Jlsathre:25 Things I Learned From Opening a Bookstore

Currently stays in Illinois, I'm a lawyer in my past life, who got the kids through college and decided to try something different and a little more fun. A used book store sounded like a good idea, so that's where I am for now. I just hadn't counted on a recession or E-readers and am a little afraid there's going to be a third act. In the meantime, I have plenty to read and a little time to write. Not a bad way to spend a day.

1.  People are getting rid of bookshelves.  Treat the money you budgeted for shelving as found money.  Go to garage sales and cruise the curbs.

2.  While you're drafting that business plan, cut your projected profits in half.  People are getting rid of bookshelves.

3.  If someone comes in and asks where to find the historical fiction, they're not looking for classics, they want the romance section.

4.  If someone comes in and says they read a little of everything, they also want the romance section.

5. If someone comes in and asks for a recommendation and you ask for the name of a book that they liked and they can't think of one, the person is not really a reader.  Recommend Nicholas Sparks.

6.  Kids will stop by your store on their way home from school if you have a free bucket of kids books.  If you also give out free gum, they'll come every day and start bringing their friends.

7.  If you put free books outside, cookbooks will be gone in the first hour and other non-fiction books will sit there for weeks.  Except in warm weather when people are having garage sales.  Then someone will back their car up and take everything, including your baskets.

8.  If you put free books outside, someone will walk in every week and ask if they're really free, no matter how many signs you put out .  Someone else will walk in and ask if everything in the store is free. 

9.  No one buys  self help books in a store where there's a high likelihood of  personal interaction when paying.  Don't waste the shelf space, put them in the free baskets.

10.  This is also true of sex manuals.  The only ones who show an interest in these in a small store are the gum chewing kids, who will find them no matter how well you hide them.

11.  Under no circumstances should you put the sex manuals in the free baskets.  Parents will show up. 

12.  People buying books don't write bad checks.  No need for ID's. They do regularly show up having raided the change jar.

13.  If you have a bookstore that shares a parking lot with a beauty shop that caters to an older clientele, the cars parked in your lot will always be pulled in at an angle even though it's not angle parking.

14.  More people want to sell books than buy them, which means your initial concerns were wrong.  You will have no trouble getting books, the problem is selling them.  Plus a shortage of storage space for all the Readers Digest books and encyclopedias that people donate to you. 

15.  If you open a store in a college town, and maybe even if you don't, you will find yourself as the main human contact for some strange and very socially awkward men who were science and math majors way back when.  Be nice and talk to them, and ignore that their fly is open.

16.  Most people think every old book is worth a lot of money.  The same is true of signed copies and 1st editions.  There's no need to tell them they're probably not ensuring financial security for their grandkids with that signed Patricia Cornwell they have at home.

17.  There's also no need to perpetuate the myth by pricing your signed Patricia Cornwell higher than the non-signed one. 

18.  People use whatever is close at hand for bookmarks--toothpicks, photographs, kleenex, and the very ocassional fifty dollar bill, which will keep you leafing through books way beyond the point where it's pr0ductive.

19.  If you're thinking of giving someone a religious book for their graduation, rethink. It will end up unread and in pristine condition at a used book store, sometimes with the fifty dollar bill still tucked inside.  (And you're off and leafing once again).

20.  If you don't have an AARP card, you're apparently too young to read westerns.

21.  A surprising number of people will think you've read every book in the store and will keep pulling out volumes and asking you what this one is about.  These are the people who leave without buying a book, so it's time to have some fun.  Make up plots.

22.  Even if you're a used bookstore, people will get huffy when you don't have the new release by James Patterson.  They are the same people who will ask for a discount because a book looks like it's been read.  

23.  Everyone has a little Nancy Drew in them.  Stock up on the mysteries.

24.  It is both true and sad that some people do in fact buy books based on the color of the binding.

25.  No matter how many books you've read in the past, you will feel woefully un-well read within a week of opening the store.  You will also feel wise at having found such a good way to spend your days.

(http://open.salon.com/blog/jlsathre/2012/01/11/25_things_i_learned_...)

