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What Do You Do in a Bookstore?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another quick post/question to be answered today.

Just got an e-mail from my dear friend Ruth that A Case for Love is starting to hit the shelves at LifeWay stores across the country. So be looking for it in stores near you soon!

Since Stand-In Groom came out, my experience with walking into any place that sells books has become much different than it was before . . . and it had already changed two years before that when I started working at a publishing house. When I walk in, I take note of what books are on the first display just inside the door—how they’re arranged, who the authors are, if they’re new releases or “bargain” (i.e., overstocks or OOPs—books going out of print), what genres are represented, etc. Then I go back to the Christian fiction section. I look for the massive display of Ted Dekker’s books . . . and then look to the left of the first book with his name on it for the ones with DACUS on the spine. If I’m at Barnes & Noble, I’m usually very disappointed, because there aren’t any. So I leave a bunch of bookmarks, either on the shelves or in other people’s books. At LifeWay and other stores that carry my books, I look to see how many of them they have. And after putting bookmarks/post cards for my other books in each one of those, I may go around and put some in other people’s books. (And face-out a few of my closest friends’ books, if they aren’t already.)

On very rare occasions, I’ll actually buy books.

What do you do when you go into a bookstore?

20 Comments
  1. Ronie permalink
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:03 am

    I rearrange the books, so that my friends’ books are face-out. 😀

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  2. Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:29 am

    It’s already out!! Yay!!!

    After I do a similar cursury glance through the store (I have to check the piano solos and piano/organ duet books), I always check for books by friends, put them face-out, if possible, make sure other people in the aisle (especially at BAM or B&N or Borders) see WHAT I’m looking for . . . and then sometimes, at Lifeway, I reshelve mis-shelved books . . . I know. I’m a librarian. What can I say?

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  3. Jess permalink
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:45 am

    If I’m in a bookstore, it’s because I have a gift card. So I usually browse in the history section and look for books I know for sure aren’t cheap online. Usually I go in the Inspirational fiction section, but not the regular one–too many choices! In the Inspirational section, I’m usually familiar with, if not the titles, at least the authors. Or the publishers.
    If I have a $25 gift card, I debate whether I want to buy 2 books and spend about $3 to cover the difference or 1 book and a whole lot of hot mochas.
    Also, I pretend I am rich and middle-aged, like everyone else in the store. That’s the funnest part.

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  4. Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:57 am

    Go in and take a deep breath! I love the smell of new books. Then I head straight to the Christian fiction section, browse to see what books they have, check out the bargain books and leave…I can’t afford to buy books right now LOL!

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  5. Thursday, January 14, 2010 12:23 pm

    I stick to our two Christian bookstores or Books A Million. They have a MUCH larger Christian fiction section than B&N and for the record, I have bought some of your books from BAM so I do know they have them. 🙂

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    • Thursday, January 14, 2010 4:30 pm

      I’ve noticed the same about Books a Million. I find my self there more than anywhere else right now.

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  6. Amee permalink
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 12:24 pm

    If it’s B&N I take a deep breath because it always smells like books (Borders smells like coffee, unfortunately). I usually check out the new in paperback sections, YA, Christian fiction, and then bargain sections. Whether I’m there to actually buy or just drink in the book atmosphere that’s my routine. I don’t really reorganize or anything. Sometimes I do a little if it’s something like one author placed in between the books of another author, but otherwise I don’t pay attention to alphabetical order mistakes. I work in a Borders so that’s a whole other story of what I do in a bookstore. 😉

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  7. Thursday, January 14, 2010 1:13 pm

    I too check out the front display. Sometimes I am please to find local authors featured there. Up here it’s Brandilyn Collins and Frank Peretti.

    After that I check out the Christian section and the childrens section. I read a few pages of books I’ve had on my radar, check out anything new from my author friends then go home and buy on Amazon if I buy any at all. Eeek. 🙂

    I could also echo Jess (you must be my alter ego) LOL

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  8. Thursday, January 14, 2010 1:48 pm

    Depends on type of bookstore. I always start by perusing the tables near the door and the end displays to see what’s new and interesting. If Wal-mart or a Christian bookstore, I head for the Christian fiction section, then the African-American books. If Borders or B&N, where the Christian fiction sections usually don’t amount to much, I head for the African-American books first. After that, I’ll try to remember books I’ve heard about and seek them out, or simply–my favorite–walk up and down the aisles to see what pops.

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  9. Thursday, January 14, 2010 2:36 pm

    I always go to Mardel, our Christian bookstore, so I go to the sale shelf, where I can find books as low as 25 cents!!! That’s always lovely. Then I go to the regular fiction section and see what’s new and who’s books are up that I “know”.

