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30 November 2004 @ 11:50 pm
Sorry to slam my friends' pages with multiple (and rather pointless) entries, but...

'Tis the season. I work in a bookstore, and we are getting busier by the day. I'm racing around like a madwoman (s'truth: I had sweat trickling down my back today) answering phones, pulling books, placing them on hold, helping people in the store (by the bye... bunnymcfoo? come help. I'm just sayin') Anyway, I always keep an eye out in the teen fiction section. I know a lot of the books there - not as much as I ought, but I do my level best. So. I walked by and saw a woman staring at the shelves, frowning. Turns out she was shopping for her 13 year old niece. Said niece loved the 'Traveling Pants' books. Didn't like 'The Outsiders.' This was pretty much all I had to go on. So, I chatted a bit with the Aunt, sold her 'Teen Idol.' Done.

Now, I had another lady waiting for me. Her daughter, also 13, ADORES Harry Potter. Holding up Taylor's 'Shadowmancer,' she said, "Is this good?"

What was I supposed to say? I opted for the truth, though I gentled it a bit. "I rarely discourage one from buying a book... but I found this unreadable." I told her why I didn't like it (feeling guilty... sorry, G.P. Taylor!), and said I'd be happy to recommend other books for her. "Please!" she said.

"Okay," I took a deep breath. "I'm probably going to give you more suggestions than you want." So, I started chatting up a few books.

I started with Coopers' 'Dark is Rising' sequence, moved on to Shannon Hale's 'The Goose Girl'... and at this point, my first customer had come back over. "Do you mind if I listen in?"

Customer #2 and I both assured her that was fine (she ended up buying 'The Goose Girl' -which is brilliant and wonderful and so gorgeously written, it makes me weepy that I may never be that good). Customer #2 was ultimately, as I had feared, overwhelmed. "I think I need to bring my daughter back and have her talk to you." I told her the hours I worked, and that was no good; I'm gone before school is out. "You need to work after-school hours!" she admonished.

And that made me think. I should so be a consultant. Make me a book consultant for the 11-16 or so set. Give me one shift a week to just read. I'd read anything and everything were that the case. I'll set up special appointments... and hey, screw the company payroll. Slip me a twenty, and I'll give you half an hour of book talk and rec's.

Never going to happen. It would be fun, though.
Stealth Chaos Butterfly: wonder and magic can be found herebunnymcfoo on November 30th, 2004 09:17 pm (UTC)
....ok, so here's an idea of blazing brilliance. You an Erin an Rache an I open a bookstore. =D

Whatcha think? *grin*
Ratesjul: booksratesjul on November 30th, 2004 09:59 pm (UTC)
We wouldn't have any stock...
Stealth Chaos Butterflybunnymcfoo on November 30th, 2004 10:14 pm (UTC)
...this is a good point. *ponders*

we could order five copies of all the good stuff. =P!
Kendallmilfsrus on December 1st, 2004 06:35 am (UTC)
Hmmmm, you know why don't you talk to the Supervisors, it wouldn't hurt. If anything all the folks on the floor would know that you are the go to person. I'd like to think that B&N
would be a forward thinking company as to have a got to person in each area. If anything get the folks to write letters in. Another thing that couldn't hurt.
Goddessavhi on December 1st, 2004 06:55 am (UTC)
Never will happen if you never ask! :)

I think that would be a great idea! Pitch it to them and see what happens. You may just be the start of a B&N trend! In-Store consultants!

Especially now during the holidays.

Good luck! Go for it!

Ilena Ayalanetsearcher on December 1st, 2004 11:21 am (UTC)
Never going to happen. It would be fun, though.

You don't *ask*, you don't *get*.

Pitch it. Start by sharing the recent encounters you've posted about here. It's good customer service for them - and those customers will come *back* to the store to buy, they don't just leave and buy the stuff online.

One of the things busnesses do as part of their marketing is to make themselves *different* from the competition. On site book experts would be a nice edge! They could give it a go for the holidays at least - as a trial run, and then see if they want to do it long term. This is really the perfect time to try it - there will be a lot of folks buying holiday gifts who could use help.
Rhiacelticflamerhia on December 1st, 2004 07:24 pm (UTC)
That was not pointless! That was a very amazingly cool post. I want that job too!
Adrienne C.adrienne429 on December 2nd, 2004 01:44 am (UTC)
Here's a thought
Ok, so I just had a thought about this. Even if this didn't start until after the holidays. Why not also ask about suggesting/reviewing a title each month with our in store calendar/newsletter? Or an attachment to the calendar?
A separate newsletter that would suggest titles by our in-house consultant?
This might be a good way to start up the idea that we have someone that can recommend titles. It could be the first step to what you are suggesting.
Whatever you decide, I think you should definitely tell our manager. I think she would be very interested in the idea.