16 October 2007

Spiritual Food, Time Zones and Online Shopping

I've been looking for a rare out-of-print book. I have found it in a bookshop in the UK that sells some fiction as well as Christian books. Every now and then I visit the bookshop's website as I consider whether to buy it from overseas or to try to find it in a shop closer to home.

Last Sunday, I visited the site again to check some details on postage. I got a surprise. Instead of the bookshop's website, I found this message:

We're closed on the Lord's Day!
Just as we wouldn't have a physical store open on the Lord's Day, we don't believe it's the best if we have our online store open today.
We recognise that some of you are shopping for your spiritual food which you may well want *for* the Lord's day, but we'd prefer if you came back another day to do the buying :-)

Hmm. Now I think that in God's eyes, this is a very good idea. I myself find it hard to slow down on Sundays and spend time with God and have a decent rest. And I think that God would be really happy with these bookstore owners who close their online store and give God's day of rest the proper respect.

But as Aunt March said, "the best of us have a spice of perversity in us" and the spice of perversity in me poses two questions:
  1. Is it morally wrong to purchase Spiritual Food during Australia's Lord's Day which, due to time-zone differences, is in fact late Saturday night in the UK?
  2. Do I have grounds to complain because I cannot purchase Spiritual Food from Australia in the earlier hours of a Monday because it's still the Lord's Day in the UK and therefore this online bookstore would be closed?
I think the answers are (1) No and (2) No. And I think that the Pharisee in me would do well to pipe down and leave the issue alone.

But these facts remain:
  • I would still like to buy a copy of this book.
  • I need to have a Day Of Rest each week, just as these online bookstore owners do.
  • The spice of perversity in me serves no purpose other than to provide blog fodder.
In the end, I think that the only thing I've decided after blogging all this is that the best policy would be to buy books on a Wednesday.


Givinya De Elba said...

Addendum: I have solved my Dont-Wanna-Buy-From-Overseas Problem ... I found the book I want at http://www.booksandcollectibles.com.au/ Sorry you lovely bookshop people in the UK. And I tried to have a Day Of Rest this last Sunday (thinking of you) before I forgot that once you have children, you don't get a Day Of Rest for 20 years.