Booksellers or often books buyers. They are visited by editing companies sales representatives, who present them books they’ll sell a few months in advance.
For example, these weeks of September I order Christmas books…
This is something you can teach (there are a few “principles”), but mostly, you need a few years of experience to be a good buyer.
Flaws are obvious : you can order too many books, or too few. You can have a crush for a book which dismally fail, or you can hate a… future hit.
When you order books, you logically have to think about… where you’ll put the books when they are delivered later.
You order none if the book is impossible, or too complex for your customers, or… if you really disagree with the subject – which is rare, because most booksellers have this phrase in mind (often told as a Voltaire quote but it is not) :
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it
- You order one if you need one on his shelf : you have to have it, but you don’t need to “show” it on a display (specialized books, unknown poets…) or you don’t have the room.
- You can show books on long lecturns (then you order 4 or 5 – one on the shelf (you HAVE TO), the others in sight), or on tables (then it’s a stack : 6 or 8), or on front displays for big authors or probable success books : 10, 20 or more.
Booksellers have private jokes. One is “You never order two!”. Why? Because it would be one on the shelf and an orphan volume you effing don’t know what to do with.
In fact, you sometimes do it (when you have to put it aside for you or a customer, when you’re pretty sure you’ll sell one quickly, etc)…
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25…
Never 7 or 11 or 13, or 17 books ordered. Why? Who knows?
I endeavor to once order 7 books during each appointment I have with a salesman. It’s a lucky charm, and it makes people smile. “Seven are you suuure?”. Yep!!
My instinct knows when to do it : in front of an improbable lovely book, the oblique one, the unexpected one. This job is very cool, you know?
One or Six, not Two, nor Seven. Could be a rhyme, right? In which other territories do we have “holes” like these. Numbers, but “you’re not supposed to use this one”. 13th stairs? What else?
Thanks for reading!
(Picasso : Boy with a Pipe)
I took this picture around 1990. I suppose I vicariously felt like this guy, reading alone in summer. Digital photography didn’t exist at this time. I “burnt” the whites on purpose : I love this error-effect…
Luxury is insular, said Jünger…
Have a nice day!
You’re alone in the quiet, at home. You grab a book.
If it’s a novel, it’s perfect : you get into a dream. You see things…
Tonight I wanted a conversation instead. So I picked a book from Siri Hustvedt (The Shaking Woman) and a glass of Chardonnay.
I opened the book in the middle of random (it’s something I love to do) and read great pages about how a new born baby and his mother stare at each other. This deep each other’s look means so much, so many things happen. A bond is building. An intelligence is blooming…
(I remember I did this, with Lili and Eliette, my daughters)
Hustvedt explains that if a mother talks to a baby and waits a little, the baby answers – in his own… voice.
An essay is like having a part of a conversation. The part where you just listen. Just choose your partner well! It’s OK – even if you miss the partner’s questions, the slow ping-pong of spirits.
And the eyes…
I wrote this. Now I’m back to my chair. Bidou the cat on me knees. Hi Siri!
Thanks for reading!
There are many ways to blog. You can write a novel chapter by chapter, or you can “react” to news in the world, or comment fashion, or new trends in food. You’re good.
My article talks about bloggers who needs ideas and inspiration. This is what I try to do, and I like this way, because it puts your brain in alert. You glean…
You read a magazine, you talk with a friend, you got and email, you have a walk around the block, you bake, or you take a shower : Bim! (this is the sound of an idea coming to you).
(The symbol is a bulb over your head, right?)
You hurry to sit in front of your computer. You click on “Write”, while your brain is already organizing things…
What begins commands. We all have our patterns, and when you start you more or less know where you’re going.
My tool here is :
Dial : Beware of “What begins commands”, because it’s too easy. You follow one path but :
- you could lose branch points
- you could ignore good bypasses
- your steam can hide possibilities.
Lever : Stand up, for blog’s sake! Finish your article if you’re too excited, but at one point, don’t publish. Stand up. I mean for real! Stand up and go away. Open a window. Wash a cup and a fork. Pet a cat. Breathe.
Flaubert, the French author who wrote Madame Bovary, had “un gueuloir”, a “scream room”. He was walking and yelling his texts in this room. It’s crazy? Not that much. You’ll have to find your own way. Just do something else while you think about your article or your page. Maybe print it and take a pen. You’ll find ideas, “furthers”, new branches, words, style nuggets, inversions, interesting bypasses, etc.
OK, go back writing now, you fool 😅
Thanks for reading!
I read much more essays than novels, therefore I read introductions, prefaces, and… acknowledgments. I read them, because the list – and the way the author presents the list – tells something.
There are Types :
- The assistant (who helped to gather or organize informations)
- The editor (who brought energy and I-believe-in-yous)
- The colleague (who pointed out problems in the text or provided ideas for chapters)
- The spouse (for his/her unfailing support)
- The friend (who helped blossoming with his/her constant questions)
- The friend (and his/her potential enthusiasm)
- The influencer
- The predecessor (“this essay takes over from…”)
- The ignorant (towards whom (oh crap, is this even English?) the author had to explain, therefore helped to think “readers”)
- The collaborator (who provided elements or parts of the essay)
- The spellchecker (can be the friend or the spouse, ha)
- The leader (who asked the author to write for a bigger project, for example)
- The muse (just being him/her – radioactive influence)
- The Obi Wan Kenobi figure (a master who can propel you with a single sentence)
Do you have any of these for your… blog? Would you need one? Why?
Have a nice day!