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  10. Adrienne permalink
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 3:58 pm

    I usually check out the bargain bins and then head on over to the Christian Fiction section. Then I view the tops of the shelves and make my way down, usually sitting on the floor if I’m going to read the blurbs and make my decision. I also go at a time when the store is relatively empty that way I can sit on the floor and not worry about getting in anyone’s way. Ever since I’ve viewed computer blogs my perspective has changed because now I’m usually looking and spotting books I’ve already read good things about.

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  11. Thursday, January 14, 2010 4:33 pm

    As far browsing, I find myself going first for the bargains and then for the inspirational/devotional section. Other than an occasional foray into the children’s section, I pretty much ignore the rest of the store.

    Of course, most of my time in bookstores is spent at the cafe area meeting with someone. 🙂

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  12. Thursday, January 14, 2010 5:20 pm

    I might be in the minority here, but I don’t especially like book stores. Not the big chains anyway. They feel overwhelming. The space feels too big, too impersonal. I might venture into one once a year. On those occasions I know what I’m there for, get it and go, and don’t do a lot of browsing. I like to do my browsing on line, even if I don’t end up buying on line. I could browse the shelves of small, used bookstores though. They usually have a quite a different feeling to me. A bit more like a library, but where I can check out the books forever. Or bring them back in a year or two if I choose.

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  13. Thursday, January 14, 2010 6:11 pm

    I do what Ronie does… I face-front my friend’s books (you included!)

    THEN I peruse, looking for books that appear interesting. My tastes have changed greatly in recent years, and it’s getting tougher to find the PERFECT book. Plus, I’ve read a lot more recently, so many times the perusal of the shelves is trying to find something I haven’t already read. ha!

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  14. Friday, January 15, 2010 8:25 am

    Browsing used book stores is one of my favorite things to do. I head straight to the inspirational section, and then history.

    I only hit the big books stores once in a blue moon, and small Christian book store on occasion, as it’s less expensive to purchase online or at Walmart. I’m all about getting more books for the buck.

    We have one of the largest Walmarts in the state of Maine with a very good selection of Christian books. No matter what I go into Walmart for (usually a couple of times a week) I always hit the books first. One time I took a picture of Ransome’s Honor for you in there and actually forgot my Rx on the shelf fortunatley I later retrieved it untouched! (Did you ever get?)

    I always beem when I see knew books belonging to people I know from ACFW and my author friends. I’ve been known to straighten the shelves, place books prominently, etc. I’ve been tempted to leave sticky notes that say “read me, I’m awesome” – LOL!! I do have a habit of evaluating covers, back copy, & first paragraphs, chap. number, and all kinds of things as an actual object lessons for own my writing – hands on training.

    That’s me in a books store!

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  15. Sylvia permalink
    Saturday, January 16, 2010 9:17 pm

    I’m so looking forward to “A Case for Love”. My sister stopped by two bookstores on the way home from her work and looked for ACFL, but, alas, it wasn’t there. One of them was LifeWay too. I went to Walmart today, but they didn’t have it yet either. They did have six copies of “Menu for Romance”!

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  16. Becky Miller permalink
    Sunday, January 17, 2010 12:22 am

    I rarely go in a bookstore. I order almost all my books online. If I go in, it’s because I’m going to sit in the cafe and look at magazines.

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  17. Monday, January 18, 2010 11:28 am

    I love to go into a book store just to see what’s new, even if I don’t have any money to buy something. I head straight to the Christian fiction section and go to the recent releases shelf. After that, I’ll go down the rows of shelves and look for my favorite authors’ names and see if they have come out with anything new. If I’m by myself, I’ll sit down and read a few pages of the first chapter to get a taste of what the book is about. Then I’ll add it to my “to be read” list. I usually carry a pen and a little notepad in my purse so I can remember what new books I discovered. If I’m with my son, we head to the children’s section first and I usually help him find new books to read and add them to our library list (he reads so fast I couldn’t possibly afford every book he wants).

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  18. Monday, January 18, 2010 9:17 pm

    You are hilarious. I love the fact that you leave your own bookmarks. Barnes & Nobles needs to lighten up. They have an awesome selection, but are missing a few things by being so “selective.”

    When I go into a book store, I inhale the aroma of coffee (what a modern delight), then browse the new releases, then begin to browse. Where I browse depends on my mood. Some days I’m there to find books for my job (I’m a counselor), but other days I like to look at design books or see if some of my favorite authors have anything new out (generally in the fiction, inspirational, or self-help sections).

    I generally pick a few to select from and sit down to go through them before purchasing. Unless it is by a favorite. Then I just buy it knowing I’ll love it.

    It is always fun to amble through the novelty items as I head for the check-out. They ofthen have things that spark creativity or feelings of whimsy.

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  19. Lizard permalink
    Sunday, January 24, 2010 12:27 pm

    When going to the big chains, I will go straight to Christain fiction and starting looking for my favorite authors. I have also started looking up those authors on amazon to see when new books are coming out so that I know to keep an key out for them. I would rather go to the local Christain book store to purchase, but the books usually are out later than the big chains.

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