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?

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Half Pint Book Drive

How many of you utilize your neighborhood HPB store? Well for the month of April Half Price Books is accepting and matching donations of kids and young adult books to build libraries in the community in schools and other educational centers.

So what are you waiting for!? Go donate some books for the kiddos!

Unexpected Bestsellers

The term bestseller in this instance doesn’t mean on any bestseller list. It just means a book that sells REALLY well. And I’ve come across one in particular since my switch to a new section of my store. First, my new section is education and parenting. So you’ll have primary education workbooks, textbooks for teachers, all things science, and parenting.

One of the things I’ve noticed in the past is that we ALWAYS haveĀ What to Expect When You’re Expecting. People want babies, I guess. But what I didn’t realize is how many people are actually looking for it. There’s a new edition on the way, but I checked Amazon out of curiosity last night and it’s in the top 100 bestselling books on the site! Seriously.

A book that came out in 2008 and isn’t young adult. That was a bit of a surprise to me. It’s the bestselling pregnancy book on the site.

Have you ever come across a book that sold way more copies than you’d have thought?

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?

Things you Dont Expect to Find in a Bookstore

I’ve worked in a bookstore for seven months now. I haven’t really been asked for anything crazy. Until Saturday. On the scale of crazy, this is only like a 2 or 3, but I was surprised when I was asked for it.

I mentioned in my last post that last week was coupon week at HPB. I’ve explained it before but here it is again. For the seven days of the week there will be a coupon for each day. Monday and Tuesday will have 20% off one item. Wednesday and Thursday will have 30% off one item. Friday and Saturday will have 40% off one item. And Sunday will be 50% off one item.

So on Saturday a customer asks me if we have any Street Fighter chess sets. I may have wrinkled my forehead. I told him no. He then asked if I could check the inventories of other stores. I honestly thought it was pointless. I’ve never heard of or seen a Street Fighter chess set, and I ran the games section for six months.

But of course there was one available to be shipped to him. It cost $100. He told me he’d be back in on Sunday to make the order and save an additional $10. I didn’t see him. I also don’t know if he bought it or not.

But in my time at HPB I’ve seen a few things that made me scratch my head. I’ve seen an auto tool kit thing. I’ve seen a mini tool kit of screws and bolts. And I’ve seen a unicorn Bluetooth speaker.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve come across in a bookstore?

A Long Week

I just worked my first 40 hour week ever. And I’m dead. I know what you’re thinking. That I work full time. How is this my first 40 hour week. Full time at HPB is 35 hours. And this past week was coupon week. Extra hours were available. So I worked 40. But it wasn’t your regular 40. It was two ten hour days and a nine hour day mixed in with two eight hour days. It was LONG. And it was insanely busy.

So now I’m ready to relax. For about a year. My back pain still persists and I’ve recently been assigned to a new section of the store that sees WAY more books than my old section. But it’s okay. Someone always has it worse. And honestly, I don’t even have it bad. I’m just tired. And sleepy. And I could do without seeing any more education books for a few days. Ha.

I don’t know what this is about. Just a post about nothing, I guess. No question this time around.