You wouldn’t think leaving a bookstore would be a challenge. Select your books, pay for them, and head towards the door to your car. I’m finding it’s the “head towards the door” part that is particularly challenging this time of year.
The allure of stocking stuffers and other books is what makes it tough for folks to exit the store with only one trip to the register. I love these customers. They are clearly ready to shop and they can be easily enticed into buying more because of bookseller enthusiasm, other customers, or just playing with a toy. One woman had her bag of books and practically had her hand on the door yesterday when she heard me talking about The Bully Pulpit, the new Doris Kearns Goodwin book. She inched away from the door and slipped closer to me and the other customer I was talking with. My description of the book as a wonderful history book for any non-fiction reader on your list was really all it took for Kelsey to come to back to the register. She had found the perfect gift for her uncle.
While Kelsey was paying for her book, Elizabeth showed her how some of the wind-up toys work. She was signing her second credit card slip when she realized that she could use a few more stocking stuffers. I have discovered that just about anything on the front counter sells. There is something about things on the counter, be it a stack of books waiting to get shelved or toys or doodads, that makes people think it’s more interesting than those same items on the shelf. We offered to wrap Kelsey’s book and while she was waiting, Sandy showed her a puzzle that her Star Wars-loving six-year-old might like.
Kelsey sighed and took out her wallet again. She was smiling though. “I just wonder what I’ll see on my way to the door,” she said as took her bags and left. She made it all the way to the door, but I could see her turn and look back at the Vermont Farm Table Cookbook and mutter, “Mom would like that.” I suspect we’ll see her today.