Should I do This?

People are becoming more and more politically active, but not everyone is outspoken and open about it. I’ve just read multiple reports of people doing something great. They’re buying dozens of copies of books like 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, and In The Garden of Beasts, but guess what they’re doing with the books they’re buying? They’re giving them away!

The stories I’ve read about have included anonymous buyers who simply ask that the bookstore give the books away while telling the lucky readers to stay aware. Every instance has resulted in every book being taken. I want to do this.

I’m not sitting on a pile of cash to buy dozens of books to give away, but again I’m willing to make a sacrifice to get people reading and start conversations. It would definitely be on a smaller scale than the ones I’ve read about. Maybe 10 copies of 2-3 books. But I wouldn’t want to stay in the shadows. I’d want to do the whole thing myself. I’d want to hear what people have to say about the topics in the books and how they relate to current ongoings.

I’m already sending three books to the White House with a message to President Trump. What do you think about doing this too?


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2017: The Year of the TBR Shelves of Doom

Oh boy. The title of this post sounds utterly evil. 😂

But it’s a not THAT bad. In 2016 I bought a few books. 39, to be exact. But I already had too many and I wasn’t reading a whole lot until the end of the year. Which made my TBR shelves explode. For most of the year I had more than 80 books I had yet to read. Years ago I’d think having 20 was an insanely high number.

I just counted. I currently have 67 books I haven’t read. Which means I have more than enough for my personal goal of 50 books. I’ve decided not to buy a single new book until I read my personal goal of 50 or I fulfill a requirement from my 2017 Reading Challenge I don’t already own a book for.

Just look. These are them.

Have you ever had so many unread books you’ve banned yourself from buying new ones?

FREE STUFF

Well, mostly.

I like free stuff. You like free stuff. Everyone does, right? Anyway, audiobooks are cool, right? Especially for those of you constantly on the road. Or maybe you listen to them while at work or working around the house.

Audiobooks.com is making it hard not to give them a shot. They’re offering FOUR free audiobooks (two of your choice and two Christmas books) when you sign up for a free trial and use promo code CNETDEALS.

I’m not one to listen to audiobooks. So I’m not aware of what’s a reasonable monthly price, but the price after the trial is $14.95 a month for one book. I honestly think of that as way overpriced. You’re essentially paying for that one book just like you would without the subscription. Welp. Audible is priced exactly the same as this site. Just checked.

I think they’re both overpriced and will never get my money. But maybe you think otherwise. If yes, use CNETDEALS when you sign up on audiobooks.com to get your four free books!

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.