One of the first things I was told as a rookie bookseller many years ago was the following old chestnut:
- The Customer Is Always Right.
I was also told:
- Don’t spend too much time on the toilet.
- Don’t wear a short skirt if you’re doing a window display and
- Nobody wants to see your armpits.
My UK Bookselling Diploma thus obtained, I was now clearly ready to hit the shop floor.
December is a crucial make-or-break month for many retailers, and bookshops are no exception.
For the bookshop owner, expectation levels go through the roof in the run-up to Christmas, and this is accompanied by a constant insatiable hunger for sales, sales and more sales.
Books Are My Bag is a national campaign run by The Booksellers Association to promote bookshops in the UK.
It is centred around three main events:
- Bookshop Day 2017 (Sat 7th Oct)
- Saturday Sanctuary (Nov 25th) and
BAMB is now in its fifth year, and any campaign that celebrates the value and vital role of physical bookshops in this online age must surely be a good thing.
When you work in a bookshop, you can usually tell when a fellow bookseller comes in. They’ll be the ones subtly straightening all your book displays and re-imposing alphabetical order on the poetry section.
If they work for a bookshop chain, you may hear them utter the words “staff discount” at some point to their friend, before walking out empty-handed.
In 2015 and 2016, a strange fever overtook the UK public. Vital everyday activities such as sleeping, cooking and re-tweeting were usurped by a new phenomenon: Adult Colouring.
Perfectly sane individuals found themselves reaching for the crayons, and spending huge amounts of time hunched over increasingly intricate patterns, themes, motifs and the occasional fractal.