潔莎特(Jlsathre)是美國伊利諾州的一位退休律師,孩子長大後決定改行開一家舊書店,而領悟出25條人情世故:

1.人們正在遠離書架,如果你還有購置書架的預算的話,砍掉它。你只需要像在舊貨市場一樣賣書就可以了。

2.當你在起草商業計畫書的時候,請把你的預期利潤減半。為什麼?仍然是因為人們正在遠離書架。

3.如果有人問你歷史小說在哪裡,你要知道他們找的不是經典歷史著作,而是言情小說。

4.如果有人進來告訴你他讀書喜歡淺嘗輒止,那麼他們需要的同樣是言情小說。

5.如果有人請你推薦書,但你問他喜歡什麼書他卻一本也說不上來,那麼這個人並不是一個真正的讀者。給他推薦尼古拉斯.斯帕克斯(Nicholas Sparks,美國暢銷言情小說作家)即可。

6.如果你的店裡有一堆免費的童書,就可以吸引放學路過的小孩。如果你還免費發放口香糖的話,他們下次會呼朋引伴而來。

7.如果你把免費的圖書放到店外,烹飪書肯定最先被一搶而空,而非虛構類圖書則會躺在地上幾個星期無人問津。當然也會有例外,比如碰到天氣良好的車庫大拍賣(garage sales)的日子,有人會開著汽車過來把所有的東西全部拿走,連裝書的籃子都不放過。

8.如果你在店外放了免費的圖書,每週都會有人進來問它們是否真的是免費的,不管你在旁邊放了多少醒目的標識。還有一些人則會進來問是否店裡所有的東西都是免費的。

9.沒有人會購買心理自助類圖書(self-help books,類似於成功學的心理學圖書──譯者注),不要為其浪費貨架空間,直接放到免費籃中去吧。

10.性教育手冊同樣如此。對這類書感興趣的只有店裡嚼著口香糖的小孩,無論你把這類書藏到哪裡他們都能找得到。

11.不過儘管如此,你最好別把性教育手冊放到免費籃裡,否則孩子的父母會找你麻煩。

12.買書的人不會寫空頭支票,如果有人要賒賬,沒必要記下他的身分證,他們會砸掉自己的存錢罐來還錢。

13.如果你的書店是和一家美容院共用停車場的話,你會發現停在你的停車場裡的車都是斜向的,儘管這個停車場並不是傾斜式停車場。

14.想賣書的人比想買書的人多,這意味著你最開始關心的問題都是錯誤的。如何獲取貨源並不是問題,問題是怎麼賣掉他們。你還會因為接受了太多類似於讀者文摘、百科全書這樣的捐贈而苦惱沒有足夠的儲物空間。

15.如果你的書店開在大學附近,你會發現你將成為那些奇怪的、有社交障礙的理科書呆子的主要聯繫人。要善待他們,多跟他們交談,不要嘲諷他們忘了拉上的褲拉鏈。

16.很多人以為每一本舊書都很值錢,或者簽名版、首版在將來可能升值,你沒必要提醒他們派特麗夏.康薇爾(Patricia Cornwell,美國作家,作品銷量超過1億冊)的簽名版圖書即使流傳到他們的孫子輩都不可能升值的事實。

17.你同樣沒有必要把派特麗夏.康薇爾的簽名版圖書售價定的比非簽名版高來延續這個簽名版會升值的神話。

18.人們習慣用任何可以順手拿到的東西當書簽,比如牙籤、照片、紙片,甚至是鈔票。

19.如果你打算給一個即將畢業的人送一本宗教圖書作為禮物,請三思,因為它很有可能嶄新地回到舊書店裡,裡面有時還會夾著一張50美金的帳單。

20.如果你沒有一張AARP卡(AARP,美國中老年人協會),你顯然還沒有達到閱讀西部故事的年齡。

21.想當然的認為書店店主讀過店裡的每一本書的人多得令人吃驚,他們喜歡從書架上抽出一本書來問你那本書寫的是什麼。這樣的人往往最後並不會買書,所以你大可以胡亂編造一些情節來消遣一下他們。

22.即使你開的是一家舊書店,也有人會因為你的店裡沒有詹姆斯.派特森(James Patterson,美國暢銷驚悚懸疑小說作家)的最新作品而不滿。這種人也會因為一本書看起來被人翻過而向你要求折扣。

23.每個人心中都有一個神探南茜(Nancy Drew,又譯「少女妙探」)。偵探推理小說要備夠貨。

24.不少人依據書的外表,比如顏色是否吸引人來決定是否購買,這讓人難過,但卻是事實。

25.無論你過去讀過多少書,在開了一個星期的書店之後,你都會為閱讀感到悲哀。儘管如此,你依然會為發現這樣一種生活方式感到慶幸不已。(

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