One of my big loves about bookshops is the fact that you can get in to some really good conversations with the staff members about books. Their favourite books, ones you’ve bought recently or ones that you’re currently buying. Recently i’ve had the experience where certain books have brought customers and staff together in a great way. Here’s a little anecdote.
In bookshops in the UK, i’ve had some great customer service recently. Two events have particularly stood out to me in the past few weeks, because both of them have been centered around Caraval by Stephanie Garber. If you don’t know what Caraval is, it’s one of the biggest YA releases of 2017 as Garber’s debut novel. I’ve had my eye on this since summer 2016, so when it finally got released at the end of January, i went straight out to get it.
When i purchased the book, i couldn’t find it in my local bookstore as it had only been out a few hours, so obviously i had to ask for it at the desk. There was no way i’d be leaving that store without the book. So as i asked for Caraval, the staff member seemed to know what i was talking about and seemed equally as excited as i was about the upcoming novel. He went in to the back and grabbed me a copy and we had a nice chat about the book, our hopes for it and how hard it was to get an ARC. This lead on to a chat about YALC last year and before i knew it, i’d paid and we were still stood chatting about this wonderful novel neither of us had read. As i said thank you and went to leave, he called me back and asked me if i was a book blogger (i’m assuming with the chat about ARC’s he had an indication). So i said i was and he asked for the blog name. After giving it to him, he agreed to keep an eye out for my review and off i went, very satisfied with my purchase and chat.
More recently, me and my girlfriend were browsing a bookshop in the city, and we went to pay for the shamefully large amounts we bought. I picked up Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (something else i’ve had my eye on for a long time) and took it to the counter. As the lady scanned it, she said “If this is the kind of book you’re in to, you should check out Caraval.” Basically this got me very over excited. We ended up having a very animated and excited conversation about where i was up to, how much we loved it and what covers we ended up getting. All whilst my girlfriend and the staff member serving her looked on at us a little strangely. Once again, i ended up talking to this woman for quite a substantial amount of time about this one book that has got everyone talking.
It’s so wonderful that a book can bring people together like that. That staff members and customers can chat about the same book and get excited, and it improves the customers experience when staff are willing to take the time out to have a fangirl basically. I adore reading and new releases and being in the hype whilst everyone else is, it makes it so much better when you’re meeting completely new people and one book out of all the millions and millions of books is bringing you together.