Saturday, September 26, 2009

Perks of Being a Novelist: Free Soap

This is a contentious point between my wife and me.

You see, I rather like coming home from cons/book events/festivals with a few bars of free hotel soap. As a publishing author that gets to do to events like these and stay in hotels, I don't know that I'll ever need never buy a bar of soap again. It's been years I tell you. Years. They just leave the stuff around, especially on those carts in the hallway...

Am I the only one that can't resist the temptation? Should I be as ashamed as my wife clearly thinks I should be?

Gudrun will have nothing to do with my ill-gotten spoils, so we still end up buying our share of expensive and fragrantly holistic bars, but so be it. I'm doing my part to keep our soap budget down. A small perk of being a novelist.

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Blogger Jamey Stegmaier said...

I think soap and shampoo from your room are fair game. I think non-perishables like towels, lamps, beds, etc are inappropriate to take from your room. Technically you've paid for those cleaning agents--you just weren't able to use them all.

Loving The Other Lands so far, by the way. It took forever to arrive from Amazon, but it was worth the wait. I just read a paragraph last night about how a certain region had been devastated because of the way a foulthing had changed the ecology--from disease to food to other areas you wouldn't think of right away. Paragraphs like that give me hope that some of my friends who exclusively read literary fiction set in other parts of the world would actually give this series a try.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Josiah said...

Dude . . . easy there that was very spoilerish looking . . .

: P the readers greatest bane: spoilers

That's classic, i have never thought of keeping the soaps.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Molly said...

I don't see anything wrong with keeping the replaced-daily amenities, since the cost is built into the room price. However swiping them off a cart is a bit harder to justify. ;)

Personally, I keep unused individual-sized shampoo/conditioner from hotel stays, and when enough are collected we donate them to disaster relief charities. People temporarily displaced from their homes really appreciate those types of items.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Kate Elliott said...

You absolutely should be ashamed. My husband does the exact same thing. The only difference is that I am too lazy to buy nice holistic scented interesting soap, although my mom sends us some, sometimes. So - we haven't purchased any bars of soap in, oh, years.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Saladin said...

The only criteria here is 'what can I get away with?' After all, that's certainly the only criteria the hotel chains consider when trying to figure out how much they can possibly gouge YOU for!*

*B&Bs, etc, owned by actual human beings and not megacorps are, however, a different matter

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Ethan Iktho said...

My wife and me, we take soap bars from everywhere, Brazil, Russia, the States, Senegal, England, wherever...

Problem is, we consider them as souvenirs, so we don't use them.

Is there a doctor or a psy around here to explain to us how to live with such a behaving ?

(sometimes, at night, when the house is silent and the cat is deep asleep, I get up and go in the bathroom; There, I look at my collection of soap bars, and I ask myself : "What is your life worth if you don't even appreciate what it gives you free ?". After a while (of suffering but I don't know of what, of course), I go back to bed. Often, I dream of soap bars roaring insanities in my ears for not being used. I've never said anything to my wife. I'm too afraid.

I've read novels by Stephen King, but he has never talked about hotel soap bars haunting you, being there and waiting... You know what ? I think this guy knows nothing about what it is to feel real terror.)

OK, I'll go wash my mouth now. But not with one of them...

8:38 PM  
Blogger Mary Robinette Kowal said...

I also bring home the soap from hotels although now I'm in a bit of a crisis because, with the move, we're down to the last two bar. My next con isn't until the end of October! Gasp! What will I do?

12:49 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Glad to know I'm not alone in this.

Ethan Iktho, that's a rather troubling story. Perhaps you should send your soap collection to Mary...

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Ethan Iktho said...

What you say proves that you've never looked a hotel free soap bar right in the eyes...

I don't know you (unlucky me) and you don't know me (lucky you). But there is something I can tell you, and it is for sure : never joke about free soap bars, and most of all never underestimate one of them, if you care about yourself and the ones you love !
You can't imagine what an angry hotel free soap bar could do to jeopardize your life.

david, why not launch some kind of writing forum with that kind of silly theme, like "Imagine what o hotel free soap bar could change in your life". After all, you have here some good writers and some excellent writers-to-be...

PS : Mary, stop washing yourself. Being clean isn't worth being doomed by some soap bar.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Milton Davis said...

I take the shampoo and the lotion.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Hate to burst your bubble, but check the welcome card from your next room. Most hotels tell you flat out that the soap and other amenities are yours to take home with you if you like. Some even let you take towels.

Now, if a couple of chairs went missing...

11:07 PM  
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6:14 AM  

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