My Bookstore: A Constant Education

As a new bookseller, I have to work hard to familiarize myself with subjects that I have heretofore overlooked. I know very little about art books, for instance, and this week, thanks to three Don McCullin bookscustomers, I learned something about photography books. One fellow pulled a book off the shelf and told me it was an important book, and that I had underpriced it. It was a book of photographs by Don McCullin, “Hearts of Darkness,” from the Vietnam War. I didn’t remember pricing or shelving the book, but I gratefully took his recommendation and researched the book. It was easy to see how dramatic and provocative the photos were and, though I did re-price the book, more importantly, I put it on display. The very next day someone asked for the photography books, and I showed him the McCullin book. It wasn’t the book he was looking for, but he was glad to have found it and he bought it straight away. In the meantime, the buyer and I talked about what made the book so worthwhile. He was a photographer, and I benefitted as much from his knowledge as from the first customer who had pointed out the book to me. I know a little about a lot of books in the store, but almost everyone who comes in knows a lot about one genre or one author. Without being too obtrusive, I am trying to take advantage of my customer’s expertise.

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Group Advertising

 We have a magazine here in southern Ontario called ‘Daytripping’. I imagine there are similar publications elsewhere. It’s published every 2 months and can be picked up free at all its advertisers as well as tourist booths and so on. All the ads are for individual stores – no chains. It’s just about the only … Read more