As readers of this blog will know, I have been away from the store for the last few days. While I was gone I got an email from a staffer asking if she could set up the Christmas books. Christmas — really? It’s not even Halloween yet, but apparently our store was full of shoppers who were looking for holiday books. It’s October! I thought about it for a little bit, and then caved and called the store and told them to go ahead and set up the holiday case. One staffer was actually dancing when she heard the news. I’m still stunned that it’s not even November and we’ve already got the holiday books up.
When we first opened, 14 years ago, holiday books went up the week of Thanksgiving. I always tried not to rush the seasons, because it irritates me when I go to other stores in August and the Thanksgiving candy turkeys are on display. What’s the hurry? Why can’t we wait to have holiday books out when it’s actually cold out? Apparently, our customers can’t. So, neither can I.
I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve been receiving holiday books since late July. For some reason, the publishers think that all bookstores have room to house holiday books for months before they go out on the shelf. So now, rather than having box upon box of books stored for a holiday months away, we now have them on the shelf, where our early-bird shoppers can actually see them, and better yet, buy them.
I’m curious: when do other bookstore put out their holiday books out, and when do customers start asking for them?