A bookshop is like a hardware store
Selling a book has its rules and secrets that we would like to share with you.
Anyone who has been or is a bookseller (from this moment on, for personal reasons, will be the bookseller) knows what we are talking about. There are gestures and body movements of the "buyer" that are repeated very often. Let's try to analyze them.
The relationship between the children's bookseller and the adult is strange. They are the ones who protect and safeguard the child whose tastes you think you know.
You must therefore always let them believe that they know better than you what their little reader could read, even if you understand very well that they don't know children's literature and its treasures at all.
The first questions to ask are: How old are you? What is his name? Are you a reader? What is a book that he liked a lot? What passions does he have?
The detective bookseller listen carefully to the vague answers which will not help the sale so much as the relationship between the pedantic bookseller and the impeccable adult.
Let's take an example. The boy is six years old, has just read, plays football and likes insects...
An illustrated book is almost out of the question, but the dreamy bookseller, who would like a different world, is the first to propose an illustrated book, the children's book par excellence. He chooses a book with text, with uncoated figures, with a topic that comes as close as possible to the reader's tastes. The cost ranges from 13 to 18 euros. Choose the best of the best! Aim for the stars!
The adult gets scared. He looks at the book as if it were the first time he sees something like this (...), if he doesn't hold out his hands (gesture linked to desire) this is the sign that there is almost no hope of convincing him...
That clever bookseller understands that it wasn't the price, given that the hand hasn't been extended and there hasn't been any talk of money yet, it was the fear of the unknown.
An adult will never give a child something he doesn't understand... just as he wouldn't give him (and in this case it is saving) food he isn't sure about! The problem is that in our country the number of adults who are not frightened by a well illustrated book, sophisticated in content, a book made up of different readings and suggestions is very low. And the fear isn't justified...anyway.
If he holds out his hands (a good sign only in this case) but is very scared, he turns it over and says “but it costs a lot!!! No no” ( his time has not yet come, but we will convince him!)
The tireless bookseller then tries to understand the tastes of her adult friend... she tries to get a short book, but with a story she loved... she tells it with passion, she makes the skeptical adult understand that she has really read it . That his job is to read stories for children to have the authority and competence to advise without error to adults who cannot, who do not have time to read children's literature because they have the whole world to run and therefore they are totally justified.
The enchanting bookseller cannot declare it but must only imply it. So he doesn't stop, he takes another and another and tells them all while gesticulating, looking for the right words. At the bottom of his heart he thinks... it may be that no one knows Dr. yet. Seuss in his wonderful Italian translation? How can a child grow up without snips?!”
In this phase the adult's comments make the climbing bookseller understand how far she can climb. If the two are friendly and the adult has stopped thinking “ Who does this snob think she is?! ” and started thinking “ What a passion, he really read them, maybe we can try to trust them ” then the bookseller can retrace her steps and try the book again. (It takes a lot of courage though...) or stop at this good selection, walk away and follow the decisions of the conquered adult. If he approaches the checkout with a recommended book, the bookseller psychologist will compliment the adult best friend at length for his wonderful choice and will give wide sincere smiles to gratify and communicate pleasure to the adult. the bookseller is very happy that a beautiful book will arrive in the hands of a reader and she knows that the gratified adult will give it as a gift with the enthusiasm of someone who has made a discovery!
If the adult doesn't give up then the bookseller/skipper of the sea of books turns towards novelty again. bestsellers or reassuring character books based on cartoons.
Here the adult recognizes the food and usually says “ Ah, that's what I was looking for!! “ or “ The others were all beautiful, thanks, but I'm sure he'll like this one”
There is also the adult who is not even convinced by this quality restriction and is still afraid of the mysterious object, so the merchant bookseller tries to keep a customer in the hope that he will return and that next time she will be able to find a way into his heart. , this bookseller takes on the look that says " everyone must be respected, I don't judge your tastes and I know perfectly well what you are looking for" and from the back of the book called the "hook" that holds for these situations " superheroes, ugly resigned pink and glittering princesses, books about pirates with stickers and puppy books ” and here the selection and the quantity and quality varies depending on how many times the bookseller gives up and how many adults she wants to convert to good literature.
Some who had, no one knows why, touched on the idea of buying a book, teased by the plasticity of the latest proposals, say... I think a book isn't the right choice. And they choose a game.
Message of solidarity: Dear booksellers, dear booksellers, don't feel guilty and don't hate your customers... you did your best
Luckily, obviously, there are also customers who trust and take advice and those who know their stuff perfectly and choose on their own. (everyone reading this of course :) )
There are many varieties of different customers and we don't want to lump everyone together, but what we have understood is that it would be much easier for us if we didn't have to gain this trust, if we enjoyed the trust of pharmacists, florists, of hardware stores, to whom we ask for help knowing that they know more about the subject than us and whose advice we accept with gratitude!
Whose products we know will be useful to us, without a doubt.
This is the world we would like to live in, a world where the bookseller is like a hardware store.