When it comes to buying and selling books I am something of an expert, my family have run bookshops for a considerable time, I have a bookshop which is trading at the moment I also publish local history books and as a publisher I have about 150 books that are in print and available, both directly to the public and to the book trade. I also sell books online via Amazon, Ebay, ABE and from my own website.
Now I would guess that it is a fairly small proportion of the population that regularly buys themselves books from a bookshop and an even smaller proportion that regularly visits a secondhand bookshop. Apart from the avid readers who always seem to have their heads in a book and the ardent book collectors who are striving to acquire the most desirable editions of books, there are also those few people who have an interest in something – be it WW1 aviation, medieval, history, embroidery or the occult. If I visit someone I always look at their books, that is the books not acquired by merely being alive, the cookery, gardening, books bought for some course to further their career, the bestseller picked up on the station or in the supermarket and the inevitable presents, to see if they fall into the bracket of a person with an interest.
Anyway today I have been working on the art books in my bookshop, my primary objective here being to make as sure as I can that they will sell, in the days before the internet this would have involved mostly checking the date code in them to see how long they had been in stock and reducing the ones that had been on the shelf for a long time. These days another factor is to try and make sure that the books are priced to compete with the books for sale on the internet.
First impressions when looking at the secondhand books available via Amazon would lead one to the impression that all books are available secondhand priced at 1p, which when you add on the postage equates to £2.81 however this is not exactly the case and in many cases it is not the cheapest that books are available via Amazon for 1p.
This is a bit of a project a promise if you like – this post I mean and I will endeavour to add to it later.
Ok a complex issue, the photographs in this post are of the art books on the shelves and for sale in my bookshop today, if the books on the shelves in your house looked like these I would be able to tell you were interested in art. Whereas if you had a lot of art books that basically boiled down to the big book of world arts, I would know you got a lot of Christmas presents from someone you once told you liked art.