Bizarre Bookstore Days

kangarooIt’s been an odd, OCD kind of week here at the bookstore.

On Tuesday, we had an entire day where people used credit from our big blue ledger. No cash purchases were made, no books brought in. (The ledger stays in the bookstore and regular customers have a page where we keep an updated tally.) Since we don’t have the ledger computerized, we’d have to look at the dates on each page to know how much trade credit was used, and neither of us cared at the end of Tuesday, because we were tired of looking in the ledger.

On Wednesday, every single customer bought books for cash, and we outdid our previous sales record for best day ever by $41. We were slammed and it was fun, but when the day was over, we fell without grace or ceremony into chairs and stared at the ceiling awhile.

At some point I said, “You want supper?”

He said, “No. You?”

I said, “Can’t be bothered.”

He said, “All right, then.”

We went to bed.

On Thursday, from every corner of the world, it seemed, people brought in books to trade. Bags of books, boxes of books, miles and miles and piles of books! I was actually away Thursday, and came home to a carpet of them. Jack held up his hands as if to beg for mercy.

“They came too fast; I couldn’t keep up.”

We spent that evening shelving books, gnawing on some cheese and tomatoes between stacks.

On Friday, two kangaroos and an elephant came in. The elephant was pregnant and the roos were giving her a gift certificate to our children’s room. Nice folk.

And so it goes…. people ask us about “patterns in book retail.” There’s only one pattern: expect every day to be different from the one before it, and you will always be right.

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7 Comments

Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, reading, small town USA, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Bizarre Bookstore Days

  1. Alice Bryson

    Hi Wendy, Great post! Pic of Roo with beer was too funny. I had read your book awhile back, loved it, suggested it to my bookclub and we’re discussing it in May. Several have commented on how much they are enjoying it already. I read it from my public library first time, but I bought it from a used bookstore last week so I can highlight quotes for my discussion. I lead the book club. Also printing out some of your blogs to share with group and this will be one of them….maybe even with the picture…! Alice B. From Ft. Worth, Tx

    Sent from my iPad

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  2. Glen Moody

    just a normal week for independent booksellers in the Appalachian South. My week was surprisingly similar. There was a full moon last weekend, ya know.

  3. Gayle Swank

    Oh Carol thank you so much. I love the post and wish I lived closer so I could participate in and support that store. They sound like a lot of fun and I told my husband about it and he said it sounds good. We can not go in 2015 as we have our trips already planned for this year but we will seriously consider the 2016 trip. I will email and get myself on their list. Thanks so much for remembering to do that. Hopefully I will see you and Cindy in October. You two need to come a day or two early and come for dinner at my house and visit a little before the pressures of the school settle in on you.

    Hope your test went well as I Had a great day in TN. We loved Clinton and it’s antique stores but did not get to Kingsport. That will have to be another trip. Take care and drive safe. Hugs – Gayle

    Sent from my iPhone

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  4. elliehjemmet

    I just love the underlying message that my favorite bookstore is doing remarkably well. Just out of curiosity, what month did your highest sales day, prior to this one, occur? It seems April is a bit ahead of fullest patronage, or am I wrong? Hooray for you both! Another great blog post!

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