Today is the day that marks the beginning of the retail sprint to Christmas. Many stores have outrageous sales and promise that if you showed up 5 am you’d save more than if you went after lunch. These sales require stores to bring on extra security because of the risk of people being trampled. Often people get hurt in the maddening rush to be among the first to storm the aisles.
Shopping at independent bookstores on Black Friday is a very different experience. A bookstore is a different kind of sales animal. We make our sales not by creating chaos but by talking about our love of books. This makes for a very special and personal shopping experience. We are not selling electronics, or clothes, we’re selling an experience or a journey.
Reading, while a solitary act, is, at its best a shared experience. When people talk about books they love, they do it with passion. Hearing anyone to talk about a favorite book in their lives they become animated and the listeners can’t help but be drawn in. I love the holiday season because I get to talk to folks about books I love.
Unlike regular book buying times, the holidays brings customers in who are overwhelmed by the books they have to buy, but still very selective. This is the indies’ time to shine. The passion we all have books makes shopping fun, and sometimes inspiring. Plus our joy at matching the right books for the right readers is really what we live for.
So, when you crave a different shopping experience, come to an indie. We’ll recommend great books and in most stores, you’ll walk away happier than when you walked in.