Thursday, August 21, 2008

To Buy And Not To Buy

I often joke that The Boyfriend and I have nothing in common. Not entirely true. We have one very, very important thing in common - how we handle the finances. When it comes to paying the bills on time, saving money, what we buy and don't buy - 99% of the time we're on the same page. Believe me, I know how lucky I am. Lord, do I know how lucky I am. Neither one of us has to worry about the other taking the credit card or check book and going on a spending bender. I take care of the bills only because I'm massively anal retentive and would drive him insane if he did it. However, he's great when it comes to saving for the long term and investing. I know that stuff is really important, but man, it makes my head hurt.

That being said, every once in a while I get the itch to shop. My eHarlequin order has been shipped (but with the Buy One, Get One Free promotion I made out like a bandit!), and yesterday I spent a whopping $3+ on some erotica at Amazon (I had gift certificate money burning a hole in my pocket). Even when I go on a book buying bender I'm a bargain shopper. I don't know whether I kick ass or am just really pathetic.

However temptation really hit hard when I got home yesterday. Sitting in my mail box was the latest "tea porn" catalog.

I've mentioned on the blog before how much I love tea. I'm addicted. So when the latest Republic of Tea catalog shows up in my mail box, it's a happy, happy day. What should I find while browsing it? Hot Apple Cider tea. No joke. People, I'm from the Midwest. About 25% of my blood is made up of Apple Cider. The move to California has just about killed me on that front though because it's hard to drink cider in October in California when it's 100 degrees outside. Cider is a fall drink and it's kind of wrong to drink it when you're living in an area that doesn't have a fall. It just loses something in the translation. But Hot Apple Cider tea? Oh man, I'm all over that! Ack - but limited time only?! I better hurry.

In the immortal words of The Boyfriend last night: "I love you Wendy. You have three vices: books, chocolate and tea." Hey, better than $500 hand bags and shoes I say.

In other spending news, I recently received my renewal notice for Romantic Times. After some consideration, I've decided not to renew. The big reason I subscribed in the first place (a few years back) was because I'm a plot description ho. I could give a flying fig about RT's actual reviews, but oh man, do I love having all those plot descriptions in one handy place, right at my finger tips. Especially for all the Harlequin lines!

But over the years I've noticed that my buying habits have changed. While I used to read all over the Harlequin landscape, the older I get, the more set in my ways I get. Yep, even though I never used to be like this, I've turned into one of those dreaded Line Loyalty people. Also, I get something at work called Baker & Taylor Paper Clips, which should easily fill the void.

Baker & Taylor is a "jobber." Sort of like a middle man. It's where a huge chunk of our books come from once I order them. They also put out publications. Paper Clips lists damn near all of the trade and mass market paperbacks every month in every genre. Reprints included. Science fiction, mystery, romance, fantasy, even non-fiction, all in one place! And it lists plot descriptions, prices, ISBNs, and in some cases - other books in the series. No wading through stuff on "how to write." No Lady Barrow nonsense. No RT Convention stuff. Just books, just ISBNs, just pricing, just publication dates, just the facts.

The only downside to Paper Clips? No plot descriptions for Harlequin series lines. But given my newfound stick-in-the-mud Line Loyalty? Ah, eHarlequin. 'Tis a wonderful thing. Off I'll go, the first of the month, to look at the latest plot descriptions for HSR, SSE, and HH (with an occasional Blaze thrown into the mix) online.

If you're curious about Paper Clips, you can see some back issues online here. You can also apparently subscribe to the print version via Amazon. I had no idea! Too cool!


MayberryMom said...

"I don't know whether I kick ass or am just really pathetic." I'd say kick ass, but I come from a family that brags at family wedding how much we paid for our dress. The winner? whoever go the best deal and paid the least! LOL

azteclady said...

Well, of course you kick ass--saving money is never pathetic!

And I refuse to hear arguments to the contrary.

azteclady, the cheapest ho... erm, the thriftiest person you'll meet :wink:

ireadwhat said...

For your tea addiction:

I jsut found this place in downtown AA2 and it is terrific.

I also like

Anonymous said...

There are so many things I liked about this post...and the bit I could really admire was your matching money styles about the core stuff with your partner.

My exhusband's reaction to bills mounting was to go buy Brie, and a breadstick, some tapenade for lunch as his idea of paper bagging it. The other strategy he would engage was to buy a new mobile phone, sunglasses and cologne if a bonus came through...rather than doing this if we had the money after bills.

Strangely I would say he was the one with the glass half empty attitude That and the completely opposite money style eventually eroded everything. But hey it's all growth in the end.

mayberry mom, my sister has a's no challenge to look good in expensive clothing, the true measure of a woman is if she carry herself with style on a budget.


Liz V. said...

Gee, thanks, I think.... Now my TBR pile is going to become huge. I went and started reading the archives of Paper Clips. Even found some new authors. I'm going to be bankrupt!

Kate R said...

I also dropped my RT subscription. It ended making me buy too many books that I didn't love. I never bothered to sort out which reviewers liked the same books I do.

Cathy in AK said...

DH and I are also financially compatible: he earns and I spend! Just kidding. We're on the same page in most respects, but I think being comfortable in our finacial relationship keeps stress low in other aspects of our lives. It's too easy to blow a gasket over whose turn it is to wash the dishes when you're REALLY worried about whether the phone bill will get paid.

The hot apple cider tea sounds yummy, but it's waaaay easy to have that autumn chill here in July, so I don't miss the seasonal connection : )

JamiSings said...

I have no SO but I do spend way too much.

I love tea too, but with the recent Made In China scare (which included tea) I'm super careful what I buy. Now I pretty much only stick to tea that's got a kosher seal, cause they're really strict about cleanliness. No sweepings from the floor in that tea.