clubs I have been asked to join seem to feed on themselves. The first order of business is a collection of some kind. Or, something they want you to buy to help fill their coffers so they can go forth and do good in the community.

I do, however, join clubs such as "The Mystery Guild" and "The Doubleday Book Club". All they want me to do is buy their books. And, they'll give me all kinds of good deals. And, if I decide to resign my membership, they will wait a few months and then beg me to come back. Sort of like Mr. Broom, in that Swiffer commercial. They love me, they miss me, I'm one of their "preferred customers", they'll give me 6 free books (shipping not included) if I'll only come back and agree to buy three or four more in the next two years. Such a deal!

However, this time was a bit different. I notified the Mystery Guild to cancel my membership and they did, BUT..... They want to continue to send me catalogs. And, I am a member of their "Freedom Plan" . This plan is supposed to be sooooooooo much easier than the regular plan.

OK, let's see, now. Let's do a quick comparison.

The regular plan:

They send me a catalog about every six weeks.
I get a discount on all the books I buy.
I have to send the featured selections card back, after checking the send or don't sent box. If I forget to send the card back, they'll automatically send me the featured selections, and charge my account.

The Freedom Plan:

They'll send me a catalog about every six weeks.
I get a discount on all the books I buy.
There are no cards to return and no automatic shipments or deadlines.

If I don't want to participate in the Freedom Plan, I have to again write or call, requesting that they let me go. No more catalogs, no more cards, no more automatic shipments, etc.

If I don't do anything, I will receive the catalogs, but if I don't buy any books within the next six months, they will discontinue my participation in the plan. It is unclear whether I can stay on this plan indefinitely as long as I buy a book once every six months, but I'll bet not.

They go on to say that if I decide to "rejoin the club" , they will discontinue my participation in the Freedom Plan. This means, I presume, that I will go on having to return cards and meet deadlines, etc., like before. This is not a very good deal, in my humble opinion.

To tell the truth, I don't buy many hardbound books any more - usually just enough to meet the book club requirements. So why stay in the club? Well, because it is an easy way to find out about the new books coming out by my favorite authors, and maybe find some interesting new authors. It's like I'm keeping my finger on the pulse of the industry, or so I tell myself. Actually, I like to read ABOUT books almost as much as I like reading the books themselves. I'm quirky that way.

So, I'll keep on letting them send me catalogs for six months, and maybe by this time next year, after my Freedom plan has long run out, they will offer me the deal I'm really looking for. Six free books and a bonus book or tote bag, if I'll agree to buy three or four...........

Stay tuned.


Grannymar said...

My daughter uses Book Mooch. She has the books delivered to me and I get to read them before she she does.

Arkansas Patti said...

They want you Betty and you can pretty much state your terms. I do the same thing with magazine subscriptions. I don't renew and wait till they offer me such a deal I can't refuse.
Keep playing the game, the rules are in you favor.

kenju said...

I do the same as Patti with magazines, although most of mine are free - I trade them for frequent flier miles.

I trade books with a friend. She and I both buy, read and then trade. I get most of them at Sam's Club.

Darlene said...

I donated over 150 books to the library and most of them were purchased from Doubleday Book Club. They had accumulated in the years after I donated boxes of books when I moved into my house. I vowed to never join another book club, but I gave in to one of their offers too good to pass up. I had to buy another piece of furniture to store them. I broke the book addiction by tossing the book club brochures in the recycling bin unread.

Margaret Hall said...

(Smile) almost have to have a "guide" to read the renewal on most of the clubs! 3 years ago, I received a catalog from Fingerhut, and the gloomily stated on the front, "Last Chance, Last Catalog".
I have received one a month for those 3 years...Oh, they threaten, but still mail 'em out~! And, for clubs in the person---My friends and I are a club unto ourselves...
Have a good week...'
Margaret LaVonne Hall (of Images)

Deanna said...

I finally quit all the clubs years ago. I wasn't getting cards returned on time and ended up getting things I didn't want.

As for other clubs... nada for me. I'm too busy with life!

Looking to the Stars said...

I am a member of the history book club. I use it when I'm doing research for fiction books I write, will stay that way till they start bugging me to buy. I get the return card, I know I'll get tried of it till then I will do it.
I used to belong to clubs but no more, way too busy, just don't have time for it :)

bikehikebabe said...

In high school I was in a social club. The meetings which you were required to attend (to be socially accepted) went on & on & on. Everyone had their say.
Somebody said that I never said anything. That's because I wanted the meeting over & to go home. I've been turned off to meetings since then.

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