Sunday, June 22, 2008

Old fashioned?

Probably best not to quibble too much when the local paper does an article on you. It's a huge favor, as long as they spell your name right.

It was more or less a positive article on Linda and the Bookmark. (How come no cat? They took pictures of the cat!) But as usual, I feel a little ambivalent. The last paragraph is more in the direction I would have liked to have seen the focus:

"This a huge secondhand bookstore and the selection is great...Everything is laid out and organized well."

Instead the focus seemed to be on our card filing system.

Actually, if you think about it, trying to keep our inventory on a computer isn't as smart as it sounds. Imagine, if you will, me sitting at the counter with a computer. You ask if we have a book. I close the site I'm on, bring up my inventory, enter the title, and get an answer.

Let me tell you, I can start walking to the section where the book would be in about the same time, and just flat out look. Probably faster. Also getting them to look at books in the same section.

That's not even counting the time it would take to enter the title and author into the computer in the first place. And, with the millions of books out there, the odds of having a particular book aren't as good as most people think; so there is a good chance we'll be answering in the negative, at which point the person will spin out the door.

Much better to chat them, lead them to the section, let them see all the books of similar theme, and perhaps get them to buy something else. We immerse them in the store, show them our selection and knowledge, make a connection, and show them all the books we DO have instead of the one book we DON'T have.

Anyway, the article does give a sense that both bookstores in Bend are thriving; and that's because, in my opinion, both stores are doing a good job. Clean, well-organized, a common sense pricing structure, good locations, knowledgeable owners, good selection.

We've gotten so many books over the last five years, that it's night and day, and that's not really slowing down. I wish the focus had been that we accept books from every customer instead of the message that we limit that to one box of books per visit. That still a bunch of books, folks.

I like that Linda got across that we don't feel in competition to the chain-stores; but that we have a 'symbiotic' relationship. And the fact that we work with, not against, the other used bookstore.

It took a couple of weeks for this article to show up. I was worried for a time that it might have been spiked because of me. Paranoid. It left the connection between Pegasus and the Bookmark out, which is fine, because it really is Linda's store.

What did you guys think?

6 comments:

Marge said...

Dunc,
I liked the article! It left me with the feeling that I should stop buying new and be more thrifty by visiting Linda's store. As I am watching my money belt more of late it gives me another alternative to save money.

Duncan McGeary said...

Marge,

Well that's a good reaction. Yeah, many of these books were new just awhile back....

dkgoodman said...

That article was great for you!

Good stories are all about contrast. "Dog bites man" doesn't sell but "Man bites dog" is a great headline.

What were the takeaways from that article?

1) Even in a weak economy, this store is thriving! (contrast)

2) People think computers are more efficient, but at this bookstore it's faster and better to rely on the human element. Confirms most people's suspicions that computers aren't all they're cracked up to be. At the BookMark, it's the customer that's important, not a computer. Great contrast!

3) You can get great bargains at the BookMark, maybe even a rarity worth double that on eBay!

I can't think of anything the article could have said that would have been better for you. They did you a tremendous favor.

Duncan McGeary said...

Dave,

The more I think about it, the more I think you're right on.

Probably a better focus (contrast) that talking just about the wide aisles and clean books, etc. Which comes across in the picture, I think.

Even my wife straining to file a book on the top shelf give a message of organization, personal contact, and a packed store.

dkgoodman said...

The articles in a newspaper should fill one of thease objectives:

1) Fairly and objectively report the news.

2) Satisfy the needs of consumers (the readers who pay for the newspaper), by providing articles of vital information, or of interest, and reporting on scandals, ripoffs and other consumer topics.

3) Promote the local economy and business (boosterism)

I think The Bulletin is too hot on boosterism, and too light on consumerism, and slants news the same way, but in this case they did a fine job of fulfilling the goal of a local newspaper to promote a local business.

Now if they'd just start reporting on Home Depot scandals and other consumer news and make their news reporting more objective, I'd be a lot happier with them. :)

The Natives Are Restless said...

Dude, your wife is HOT!