We’re planning to have a new category for the 2010 Book Fair (Our Second Annual 25th Book Fair, as some call it.) It’s “Blank”. One offshoot of the personal journal movement has been a lot of unused personal journals that people send to us when they clean out. (They send us some that have been used, too, and to an embarrassing degree once in a while. But that’s another blog.)
We do consider changes to the Book Fair from time to time. I don’t know how I achieved this reputation as a stick-in-the-mud who is uninterested in change (he said, writing on his computer screen with his quill pen.)
Some (not all) of the suggestions that have been presented to me may explain why:
Should we shift the date of the Book Fair in 2016 so that everyone in town for the Olympics can come and shop?
Should we establish a fleet of people with cars at the Book Fair who can drop off books for people who buy too many to carry? (Nice idea. I like it. Who pays for the gas, the insurance, the taxi medallions?)
Why don’t we put the books on the tables by subject but in order by price, so all the most expensive ones would be at one end?
Could we have a few volunteer personal shoppers prepared to take phone messages from people who want to buy certain books but can’t come?
Why don’t we have a category for books signed by people nobody collects? (I kind of looked at this person and she told me, earnestly, “Because, you know, some people collect those!”)
Could we have a Shopping Counselor who would just sit in a booth in the lobby and tell people where to look for the books they want?
Besides those signs for subjects, why don’t we have Cross-Reference Signs? So if someone’s looking in Children’s Books for books on animals, they’d know to look in Nature for other books an animals?
Could we assign one special night for out most difficult customers to come for a preview before anyone else comes? They’d only be allowed in if they promised not to come the rest of the week. (No, really; somebody suggested this. Yeah, my jaw dropped, too.)
All these suggestions do contain a seed of wisdom, though, like seeds on the farm, they may be planted deep in…I forget how I was going to end that sentence. Anyway, I have to get back to work. Someone has suggested that it would save time on reshelving if people were required to buy any book they took off the shelf to look at. (“If they found they didn’t want it, they could always return it for a refund, but I bet most of them would keep it. And they’d spend a lot less time blocking the aisles looking at stuff.”)
I wouldn’t mind so much, if only they wouldn’t invariably add, “Change is good, you know.” I DO like change: let’s get it out of the pockets of the customers.