Each year during the holiday season certain rituals tend to appear – major movies and music albums are released, families gather to exchange gifts, people eat a lot more than usual, the weather turns from a cool fall to a cold winter, and bookstores bubble over with books and shoppers.
Right around the time things begin to heat up – a week and a half before Black Friday and two weeks leading up to Cyber Monday – I visited a bookstore I was pleased to see shelves stuffed with new books and display counters with piles of gifty items. Things were beginning to sell, but many consumers are just inventorying what’s out there. They’ll begin to pull their wallet out around Thanksgiving Day and it will get used over and over again until early January, right through the return-and-exchange and cash-in-gift-card period.
It’s amazing how many wonderful books and gift items there are. I wanted to buy at least a dozen things, but refrained from going crazy. I did buy two inexpensive books - $6.95 specials – The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox and Trivia For The Toilet by Gavin Webster. Both will come in handy for some planned road trips. Americans love books like these – books of quotes and wisdom, explanations to popular phrases and questions, or pieces of facts and stats about things we’re curious about.
There were many coffee table books on display, including some great photography books, 50-year retrospectives, or books about major celebrities like Frank Sinatra. There were classics repackaged in beautifully bound cases and perennial bestsellers on display. There were also fancy journals, bookends, decorative statues, toys, and other items for sale.
Instead of buying all of this stuff, I just need to discipline myself to keep visiting the store and treating it like the living room of a friend’s house – enjoy it while you play with it, but then go home without it.
But plenty of people – including me- plan to drop hundreds of dollars on books, gift cards, and related items that are found in the bookstore. Some people love being in a fancy home furnishings store, a car showroom, at a design clothing trunk sale, or a jewelry store, trying things on and comparing different looks – but usually leaving empty-handed. But at the bookstore, not only do you become someone else with every book you examine, you get to take home plenty of stuff without going into debt. The way some women buy shoes, I like to buy books. But books last a lot longer!
What will you buy this holiday season – for yourself or others? Go to the bookstore and try the world on – and come home with a piece of it. Keep repeating this process until January 6th.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015
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