Refresh … Paste. Refresh … Paste. Refr–

I am an unabashed bibliophile.  Nothing makes me happier than books.  I have a lot of books; I just got an app for my iPhone that will allow me to scan bar codes (or manually enter details) to create an inventory database of my books.  I will let you know the total number when I finish entering them all.  It will likely be sometime in 2024.

In my small city, we don’t have an independent bookstore for new books.  We do have a couple of delightful shops for pre-loved volumes, but for new releases, I have to rely on the chain stores or online.  And since my taste in reading runs an eclectic gamut — especially in terms of nonfiction — Amazon and I are frequent acquaintances.

The delivery service Amazon uses most often for Prime customers in my city is not my favourite, I’m afraid.  I can’t check the tracking directly from my Amazon order page, and once I do copy and paste the tracking number into the box in their website, I can’t bookmark the page.  So every time I want to check it, it takes three screens and too many mouse clicks.  That’s irritating.

Then there is the tracking information itself.  The updates are hit-or-miss.  Sometimes they incorrectly fill in the origin city, using my city as the location all the way along.  So I have no idea where my beloved new book actually is.  (And — I’m sure you’ll understand — I need to know!)

Here I sit, staring at my screen.  Expected Delivery: Today.  Why is there no “Out for Delivery?”  Why is the last update yesterday afternoon at 4:10 PM, in another city?  Why — this morning — did they update the expected delivery date two days ahead of when Amazon said it would be here, yet not update its location or status?  Why do they toy with me this way?!

I need more tea.  And I need my new book.

This post was also shared on
Two Writing Teachers‘ Slice of Life Challenge for February 16, 2021.

About the author

Karen J. McLean

View all posts


  • I feel your pain! Where I am (unfortunately) Amazon is the only way to get new books (for double the price) also and I share all the same struggles with not having all of the information I need. I have learned when I get a credit card alert (I have mine set to a low threshold) the books will soon be on their way. May your books arrive as soon as possible (which is only possible if you stop buying more- highly unlikely)! Happy reading!

  • I, too, am an “unabashed bibliophile” – maybe a near-practitioner of tsundoku! I always have several books going at once… and I know that tracking frustration you capture so perfectly here. I mean, why have tracking if it doesn’t track? And – a friend recently sent me a photo of her tracking history. Her item made it all the way to the next nearest city to us and then went to Puerto Rico (!!) I guess it was on vacation…. here’s to your book arriving with no more delays!

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Fran! I love that term — tsundoku. I’m grateful to you for introducing it to me. I think I’ll tell everyone I am a black belt (as I surely must be by now). 🙂

  • I have had issues with the delivery of puzzles more than books. Now, I order a few puzzles at a time, so that I have some in reserve. Fortunately, I am always buying books, and I have stacks of them waiting in my room.

  • This all sounds frustrating to have to wait to find out if it is nearby. It seems that during the pandemic my reliance on these types of service have increased but the tracking information and / or promised delivery date changes regularly. More pandemic woes.

    • So true, Christine. I think that not only do we rely on them more for delivery, but also to have something to look forward to. That’s probably why the frustration is so much more than it would have been pre-pandemic.

  • Waiting for that new book to arrive is hard!

    I tried using Goodreads for a while, but I abandoned it. Lately, I’ve been tracking what I read on my private IG account. I’m going to check out the Book Buddy app right after I leave this comment for you. 🙂

    • Stacey, have you heard of Litsy? I love it. It’s kind of like if Goodreads and Instagram had a baby. Very social, the posts are photographs, and a great way to track your reading. I had forgotten about it but have recently returned, and I like it very much.

  • Better than waiting for the Wells Fargo Wagon! 🙂 It is interesting how much information we have come accustomed to having at our finger tips. I wonder what you will read while you are waiting.

    • Oh, so true, Kristi! We have gotten so used to being “in the know” that the blank spots seem enormous. As for what I’ll read, I am guessing one of the eight bazillion unread books will just have to do. 😉

  • I long for book browsing days. Buying titles that just catch my eye at the moment. But for now, I should read one in that large unread pile next to the chair.

  • “I need to know.” Yep, I can relate to that.

    I also want to support smaller, independent bookstores, and I do when I can. That said, many of my books come with that darn smile on the box as well. I can’t wait to be able to hang out at bookstores again.