Monday, August 17, 2009

Used Musings

When I worked at the Shorewood Harry W. Schwartz, we did not buy or sell used books, and as a result I was not familiar with the practice. After a couple months here at Boswell, I have become accustomed to the process somewhat. Although I haven't gotten to try purchasing used books myself yet, I have been able to enter them into the computer and I have watched quite a few get purchased. It's odd what gets picked up and what doesn't.

Awhile ago, a gentleman came in with a bag of "used" books - I use quotation marks because they had been read once and were in almost pristine condition. Not only that, but many of the books were very new. There was a beautiful hardcover copy of Between the Assassinations by Adiga that had only been released a week or so prior. With the discount we placed on it for being "used," I expected it to be gone within days. I was proven wrong rather quickly... truth be told, it is still lurking on the shelf.

On the opposite end of things, a woman came in another day with a few boxes of books. I recall entering them into the computer and not recognizing a single one. One was an old, dusty book about the history of Greece from a seemingly random year to a later seemingly random year. I wondered (sometimes aloud, depending on how obscure the titles were) who would ever come wandering in the store and buy such things. The ancient Greece book was gone by the end of the day.

Why do strange things like this happen? Along with Assassinations came in a beautiful hardcover The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, which I correctly identified as being a quick sell. It wasn't placement, since the two titles were right next to each other. I don't know. Strange things happen, I suppose.

So what's on the used shelves now? A quick glance will reveal a lot of mass markets. Patterson, King, and Silva seem to be fairly common, as well as a single copy of Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, which for some reason has not been picked up either. There is also a ton of crazy things on the 99 cent markdown cart, which is often frequented by customers.

If you're interested in selling your used books, feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call. We buy for store credit, and would love to peruse whatever you have to offer.

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