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? 

James Patterson’s BookShots

We all know someone or several people who will not read. They make excuses or say that books are old fashioned. Heck, you wouldn’t believe how many people walk into my HPB and say they can’t believe people still read books. It’s one of those things I can only akwardky laugh at. Because it’s a ridiculous statement.

Anyway, James Patterson has all those people in his sights with his forthcoming BookShots. BookShots (don’t know where the name came from) will be his way of getting those people reading. How? By writing shorter, more plot driven books that are meant to be read in one sitting. The books will be less than 150 pages and cheaper than $5. The aim is to publish 2-4 of these each month. And also to get these books into stores that don’t typically sell books anymore.

Now I have no problem with him trying to get as many people reading as he can, but I would like to remind Mr. Patterson of something. Other bestselling authors already do this with things like Kindle Singles. And those are generally priced between $0.99-$2.99. So I’m just skeptical that this will actually get people reading. And I honestly think Patterson’s name is both good and bad for this. It’s good because there’s no doubt in my mind that people who read his other work will read these. It’s bad because those who don’t, won’t.

What I think will ultimately happen is he’ll keep selling a ridiculous number of books because he’s simply got the math on his side. But I don’t really see his attempt at reviving the dime novel being any more successful than that.

What do you think of Patterson’s BookShots? Destined for success? Failure?

Popular Movies Don’t Equate to Great Used Book Sales

There are a lot of books adapted into films each year. Most are hardly worth taking note of, but others stand the test of time. Some remain popular long after their theatrical run ends. And others are immensely popular before and after movie adaptatations. But only a few books keep selling well in the used books environment.

Twilight.

You would not believe how many of these books we get in at my store. It’s ridiculous.

The Hunger Games.

There’s a difference between the two series. THG sell, but we get SO many of them.

Marley & Me.

I actually had no idea it was a book before I started working at Half Price Books. It’s one we see A LOT of. It isn’t exactly flying off the shelves.

The Fault in Our Stars.

Similar to THG, these sell okay. But it’s definitely a book we see plenty of.

So that’s my little list of popular books that became popular movies that don’t sell particularly well in a used bookstore environment. At least not in the environment I work in each day. Of course, there are opposites. Books that sell VERY well. It’s all a guessing game. Maybe I’ll have a post about those books in a couple of days.

Fifty Shades of Nada

What I’ve noticed in my six months of working in a bookstore is that the buying trends at the store level essentially match the buying trends at the national level. The really popular books nationwide are also really popular at Half Price Books. There are a number of books that simply cannot be kept in stock because they’re consistently bought. But then there are other books that are consistently sold back to the store and not bought as much by the public. One of the series we see a lot of but that isn’t flying off the shelf happens to be written by EL James.

I see people buying Zane, Maya Banks, and other erotica authors; but not as much EL James as you might expect. I’m saying this knowing exactly how popular Grey was last year, but perhaps the series as a whole has lost just a little bit of steam. Perhaps.

Do you think the Fifty Shades is still as popular as it’s been before? I think it’s still popular, but maybe just a notch or two lower than before.

January Book Haul

Welp. Please don’t yell at me, okay? I KNOW I’m supposed to be on a book buying ban, but I still had a $50 gift card from last year and we were doing inventory at my store this past week. So I had to either buy my books or put them back on the shelf. I chose to buy.

So these are some of the books I bought! All will have videos at some point! Tell me what you think. And tell me which books you’ve recently acquired. Now watch, please.

Books Bought in 2015

I was planning on writing this post at the beginning of the year, but sometimes blogging is a constantly changing task. So I’ve been posting about other things in the meantime. But now we’re here and ready to go.

2015 was the first year in which I tracked my book purchases. It makes sense if you really think about it. I have all of my books on a list in Word. I have all of the authors in an Excel spreadsheet. I have a list of the best books I’ve read. And I track how much time I spend reading. So it makes sense for me to track the number of books I buy.

