Monday, January 05, 2004

Avalanche of books

Since FAO declared bankruptcy (again) last month, all their Zany Brainy stores are closing.
The company hopes to sell its FAO Schwarz and Right Start businesses but would liquidate the Zany Brainy chain. Last month, the chain reported that its early holiday sales were much worse than expected, and unless they picked up it would not have enough liquidity to operate its business normally.

So Zany Brainy is having an inventory clearance sale, and I have a child on the way. Hmm...

Misty and I went to Zany Brainy at the Summit last week to see what they had left. Since the sale had been active for nearly a month already, including during the Christmas buying rush, we didn't expect to find much. We were wrong.

The store had plenty of mechandise left. Strollers, car seats, bottles, learning toys, books, movies, stuffed animals — you name it — and all steeply discounted. The stock was in disarray, but it wasn't, by any means, depleted. It didn't even seem "picked over."

I headed over to the books section to see if I could find a copy of Olivia. Not only did I find it, but I also found Olivia Saves the Circus. And The English Roses. And Where Do Balloons Go? And The Complete Adventures of Curious George. And Fables, The Spider and the Fly, Please, Baby, Please, Froggie Went A-Courtin', Toot & Puddle: Charming Opal, and The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh.

Since they were marked 40% off, I went a little overboard buying children's books. I know that if I was going to spend that much money, I probably should have bought a car seat. It's likely that our daughter won't be reading for at least a couple years (certainly not some of the books I picked out), but I'm so excited about getting to read to her. My parents read to me all the time when I was a baby, and as a result, I started reading myself when I was 2.

DVDs were also marked 40% off, so I bought a copy of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, adding to my our daughter's ever-growing Disney collection. They had a couple other good family movies I would have liked, but they were of the sinister pan-and-scan variety, not widescreen, so I passed. I don't want to expose my child to that sort of rubbish. I am considering, however, going back and picking up a copy of Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets, then bringing it to Best Buy to exchange it for the widescreen version. My only fear is that if I can't get it exchanged, I'm stuck with the crap version of the movie. 40% off the price then seems appropriate, as 40% of the picture has been chopped off the sides, too.

See how I always get back to this subject?

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