Sunday, February 17, 2008

One of the things I love about bookstores.

I walk in, make it past the picture books, calendars, cat mugs, audio books and coffee shop novelists to the mystery section where I search out friends' books and turn their covers out.

While I was in Asheville this weekend, we went to Malaprop's, the local independent. I got two in this spot with Dusty Rhoades' Safe and Sound and Duane Swierczynski's The Blonde. What you can't see is Lee Child's Bad Luck and Trouble. Daniel Silva's friends must have been there earlier.

Here's one new book I didn't see, proving only that the buyers of Malaprop's are discerning readers, unwilling to inflict this fiction on their customers.

It was a great weekend, with a chance to connect with people from my distant past, and a chance to escape the day in and day out troubles that stalk our little house like hungry bill collectors.

More on all of this later, but for now we work.

Topic for discussion: Do you turn books face out? Do you move them to the front table? Do you press them on strangers as if you were a disinterested bystander? What's the most blatant thing you've done to sell a book?


JD Rhoades said...

Heh. Thanks, buddy.

When I see my own, I usually take them up to the customer service desk and offer to sign them. I've only been turned down once. Usually, the bookstore will then put them face out, or, if I'm really lucky put them on the front table.

Once in a while, I tell people I'm James O. Born and start signing his books, all the while loudly calling for whiskey, crystal meth, and strippers and groping the female staff.

I often turn my friends' books face out.

Mist blatant thing I ever did? Sold a copy of the paperback of THE DEVIL'S RIGHT HAND to the clerk in the airport bookstore.

norby said...

I also turn books face out. It's a little tougher to do at the Borders where I live now-the mystery section is right up front by the cash registers. Bastards.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Tack flyers/bookmarks on the bulletin board by the bathrooms at Borders. They always take them down. One time Ace Hardware left one up.

Jeff Shelby said...

I turn 'em face out. Unless they are Born's. Then I move them to the romance section.

A lot of times, if a store (usually a Borders and Barnes & Noble where I've met the staff) only has one copy of a book, I'll take it up to customer service and tell them about the book and talk it up. They almost always will order and carry a few more copies.

Anonymous said...

Asheville? Seriously?

Sean Chercover said...

I always face books out. Books written by friends and/or books that I love.

I never face my own out. Not because I don't want to, but because of how pathetic I'd feel if I got caught in the act. I do offer to sign mine, I just can't face them out.