Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Just In Time: or, Why Barnes & Noble Wants You Dead

This is an aside. I'll have something more on topic up later on.
But in visiting the 5 nearest huge book warehouse stores hereabouts, I was hoping to find some common reference work on first aid or medical topics.

The reality was not just no, but Hell to the F*cking No!
They don't carry that.

You can find out how to ace every exam for every healthcare occupation, from slinging bedpans to doing surgery. Even for non-English speakers.
But if you came into the store hoping to find a book covering basic first aid, you'd bleed to death, or die of old age before you found one.

Personally, I'm not worried; I have 80 feet of bookshelves at last glance, and the damned things keep mating and multiplying when my back's turned, occupying every flat surface like Tribbles from an episode of Star Trek.
But if you, being reasonably intelligent, and wanting to prepare, trotted on down to the single largest retailer of printed materials hereabouts, you'd be S.O.L.

I'm sure some drone will pipe up about how they have everything online. That's nice, really it is. But so does Amazon. And I wanted the book now, not a week from Thursday, if the UPS guy doesn't leave it on the porch and it gets stolen before I get home. And all that "just-in-time" bullsh*t won't do any good if there's any one of a dozen natural catastrophes. As opposed to walking up to the store, handing them cash, and walking away with a book, which would.

Considering that locally, an average year within swing-a-dead-cat range could include brushfires, mudslides, earthquakes, floods, riots, shootings, stabbings, multi-car pile-ups, train derailments, and so on, ad infinitum, not having so much as one raggedy-ass copy of any first aid handbook ever penned strikes me as a pretty short-sighted and incredibly jackassical thing for Barnes & Noble.

No one, anywhere, has ever rushed into a store and said "Quick! It's an emergency! I need a copy of Noam Chomsky's latest screed!" Or "Get me an adult coloring book, right away!" And yet they have a shelf full of each of those.
But not one single solitary copy of anything that would help you in a medical emergency, unless you bought a newspaper or magazine, and rolled it into a splint. Of course, you'd need some handbook to tell you about that unless you're already trained, wouldn't you?

So much for finding anything useful there: get your references, medical and any other kind, in dead tree form, and do it right away. No one will have it when you need it if you don't.



tweell said...

My books from Amazon are on the way, I'm told. I've gone with used previous editions of your recommended standards, as funds are tight. Had to cancel the first aid class because of my mom's illness. Will reschedule as time and money permit.

Dead tree format is great for longevity, excellent for learning, handy when there's no power, etc., but my phone's always in my pocket (mandated and provided by my work). A smartphone can hold a lot of books, and makes it handy to peruse when a few free minutes happen. I want hardbounds on my bookcase, but am finding that I read more and more on the phone.

What do you think of the books 'Where There Is No Doctor' and "Where There Is No Dentist'?

RandyGC said...

Not really surprising as the American Red Cross "Basic First Aid" course as devolved into basically "Call 911" in an emergency.

Aesop said...

Get them both as funds allow, but not as first choice for "Doctor". There are several better options ahead of it.
"Dentist", OTOH, occupies a lone niche among medical books; anything better is a medical text.