Why Does Wal Mart Sell Books?

Serious question. I can name one person off the top of my head who I know buys books fairly regularly from Wal Mart. I’ve definitely done my share of browsing the books at Wal Mart, but my memory tells me I’ve never actually bought a book from there. I usually just look to see if I know which books they’ll have in stock without even thinking about it.

If I set up my tripod near the books and threw Harry’s invisibility cloak over the top of it I’d see just how few people actually stop to take a look at them. I own something like 250 books. But when I think of Wal Mart I think of groceries, essentials, and TVs.

I’ve bought books from Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon, Half Price Books, Murder by the Book in Houston, and the Wal Mart website. We have so many options at this point that I just don’t see any benefit for a grocery store to sell such a limited number of books. They sell mega bestselling new releases and ultra popular older ones. The problem is that just about anyone who’d be interested in buying these particular books has bought them elsewhere.

Also, Target does a MUCH better job with their books than Wal Mart does. Better titles and better selection in every store I’ve been in. But still, I haven’t bought from there either.

My question still stands. Why does Wal Mart sell books? 

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It’s That Time Again!

It only happens three times each year. What am I talking about? COUPON WEEK at your local Half Price Books!

Different districts and regions have different weeks for their coupon sales, but I imagine most will be in July at some point because annual sales are annual sales, and there are more to plan and execute.

Anyway, down here in Houston coupon week is THIS week. Which means if you’re on the HPB mailing list, then you’ve already gotten your coupons for the week. If you’re not, then visit your local store and sign up!

For those of you eyeing that latest bestseller, the coupons work on those too! Think about this. Let’s say you want the newest John Sanford book. The retail price is probably $28. Which means the regular 20% off price drops you down nearly $6. Which means Amazon is still cheaper. But you’ve lucked out and someone has sold back their copy to HPB. Now the price is only $14. But you walk in with your 50% off coupon on Sunday and that NYT bestseller suddenly dropped down to $7! You see!? Magic! Go, go!

Can’t Know Them All

I’m pretty well read, right? But obviously I’m not one of those individuals who reads hundreds of books a year. I’ve also worked in a bookstore for the last 11 months. I’m aware of a great number of books and authors, whether I’ve read them or not. During the course of my work responsibilities and my own reading I still discover new books and authors on a regular basis. Which is one of the things that makes being a reader so great. It’s an established fact that as humans there will always be books we simply won’t have time to read during our lifetime. It’s interesting to see this play out every time I discover a new book or author I was previously unaware of. And sure maybe I won’t be interested in most of the books I discover through someone at my store or through a tangent internet search, but there are always plenty that fall right into my wheelhouse.

This post is meant to show how great it is to have the freedom to discover and read whatever we like. Because many people around the world do not have the ability to do so.

Do you have any stories about how you first discovered a favorite author of yours?

Barnes and Noble not What I Remember

I recently walked inside my local Barnes and Noble for the first time in several years. And it simply isn’t the same as I remember it.

The shelves give off the impression that they don’t want to fill them. There are books faced out all over the place. There is space available on a good chunk of the shelves. And most titles had but one copy on the shelf, except for the BN Classics and Shakespeare.

Couple those things with their announcement to start serving alcohol in four new stores starting this year, and it isn’t so hard to believe the company’s financial troubles. Too many poor decisions are being made right now.

I suppose I could be overgeneralizing based on the one store I visited, but I imagine most BN stores are pretty similar.

Have you noticed anything different in your local store?

On Strangers

Have you ever been in a public place and a random person just feels the need to chat you up about something completely random? We all have been, right?

Well today it happened to me at the store. A customer was talking to a coworker of mine about something entirely unrelated to a bookstore. And then proceeded to do the same with me. She probably spent 10-15 minutes talking to us about random things we weren’t interested in. It was odd. And then it made me wonder if I’ve ever done that. Just gone on and on with someone who was trying to find the quickest way out. I hope not.

Ever been chatted up by a stranger in a bookstore?