Getting Ready for Summer Reading

Josie Leavitt - June 9, 2014

photo-32It’s that time of year again: time to stock up on summer reading. Kids and parents are starting to stream in looking for books for camp, stocking up on the required reading of summer, and some eager teens are just looking forward to reading for pleasure again. Every year we make it easy for them to find these by making a special cart of books, but this year, Elizabeth got really creative.
We had an award-winners case, not the Newbery, Caldecott or Printz (those are permanent cases) but one of less-well-known awards that deserved notice. It’s been up for months and in a genius move, Elizabeth reshelved those books where they belonged and created a great summer reading display case. The case is arranged youngest to oldest, with YA on the bottom; it’s funny¬†though, as I write this it occurs to me we should be daring and reverse the order of the shelves and have oldest on top at their eye level. (something to ponder and try for a week, maybe?) The case is to the left of the main store aisle, so it’s easy to notice. Plus, she made this awesome sign for it which is as eye-catching as it is fun.
What I love about having five shelves just for summer reading is the ability to change things up. In our old store we had room for a table and would create rows of books based on theme: horses, mysteries, funny stories, non-fiction, etc. This case allows us to do that again and that should be enormously helpful, and fun, for our customers. One thing we’ll probably wind up doing is having the bottom shelf be the required summer reading books for the local schools, so they can grab and dash.
There are two types of summer reading stocker-uppers. The first are the ones with all the time in the world who are content to browse for hours. These folks like a suggestion or two, but generally are thrilled to spend some time discovering. The second kind are the ones who are late to the plane, train or ferry needed to begin their summer. It is for them we started this case. Nothing like shelf after shelf of faceouts to make browsing more appealing. The fact that we’ve faced them out means they’ve gotten our seal of approval as good, so folks are much more confident to pick them out.
Fellow booksellers: how do you set up summer reading displays at your store?


1 thought on “Getting Ready for Summer Reading

  1. Shoshana

    Your display sounds fun to work with! Our local school district has a great, hyper-categorized summer reading list, so we create a section based on that list, facing out required titles and using dividers for the recommended categories. It’s a lot of work, but it brings sales to a lot of great books that might not otherwise be noticed.


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