Monday, 18 April 2016

Conflict at Manston, The Ripped Bodice and raising some money selling me your books, a Monday Ramble.

It’s Monday and many of the phone calls to my bookshop go something along the line of:-

“Do you buy books?” I used to just say yes to this one, but having an estate car full of Mills an Boon books turn up outside my door with the occupant telling me that I promised to buy them has lead me to be more cautious, so now I reply. “It depends of what books they are.”

I don’t think I will try to explain this with fiction books today,  just leave it in the area that the secondhand fiction bestsellers tend to be the books you want to read more than once and the books you want to be seen with on your shelves.

Non-fiction is a bit of a big subject, so let’s zoom in a bit, Manston is always in the forefront to local internet discussion, the latest being the letter from RiverOak promising an Environmental Impact Assessment http://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR020002/1.%20Pre-Submission/Correspondence/Key%20Correspondence/160223_BDB%20Reg%206.1b%20notification.pdf

So with the books, well I suppose most of my customers don’t say that much when the come into the shop, but the ones who ask for a book about something tend to be fairly specific. 

“What have you got on aircraft?” usually either translates to something much more precise, often to do with WW2 activity of aircraft in this area.


So they mean. “What have you got on Manston during WW2?”


Or. “What have you got on the Lancaster 



Spitfire

WW2 in Thanet







East Kent




aviation in Kent.


I think the key here is perhaps to do with specialisation the BBC are covering a story about The Ripped Bodice Bookshop today see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36044765 I have to admit I wouldn’t like to try making a living out of only selling romantic fiction. My take being that like the adventure Walter Mitty type of fiction mostly read by men, is that you read it once and don’t retain it for very long, so it doesn’t fall in the books you want to own bracket.

With non-fiction the main issue is about information and with the books a lot of this comes down to information that you can’t access cheaply and easily using technology.

You want to know about aircraft in general and there will be sufficient information on the internet, however if you say want to know about Manston’s role in WW2 you are likely to have to resort to a book.

A big issue with buying non-fiction books for a secondhand bookshop is that often when people are buying new books they are buying a present for someone else. I think theit though processes go something along the lines of:- Doesn’t Fred like aeroplanes – this is a very big expensive looking book about aeroplanes on special offer and will do for a present – problem solved.

It’s very different when people are buying secondhand books, they are nearly always buying for themselves or for someone they know very well indeed. 

 The photos of the books in this post are just what I happen to have on these particular subjects in my bookshop today, a week or two and it will probably be different, the impact that modern technology has on books is very difficult to define and has a lot to do with various methods of acquiring information and getting it into your mind.

What I am trying to get across here is something along the lines that if you are say interested in canals then your book collection won’t be a hundred books on canals but mostly a hundred books on different canals.

Same with art, the big book of art isn't something I get asked instead what have you got on "artist's name"

Anyway sorry that was a bit long winded, but if you are hoping to raise some money by selling me some of your books it may help you to gauge the type of books I am more likely to buy.

I probably won't by the big book of cookery but I could easily be short of gluten free, vegetarian or vegan cookery books and if you have a car full of romantic novels you will probably have to wait until The Ripped Bodice opens a branch in the UK.




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