Risky Regencies

Bookshelves

Diane Report:

Number of pages written since past rant of two weeks ago: I have no idea
Daily average: I have no idea
Daily goal: totally not met
Number of pages to go: 139
New Daily Goal: 20 pages
New Deadline: June 16 (I broke down and asked for 2 more weeks)

Megan’s talk of organizing bookshelves got me to wishing for time to organize mine. I’m still in crazy mode of writing (see above) which automatically increases my desire to organize my bookshelves. I believe the urge will pass as soon as the book is turned in.

Speaking of bookshelves, I was in my local Borders Express recently and again got burned up. They shelve the Romance novels against the side wall, floor to ceiling. This makes it impossible for a woman of average height (me) to reach or even see the top shelves, and nearly as difficult to reach what is on the bottom. There is a stool nearby to climb on to reach the top shelf but even I am wary of falling. It is far easier to confine my search to books within easy reach.

This means, of course, that authors such as Gaelen Foley and Elizabeth Hoyt were unreachable and thus were less likely to sell.

When I first encountered this new shelving, the cashiers told me it was a corporate decision. Whoever made the decision certainly did not think it through that it was possibly not a good idea to make the best-selling genre hard to reach, especially when women are the most likely purchasers and most likely to be too short to reach the top shelves. “You can ask a cashier to help,” I was told, but when was the last time you saw cashiers wandering around the bookstore waiting to climb up on a stool for you? And would you be likely to ask them to browse the shelves for you? What’s more, some romance readers like to browse with a little more privacy, not out in plain view so everyone in the store can see you are looking at books with “man-titty” covers (as Janet would call them).

I can see it all now…the stores will sell fewer romance novels and will thereby convince the corporate decision-makers that romance novels are not selling as well as they used to. Then they will decrease the shelf space for romance novels and order fewer of them, thereby making the sales go down even more.

When I first saw this I asked the cashiers for a phone number to call to complain. They gave me a corporate number, they said, but it was a wrong phone number. This time I didn’t bother to ask because the unhappy-looking cashier who waited on me had been reading “Resumes for Dummies” and I supposed he didn’t want to hear me rant about romance novels.

Has anyone else encountered shelving like this? What do you think is most conducive to selling romance novels?
And (totally self-serving question) does shelving Harlequin Historicals in with the other Harlequin series books make it easier to find them or more difficult?

On this Memorial Day take a moment from your fun and remember all soldiers who dedicated their lives to their country — like my father!)

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Mallory Pickerloy
14 years ago

I hope your having a nice Memorial Day! And everyone else at The Riskies!

That is a wonderful picture of your father Diane! I think you look alot like him! I really love War Time related things, in history and the photographs. As you already know 😉

I have not came across any book shelves being that high (or less in a library). I admitedly have no problem with high shelves, because my height and don’t mind the climbing. I do however think it is rude to place books up that high. Besides those who are shorter, there are those who are disabled. So it’s wrong to have higher shelves. But, I don’t think it will slow down the sales.

Now, having to ask sales clerks for anything annoy me. I always feel shopping is personal-no matter what it is and I always hated asking someone else for help. Especially when they get too nosey and ask what are you buying that for?

As for Harlequin Historicals books placed in with other Romances, I think it’s alot more easier to find. Least to me and what I’ve seen with other shoppers in the stores.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Hi, Mallory!
I’m glad you like where the Harlequin Historicals are shelved. It makes it easier to browse the latest titles, doesn’t it?

Rude is a good word for making books unreachable! If I ever figure out how to contact someone in the corporate office, I’ll tell them it is rude!

I also think your point about shopping being personal is very well taken!

And thank you for the nice words about my dad! I’ve been thinking of him today.

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

The local Barnes and Noble did this a couple of years ago! They moved the Romance section to the very back wall, most of the titles were very high up, and I couldn’t browse at all. I was furious!! They must have gotten lots of complaints, though, because they moved it back to the middle of the store.

The only place around here to get the Harlequin Historicals is Wal Mart, so I’m not sure how the shelving would work somewhere else. 🙂 I do get mad that they put them right on the bottom shelf at WM, though. I move them up to eye level.

doglady
14 years ago

What a handsome fella, O Divine One! He looks so young. I think they all did in those days!

Happy Memorial Day everyone with a special thanks to all our servicemen and women, past and present, including Senior Master Sergeant Abram James Bolton, Jr. USAF – my Dad. I miss him every day.

See, this is why I LOVE our little local book store. All of the shelves are of a height that almost anyone can reach. The children’s section consists of all short shelves and short tables, with cool beanbag chairs for the kids to sit and browse through a book or two. The owner, Tammy, and her Mom, and her assistant, Sue are all tall so if you have trouble reaching the very top shelf, like my stubby self, they are always on the lookout for that “I need help” look.

Now if I do venture to one of the larger book conglomerates I take along my trusty long handled claw that opens and closes. (I think it is supposed to be for senior citizens to grip things out of reach.) Hey, never underestimate the mind of a woman on a book buying mission!

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Amanda, I’m glad your B&N saw the light. I just can’t imagine what these people are thinking of!!!! If they have to put books up high, put the ones rarely purchased! Those people will ask help for, not the ones people browse through before buying.

Remember how our Walmart here displayed your book? BEHIND the shelf!!!!

O Doggie One!
An Air Force brat, eh? My dad was Army and he was rather young in that photo.

What a nice bookstore you have! I miss those kinds of bookstores, but I know lots of them can’t compete with the biggies, especially around here. The funny thing is, that Borders Express had been rather Romance friendly. I’ve done three signings there! (none very successful, though)

Todd
14 years ago

Last time I looked, our two closest Borders bookstores shelved the Romance in a pretty accessible way, on freestanding bookcases of moderate height.

I suppose Memorial Day is particularly significant this year for me, because my grandfather just recently passed away. He served in the Navy during WWII. (My other grandfather died quite a few years ago; he served in the Navy during WWI.)

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Todd-who-should-spend-more-time-remembering

Elena Greene
14 years ago

Diane, those Borders Express shelves are awful. I hate when I have to ask a salesperson to get clothing down from high racks–it’d be even worse with books. I hope there are enough complaints about it that it gets fixed.

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