Saturday, July 11, 2009

Funny about some retail people

My daughter and I were browsing through a 2nd-hand shop on a rainy day last week. It's the Community Aid shop in Aldgate, one of my very favourites. We found some good winter clothes, a gorgeous candle holder and some cheap books. The lady recognises us because we've been in before. She's a very chatty lady. She saw that we had some Christian books in our pile and said, 'A lady just donated a stack of Christian books 5 minutes ago while you were browsing upstairs. They're here on the counter.'

Well, on the very top was my own book, "The Risky Way Home." I got all excited and said, 'Hey, that's my book!' Come to think of it, that might not have been worth getting excited about. It meant that somebody preferred to drop it off at a good will shop rather than keep it! I wonder who that donater was!! If I been down a few moments earlier, I would have seen! But the shop lady didn't seem at all interested. 'Oh, is it? Well, that's nice, isn't it?' I've had a similar experience with shop people before. When I mention that one of my books is on their shelf, they turn cool and hardly glance at it. What is it with retail people? Do they have to spend so long selling things that they don't want to bother hearing about any of it? Most times now, I prefer not to say anything at all.

But since I had mentioned it, I thought I'd say a bit more. I told her that it was a romance novel set in the Adelaide Hills in case she thought that might interest her customers. Her shop is in the heart of the Hills, after all. Can't get more local than that. 'Mmm, that's nice, dear.' I went off feeling a bit embarrassed and flat.

On the way home, I thought about my choice of words. I'd said, 'Hey, that's my book!' Maybe I should have said, 'Hey, I wrote that book!' She might have thought that it was simply a book that I have on my shelf. In that case, she must have thought I was a pretty excitable sort of person! I suppse it doesn't matter if my big announcement goes over like a lead balloon as long as somebody who'll enjoy it buys it.

But it made me think about the whole process of getting goods into the hands of customers. If the sellers of goods took a bit more interest, the producers of goods might find it easier to sell their volume far quicker!


  1. First, let me share in your excitement at seeing your book in the store. If I had been with you, I would have squealed! Second, I think I know what you mean about the retailer's attitude. I had a similar experience with a store clerk when I got excited about seeing my little item in Prevention magazine last year (has it really been a year already?) The store clerk didn't care, just shrugged and told me she had a letter printed in a magazine before. Certain (if not most) people are too insecure to share in the excitement of other people's success. That is my opinion, anyway. Years ago, I did typesetting/paste-up for a craft book publisher and I always got excited when I saw one of these books in a craft store (I didn't write them and did not get credit, but they were still my hard work!) But no one else as all that interested. (Some of these books have shown up on ebay!) It's a shame people have difficulty sharing in another's success and/or joy. Another thing, perhaps the person who donated your book believes in recycling - when they read a book, they like to pass it on. I saw your book on the shelf behind Alec's head at the dinner table tonight and thought of you. It might just be time for me to read it again!

    Take care and stay dry,

  2. Don't worry about the retail lady. I think either she didn't understand or she didn't know what to do with the information.

    Regarding finding your book there, I tend to pass books on, since there is only so much space in our little house. I like to think that someone else will get the opportunity to enjoy your book who might not have been able to afford to buy it in a bookstore. I've picked up many books at secondhand shops and library sales. :o)

    The point of writing is to have others read what you wrote, no?

    Peace and Laughter,

  3. Well *I* was very excited for you!!! love Janet.

  4. I would have been excited! I'm sorry! Some people just aren't enthusastic about anything or encouraging either for that matter... Unfortuanately I have some of those in my life. But it makes me even more thankful for my very encouraging family and the encouraging friends I do have.

  5. Don't get to flustered about who brought it in. And I just this very minute blogged about 'stuff'.

    Maybe the person who brought it in, read it, enjoyed it, and thought someone else who may not have been able to pay full retail price could come in here, see it and then purchase it.

    That should make you smile a bit more now!