Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.
First, my apologies for not having blogged for a few days. These things happen. So please, no more emails threatening to do yourself bodily harm unless I write something, it justs adds to the stress.
*** The unfathomably long series of books chronicling World War II is nowhere near exhausted with new offerings, with today’s as a perfect example. Same War, Different Battlefield by Jean Goodwin Messinger tells the story of civilian life during this greatest of conflicts. With war raging around the globe, this generation may have some idea what it was like to have loved ones far from home, not knowing whether or not they are safe or even what is happening to them. Today’s world of instant communications is nothing like the world of the 1940’s, though, when it was a thrill to receive a letter two months after it was written.
*** Books-A-Million reports sales down 10%, with the only area of strength being their bargain sales. I report this because your friendly neighborhood bookseller finds a certain grim satisfaction in this news. For years BAM had huge stores filled with bargain books, cheap books, the sort of bookstore you could spend hours perusing in hopes of finding a treasure. It was great. I actually planned vacations routes around BAM store locations.
Then they decided to become more of a Barnes & Noble type outfit and cut way back on the bargain stuff. Ho-hum, another retail bookstore crammed with the latest James Patterson or Patricia Cornwell, just on the unlikely chance that you hadn’t been able to find one of the 7 million copies of their latest book. Suddenly, there was no reason to seek out a BAM anymore and good ol’ BBG here knew this was a huge mistake on their part. And so it was.
Books-A-Million proves BBG was right yet again
*** The US Postal Service is raising rates again in January of ’09. Set aside the question of whether or not you’re actually getting your money’s worth from the post office, one has to wonder just what the hell these people think they are doing. How can they justify? The post office is losing money, but that is largely due to there being fewer people mailing things, mostly merchants. I’m at the post office a lot and there just aren’t as many sellers there because the buyers aren’t buying right now, except from me, of course, because of my uniquely fabulous books and my low, low prices. It’s a pretty simple cause and effect relationship, buyers don’t buy, sellers don’t ship, post office loses revenue. And when that happens, their answer is to raise rates? Kind of like taxing an economy into prosperity.
But that’s your government at work. At least they can’t use the excuse that fuel prices are too high right now, not with gas being pumped locally at less than $1.65 per gallon. That won’t last forever, true, but if you’re going to raise rates when fuel goes up then do you lower them when fuel goes down?
Right. That would mean being responsive to the taxpayer and good luck on that one.
*** Lastly, one of my favorite things, a list. From the Wall Street Journal, one writer’s list of their Top Ten Favorite Books on Early America.