Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday is Dead and Gone

It's all over folks. I haven't bothered to glance at any headlines proclaiming the holiday buying season a success or failure based on today's receipts. We had a good day at the bookstore. Nobody was waiting outside at 4am, which is good...because we don't open until eight. To me the whole idea of a season for shopping (I think it's called "gift giving" in the vernacular.) is abhorrent. I'm sure you've seen footage from past Black Friday sales, which people being injured as they were trampled upon by other anxious consumers. Seeing people in their pajamas in a Best Buy, dragging a plasma TV to the front counter makes me want to distance myself from the human race. Maybe I could just be a happy bovine for a while. I wouldn't have to worry about sales, and keeping up with the Guernseys. I would just dully chew my cud, and look up when cars go by. "Red one!"

But I enjoy selling books. Books are one of man's greatest inventions. The ability to transfer ideas to the minds of total strangers through the medium of the written word. I'm assuming that my son will be a book lover, because he'll be surrounded by a culture of books growing up. He already enjoys books, and is on the lookout for certain ones in the bookstore. His recent favorite is "Arthur's First Sleepover." Justin is at a stage where he enjoys the idea of being scared. He frequently likes to take his flashlight to bed with him. I don't think he is truly frightened, but he likes exploring the concept.

One fun aspect to selling books is the exchange of ideas with the customer. As fellow readers, we are always trading title suggestions with our co-workers, and our customers. I urge certain titles on the public through our clever use of "Staff Picks." We write up little blurb on Staff Pick cards, and display them with the book in the store. We take personal pride when our pick manages to sell some copies of a favorite book of ours.

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