Thursday, February 20, 2014

When Customers Sell Books

(from publishersweekly.com
by Josie Leavitt)


Overhearing customers talk about books at the bookstore is often the best part of my day. From little kids who shout out to each other, “Read the one about the rabbit!” to adults who start chatting about favorite authors and hold impromptu book groups in the aisle, there is something so lovely about this kind of sharing.

Nothing sells books better than passion. When customers are moved enough to converse with strangers at the store about a book, people tend to listen and buy what they’ve just been talking about. Yesterday, a very good customer came in and saw a family in the picture book section. She went right over to them and asked, “Have you seen this book, Journey? Follow the red and purple throughout the book. It’s simply tremendous. It would be great for your little girl.” And she walked away after handing them the book.

They thanked her and continued browsing for a birthday present for someone else in the family, leaving the little girl to her own devices. I was shelving in that area and was very interested to see what the girl would do. After all, I’m sure it’s not every day that a total stranger starts talking to her about books. She came in the store boisterously, but she got quieter and quieter.

The little girl was very curious and started poring over the book. She sat on the carpet absolutely riveted. Her mom and grandmother looked on as if something magical had happened.

And it had.