Where’d You Get That Book?

Loved this article in last week’s NY TImes. Publishers Look beyond Bookstores . Now that Borders has declared bankruptcy and bookstores in general seem to be going the way of papyrus, publishers are ramping up their energies to place books where their readers are.

Enter designer Marc Jacobs’ Bleeker Street Bookmarc, books at Coldwater Creek, Michael’s craft stores. As it said in the article “anyone with a shelf” is now game to be approached by book reps, and approached aggressively. And guess what? Titles are moving, with some books being read as never before. Niche marketing wins again.

All of this got me thinking. If I hadn’t purchased the books on my shelves at brick and mortar shops or ordered them from Amazon, where might I have found them? Starbucks has sold CD’s for years. Maybe they should start stocking books on writing, given how many authors hunker down with a latte while writing their novels. Could moms get their sons reading more easily if books about their sports heroes were sold next to the Nikes? What about Memoirs of a Geisha? Might it find a new generation of readers if it were stocked an upscale sushi restaurant? Biographies and therapists waiting rooms? Couldn’t hurt to read how some of history’s greats handled (or mishandled) life’s challenges.

So play a game with your fellow readers and me. In this new world where books are for sale in locales that have no borders, where might you have found the books on your shelves?

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6 thoughts on “Where’d You Get That Book?

  1. Cindy's Coffeehouse

    I think there’s something to be said for placing books in areas related to the topic — not necessarily next to other books. I like your idea of selling books about sports near the sports gear. Some of that already occurs…for instance, books and media related to theatre performances are sold in the theatre-store lobby. I found the book “Living More with Less” by Doris Janzen Longacre in a restaurant gift shop in Mennonite country near St. Jacob’s, Ontario. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense to me.

  2. Cindy L

    Good thoughts, Debra! First, I felt sad when I heard about Borders a while back. First store that hosted major book signings for me — and I will always remember what a thrill it was to be an author with a Borders book signing!

    Secondly, you’re spot on about niche marketing… I too have purchased art/craft books at Michaels — that type of book is really on my radar there, while I am buying supplies. Also buy my Somerset magazines there. The thing that really astounds me, though, is seeing local history books — and local interest books — on sale at Frentz Hardware in Royal Oak. They must sell, because there are always stacks of local books there near the check out!
    PS Thanks for your note, which I will respond to soon… so glad you are back from CA!

  3. Milhan Fishman

    I went to HS with Marc Jacobs. The HS of Art and Design in NYC. I vaguely remember him, as he was a grade below me. Many of my classmates knew him well. They had fashion design classes with him (I was an illustration major), or hung out with him on the terrace, or had lunch period with him. I did not remember that he was a classmate until recently, but everytime I saw photos of him, he looked so incrediby familiar to me. Now I know why!!!

  4. Debra

    What a hoot about the Marc Jacobs connection, Milhan. Wait ’til my daughter hears.
    I love the story about the local history books on sale at Frentz Hardware, CL and ditto, CH, about the Mennonite book at the restaurant. It gives me a lot of hope about the whole book issue.

  5. Rachel

    Hi Debra,

    I’m new to your blog and loved this post! My mother is always trying to get my non-literary inclined brother to read and I have a feeling that if LeBron’s autobiography were hanging on a shelf while he tried on new sneakers, he may just pick it up.

    I was thinking it could be neat for stores to have books near the dressing rooms. I know my mother gets restless while waiting for me to try clothes on- so why not provide her with some chic reading material? Stores like Anthropologie started selling beautiful new editions of classics, but I would love to see the idea spread.

  6. Debra

    HI Rachel,
    You know I think I would have LOVED to have a book to read while I was waiting for my daughter to try on clothes at Anthro!

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