I’d intended to include all of the books here, but I won’t do that. I’ll just give you some highlights instead.

I bought 37 books in 2015.

25 were bought from Half Price Books.

5 were bought from Amazon.

1 was bought from Barnes and Noble.

And Harry Potter books 3-7 were bought from a girl on an app.

7 books were new. The rest were used.

The average price of the books I bought was $3.74.

The most expensive book was The Strain at $9.34.

There were several I bought for $1.50.

Of the books bought in 2015, I’ve now read 9 of them. Welp.

That’s it. Feel free to ask me about particular titles or anything. But what I want to know is which books you bought in 2015 and how much you spent. Unless it’s $921 and you’re embarrassed. Then I understand. Ha!

Harry Potter News!

I just read something I think some of you might be interested in. It has to do with the boy who lived. Can you guess it? New book? New movie? New…anything?

All wrong. The series is finally available to purchase from the Kindle Store. It’s long been available to read on Kindle via Kindle Unlimited, but now the books are available to buy, mostly because more money will be earned from the sale of the books than was earned from the borrowing of them through Amazon’s book subscription service.

The books are each priced at $8.99, which looks to be right in the middle of popular YA series on Kindle. Some are as low as $2.99. Others are $10.99.

How many of you are interested in owning the series on Kindle? I’m not because I already have it in print, and I paid much less than $9 a book for two paperbacks and five hardcovers.

Bye Bye, Paperbacks

I think mass market paperbacks may be a thing of the past for me, at least for the time being. Before I worked at Half Price Books I’d just about never buy a book during its year of release. There were two reasons for this. First, the price. Many people have no problem spending $15-$20 on a book, but I do. And I won’t do it. So I’d always wait for the paperback version to come out about a year later. They’d typically be around $7.99 on Amazon. About the same as most other stores, but I had two day shipping.

But now everything is different. Those paperbacks I was telling you about? Now they usually cost $2-$2.50. But if I really want to read a book I can get a new release hardcover for $7.49. Usually. So now I’m able to get the hardcover edition of a book within a week or two of its release for the same price as the paperback version on Amazon a year after. I no longer see any reason to wait for that paperback.

So my shelves may be adding plenty of books in the future, but likely not too many mass market paperbacks.

PS: I can get older release hardcovers for $4. So I’m all set. All because I’m at Half Price Books right now.

No real question today because I’ve already asked before about hardcover/paperback preferences. But feel free to comment whatever pops into your head after reading, if anything does.

I’m Officially on a Book Buying Ban

Yep. That’s right. Why? Because of this.

image

That’s my TBR shelf. It currently has 51 books on it! I don’t have too many books, but I have too many books I haven’t read. *sad face*

So I’m on a book buying ban for the time being. It’s only logical, right? I have been working on my current read the last few days and I’ll be finishing it soon, but that one book hardly makes a dent in my pile here. Not every book on the shelf is one I can read right away because of how I read different series and authors, but most are. And there are a few that have been on the shelf for years. Ugh. At least I know I have enough books to hit my yearly goal if I go ahead and start with what I have in January. I guess there’s a silver lining.

Have you ever had a TBR pile that started to take over your house like I do right now?

No, This is not a Book Collector’s Dream

I’ve been very outspoken about a particular book that was released just a few months ago. You know it. Go Set a Watchman. I have no desire whatsoever to open the book. None. Now I have more to say about it.

Recently the second largest bookstore chain in the US (Books-a-Million) made available some signed, collectible editions of the book. They look fairly nice. Only 500 were printed. I think most of you all didn’t plan on reading the book, but obviously many people have. So now it all comes down to price. Because some will buy Harper Lee anything, no matter the circumstances.

This collector’s edition of the book costs $1500. I can get the original hardcover for like $7 at work, and I think those seven dollars would be money well wasted. Why someone would pay $1500 for THAT book is beyond me. I have doubts as to whether or not she even really signed them herself.

Tell me you wouldn’t consider ever buying this thing.