Friday, January 15, 2010

The Kinds of Customers we LOVE!

So, knowing that I work in a bookstore (and love working in a bookstore) my friend sent me this funny blog written by a person who works in one of the Big Box bookstores. The blogger was sort of humorously (and, okay sometimes meanly) venting about the types of customers he enjoyed least. You can read the whole thing if you want, but in most cases none of these categories really apply at Little Shop of Stories, anyway.

However, there was a combination of qualities I did recognize . . .
"The Seeker:  The most straightforward of any of our customer types, the seekers want a book. A specific book: only this book will do. Prominent sub-types . . .  NPR listeners: Heard it on NPR. (it’s usually a good book, but we’re not stocking it yet — and on top of that, I’ve been stuck at work while you’re listening to the radio; if you can’t remember the title I won’t be able to come up with it.)."

And also this category (again these are his words): "Yeah, I get it, the cover of the book is red. Can you recall even one word in the title? Or the author’s first name? Or if it’s fiction or non-fiction? Color, while vivid in your own memory, is in fact the least helpful detail you can give us about any book."

The thing is though, here at Little Shop of Stories? We LOVE you NPR listeners who are charged up and excited about a new book. You help us stay on top of what's getting promoted out there, because (as this blogger points out), we're often stuck in the bookstore while NPR is playing, and unfortunately the great people at NPR still haven't learned to email us a couple weeks before a book goes on air, so we can order it and have it in for you right as you hear about it. So, even if we end up not having what you wanted right when you heard about it, as is sometimes the case, we're grateful to you for letting us know, and for coming to us for something really cool. (Because those NPR people have pretty good taste, right?)


And as for those of you who can remember the color of a cover and not much else? Why, we love you too. In fact, you are some of our favorites (and I am not being sarcastic), because we love a good challenge, and when you come in, we can often work together as a team to puzzle out what book you might be thinking of. And then when we do manage to ask the right questions and probe your mind a bit more about where you saw it and what else might be on the cover--when we manage to find the exact red-covered book you wanted . . . ? Well, that is just a little bit of bookstore heaven, is what that is. We're high fiving you out the door, and high-fiving each other the rest of the shift.
 
So, while, yes, sometimes bookselling can have its challenges, we here at Little Shop of Stories say, "Feel free to bring your book uncertainty in with you! We will enjoy helping you solve your dilemma, and if we can't do it, we'll definitely have something equally great to recommend."

(We may ask though, if you do hear about something good on NPR, you try to get at least one word in the title, or a scrap of the author's name to help us out.)  :)  


--Terra

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