MCAT’s and why I hate Borders

14 03 2009

Why I’m even thinking of taking the MCAT’s is beyond me. Yes, those MCAT’s. As in Medical College Admissions Test. I must be part nuts, part masochist.

I’m not even sure what spawned this urge to do this. It was always one of my childhood dreams to be a doctor, but I instead settled for a different route in the medical field. First it was x-ray, then CT, now I’m learning MRI. I work closely with radiologists every day. More and more, I find myself wishing I was one of them, rather than in my current position. Even if I take the MCATs, I’m still not sure if I intend on applying to medical school. Part of me is just curious to see how well I’d do, for bragging purposes I guess.

So what do the MCATs and Borders have in common? Technically, nothing. However, I did make a trip to the Borders on Michigan Avenue to pick up a review book. I figured if I’m even remotely serious about taking an exam like that, some preparation is expected. I picked up the Kaplan MCAT 2009 review book and almost choked at the price. $120.00. Seriously?! Keep in mind this isn’t even a text book. I whip out my trusty iPhone and quickly search Amazon to compare prices. Amazon list price: $75.60. To humor myself I also checked Barnes & Noble: $86.50. Sorry Borders, who do you think I’m going to buy the book from? Certainly not your store.

I did buy a few other books since I hate leaving a bookstore emptyhanded. Did you ever notice that Borders uses their own barcodes instead of the ones that are on the book already? Don’t ask me why but I hate stickers on my books. I peel them off. Naturally, this means I peel off the Borders price tag/barcode. Guess what? Borders charges $.99 more than the list price on the book. Why???

No wonder the Borders on Michigan Avenue is closing. Too bad it’s the nicer of the two here in downtown Chicago. To end my mini-rant on a happy note, I bought the review book from Amazon. In a few days I’ll have the book on my coffee table and still have $45 in my pocket.

Which bookstore do you prefer to shop? Borders? Barnes and Noble? Amazon? Or are you a fan of the private owned or secondhand bookstores?


Our aspirations are wrapped up in books

14 03 2008

I’ve been searching for a topic to post about and it finally came to me. Books. I love to read. I truly have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and once I pick up a book I am attached to it until I have finished. I try not to limit myself to one author or one genre. I try to give them all an equal opportunity. I have been looking for a few new ones, since I find myself reading the same old familiar stories over and over. I asked my twitter friends for some suggestions for new reads, and someone asked me what my favourites were. This got me thinking, so I compiled my all time top five favourite book list. These are in no preferential order, as I love all of them equally:

5. The entire Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling- Go ahead and laugh. I don’t care. I truly think this is the best written series I have ever read. The style of writing is so simple, but J. K. Rowling has developed such  an amazing story line  that it leaves her audience thirsting for more. This series truly is for everyone. 

4. Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito-I purchased this book for my ex boyfriend as a Christmas gift. It’s coined as an Apocalyptic Sci-Fi novel, not usually my cup of tea. I read the blurb on the back and was immediately intrigued. Yes, it is an end-of-the-world story, but it is the most intriguing and exuberant one I’ve ever read. It is both satirical and philosophical. I couldn’t put this book down.

3. A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut-Of all the works I’ve read and loved by Vonnegut, I picked this one. Vonnegut never wrote his memoirs, but this is as close to one as he ever came. This book made me feel like I was sitting down with him at a table and listening to him tell the tales of his life. Although it’s a short one, just 146 pages, it’s a must-read if you are a true Vonnegut fan.

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath-I don’t remember how old I was when I purchased this book, but my copy has become so tattered over the years. The semi-autobiographical tale follows Esther Greenwood on her downward spiral into depression. The emotions are eerily real, and she writes with such articulation about them. I read this book at least once a year, and every time I experience the same emotions as the character until I finish.

1. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max-I wasn’t sure if I should include this on my top 5 all time list or not, and I’m still not sure. I really love this book, but at the same time I feel ashamed that I do. Tucker certainly portrays himself as a disgusting, womanizing asshole, and clearly takes pleasure in the humiliation of others. Am I just as bad because I find myself laughing out loud while reading the stories? Shouldn’t I be appalled, as a woman, for how he treats them? I should be, but I can’t help but love this book, and I don’t care who knows it. If nothing else, it gives me a good laugh.

Of course there are many, many other books I love and have read multiple times. Some honourable mentions:
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
1984 by George Orwell
Like the Red Panda by Andrea Seigel
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

 I have read hundreds of books. Each one has influenced me in some way, and I always look forward to starting a new one. I am always open to new suggestions so please send some my way.