Holidays are winding down. The store is filthy from winter mess, covered with bargain bins and half-off signs, and full of customers.
The cutest customers ever were two teen sisters (maybe twins - at most only 1 year apart) who share a room because they converted the other bedroom into a library. A library. The whole room is filled with books. They were in spending Christmas book-buying money (and think about the buying power when there are two of you and you can pool your money since you like similar things) and having a hoot while doing it. So cool.
I had a customer looking for I am Malala. To my surprise (and delight), it turned out that we had sold out on Christmas Eve and were waiting for more stock. I may have done the "yes!" thing a little too enthusiastically.
Customer: Why are you so happy that you're out of Malala's book?
Me (oops, that probably didn't look so good): Oh, sorry, not happy that we're out but happy that it sold out. We sold out of all the conservative-white-dude books earlier this month and got a ton of restock. But I've been trying to get people to buy more Malala for weeks. Nice to see that it finally kicked in.
And we high-fived. And she ordered it (it'll probably come Monday anyway since we had a boatload on order).
The Fifty Shades of Gray Party Game and expansion packs went in the post-Christmas bargain sale. In 24 hours we hadn't sold any copies of the actual game but all the expansion packs sold. Uh.....
And, lastly, here's your anecdata (a term borrowed off Rebecca and Jeff of BookRiot) about using bookstores to browse but buying from Amazon:
I spent the first twenty minutes of my shift yesterday looking for books on Norse language and history for a customer (male, college-age-ish). We didn't have any language books on Old Norse since those are academic textbooks (he didn't want Norwegian or Swedish language-learning books) but I did eventually find a few books about the history of the Vikings, one of the Eddas, and Bengtsson's The Long Ships (a novel, yes, but well-researched). I handed the books to the customer...who then took pictures of the covers and bar codes and handed them back.
Me (pretty well stunned, because no one has ever done that in front of me): Do you want me to hold these for you?
Customer: No, I'm just going to buy them on Amazon.
Then he walked out the front door.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you induce a murderous rage in a bookseller.