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August 17, 2004

Recently, when I travel, I've started buying a book or two in the airport bookstore before I hop on the plane. The result has been quite satisfactory, as it gives me an opportunity to read a nice fiction novel and not burn too many brain cells. The most recent book I bought was The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlam. This is a longer book than usual, so I wasn't able to finish it after my last flight. I was reading through it last night when I became bewildered at what I encountered. I then sort of laughed and just said out loud, "Unbelievable!" What is it? Take a look at some of these pictures I took and see if you can figure out:What I first saw
Seeing the extent of my misfortune
More proofCan you see it? I got to page 520, and then the book started back at page 457. Hoping they just added some extra pages in, I looked to see where the redundancy ended and was horrified to find that it proceeded all the way back to page 520 again, and then jumped to page 585. I had lost all those pages between. I felt wronged. I felt violated. I was shocked and shocked again (though I admit I laughed). Yet my distressed mind set itself in action figuring out how to remedy the situation. I first looked up the publisher's website, but I couldn't find any form of customer support. I thought of just spending an afternoon at a bookstore, reading up on the lost pages, but that would take up time I didn't have. I then realized how great technology was. I remembered had a feature they recently added where they've scanned in every page of every book they sell, and they are also searchable. It's incredible! I had never used it before but soon found out you are only allowed to view up to two pages in any direction from where you started. I was bummed since I needed some 54 pages, but I quickly realized you can get around that limitation. On an interesting note, after several pages, I became suspicious that I was being tracked and fought against. I started getting screens that said the service was unavailable. I'd reload and get pages asking me to log in. There followed a number of permutations of hoops to jump through, but given the fact I had already bought the book, I felt justified in getting through those hoops to get my missing pages. It took a lot of mouse clicks, but I finally, and happily, got to page 585.

Posted by charr at 12:29 AM
Reader Comments

You thief! Call the publisher and complain that the missing pages ruined your night. Perhaps you could muster up some emotional damage. Well, maybe not.

Posted by Mel at August 17, 2004 8:38 AM

That was my first thought -- to somehow get the publisher to take care of me -- but I couldn't find contact information for them. Plus, when I remmbered it was only an $8 book, I figured it wasn't worth the effort. What I'd really like is to have it be a rare collector's item and be worth a few million dollars in a year or two :).

Posted by Cameron at August 17, 2004 8:44 AM

That's pretty cool actually. I'd keep it as a novelty. The only screwed up (kinda) book I've ever seen is when the page cutter mangled on of the pages. Not as exciting as missing pages though. Lucky duck.

Posted by jason at August 18, 2004 8:18 AM

Innovative solution to a vexing problem!

Posted by Steve at August 18, 2004 9:41 AM

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Last Updated 11/07/03