2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge

Tina has read 2 books toward her goal of 40 books.
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Monday, August 3, 2009

MUSINGS on OWNING A USED BOOKSTORE - part 5

Every bookseller has their own style. I was one of those people who could not stand to have any books on my counter or in boxes, spilling out - all over the place. (This picture was NOT taken at my bookstore and just looking at it makes me itch to go and place those books).

Although my bookstore had the look and feel of an old bookstore, it was clean (or as clean as it could be). As I mentioned, I hated having books around my counter and especially in boxes. As soon as I would buy books (or boxes of books) I would immediately price them and file them away in the appropriate location. I liked that my bookstore had shelves indicating genre and then filed by author (alphabetically!).

I have known many, many bookstore owners who love to surround themselves with books that have just come in - they don't really bother pricing them right away - same thing with boxes and boxes of books - to me that just looks lazy. Yeah, I know, I am a Virgo and this type of stuff really bugs me :) Actually I was thinking about this because I visited the person who purchased my bookstore yesterday (I had not been in for a while) and as soon as I walked in to my left was a ton of boxes with books pouring out of them - and although they were priced, she just left them in their boxes for people to "look through" . I could also barely see her behind her counter for all the books that were around her - it felt sooooo crowded - I HATE IT!

Another thing about booksellers with different styles are the books they buy. I mentioned this briefly in a previous post, but its always amazing to me how the inventory of a used bookstore (with the possible exception of some of the biggies like The Strand) take on the personality of the owner - even if we try to buy as many different genres of books as possible. I am a big chick lit fan, so my store had many of these (although they never really sold all that well). The previous owner was a graphic artist so he loved graphic novels and I actually inherited quite a few when I bought the store and was clueless about what to do with these. They actually sold pretty well, much to my surprise. One of the biggest suprises to me when I bought the store was just how popular Archie comic books were and still are. I mean, I loved them when I was younger but had stopped buying them, but when I got the store and realized just how popular (and difficult they are to get used) I started reading them again - actually, I kept reading Archies throughout my whole ceiling on the floor incident (see previous post). If it was not for the lighthearted reading of these comics, I might have lost it!!!

Anyway, Archies are sooooo great and boy were they popular. I could not believe how expensive they had gotten ($5.00 for a double issue yikes!). Some of the other authors that I would be asked for on a daily basis.

Nora Roberts (she has written a bizillion books and some of my clients were intent on collecting them all!!!). I could never seem to have enough of her books - which, frankly, I always kind of thought were a bit lightweight. Another author that was in demand was Danielle Steel. Of course, this was the Harry Potter period, so I would get asked approximately 10 to 15 times a day if I had any Potter books. What always amazed me was that the book would come out and then I would get asked for a used copy the very next day!!!

On the thriller side, lots of people asked for Alex Kava, Preston and Child, Grisham, Ludlum. I was surprised by how popular Preston and Child were - lots of people seem to like them.

One of the biggest surprises for me I think was the number of people who would walk into the bookstore and simply say "can you suggest a book?". I don't think I have ever walked into a bookstore (new or used) and asked this - for me part of the pleasure of going into the bookstore is browsing and discovering books on my own. Still, I liked it when people asked me to suggest something because it gave me a chance to introduce them to authors such as William Bernhardt, Chris Mooney, Beth Kendrick and others who, in my opinion, are better than many of the more "popular" authors.

I am curious - what kind of used bookstore do you like? the cramped, stuffy ones where you need to dig to get what you want or a used bookstore that is pretty well ordered????

5 comments:

Myckyee said...

Great post, Tina!

I like the ordered kind of bookstore. I don't like the type where books are in boxes on floors under tables. Alphabetical all the way for me!

I find The Strand a bit difficult to negotiate. It is ordered by genre and alphabetically but the aisles are narrow and the shelves too high. But to each her/his own!

Meghan said...

I'd probably prefer an organized bookstore. There is definitely a time for browsing, but I generally like to know exactly where everything is.

I love these bookstore posts, I'm sure I've said it before. =)

Cindy said...

Great post Tina.

I love a used bookstore to be open and clutter free. I like to look without having to move boxes or a stack of books to see that is there.

Linda Ellen said...

Great post! I too need some order. I'd like to be able to find what I need or want easily. It does look rather unprofessional when books are still in their boxes and sometimes all mixed up. It sort of gives you the idea that you need to be a treasure hunter, and a patient and dedicated one, in order to find what you want. To many of us, time just isn't on our side and having to organize a personal search & rescue for books can seem tedious, and if we're not lucky, it's also unrewarding.

Speaking of which, I need new bookshelves. =)

Rebecca :) said...

Great post!

I like when they are well-ordered. I understand a couple of boxes that come in and you haven't had a chance to finish going through it, but there is this one bookstore outside of Charlotte, NC whose owner did not seem to know how to stop getting books in. Books were on shelves 2 books deep and then had more stacks on the floor 2 stacks deep. Even though it was supposedly alphabetized, you couldn't find anything! I hated it. I would drive all 30 minutes away to a different used book store that was clean and organized!

 
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