Selling The Hunger Games

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In light of the movie that just came out, I want to dedicate the next two blog posts (today’s and Thursday’s) to the topic.

As a bookseller in a major bookstore, the Hunger Games trilogy has taken up a huge part of our sales. Almost every other customer comes up to the registers with one of the books in their hands. As a nerd in a bookstore, if a customer comes up to me with a book that I’ve read or am reading, I get really excited and I have to talk about it. This may piss off a few people because they are possibly in a hurry to go elsewhere (I’m sorry to you people if you happen to read this blog), but I’m in love with my job and the products we sell so I love to talk about it. However, I noticed that a lot of customers, when buying a new book, fall under certain stereotypes.

I’ve classified these shoppers of the Hunger Games into a few categories:

  • The Booknerd Who’s Giving The Hit Book a Shot: These are our frequent customers who buys books when they can. They heard so many things about the Hunger Games and now that the movie’s out, they feel the book might be worthy of their time after they finish their latest book that night.
  • The Kind Relative/Lover: From these people I get the most awkward conversations that go something like…Me: “Oh! You’re buying The Hunger Games! Great Book!” Them: *awkward smile* Me: “Have you read anything like this before? You know this is kind of based on the old Greek myth–” Them: “I’m just getting this book for my girlfriend/boyfriend/daughter/son/wife/husband. I don’t read much.” Me: “Oh” *awkward silence follows* “You’re total is $9.62….Debit or Credit?”
  • The Conformist: These are the people who will only read a book if they saw the movie or plan on seeing it. They won’t read any other book unless the entire population is buying it and raving about it. They tend to say things like “I usually don’t read but everyone’s talking about it so I have to read it!”
  • The Giver: They’ve already read it and they want everyone else to read it too. They’ll usually talk about the book with me and then mention that they’ve already read it and want someone they know to read it too.
  • The Parent: These people will bring the book with their kid and then say, “Is this book okay for my kid? There isn’t any violence in this, is there?” Usually I will politely say,” Well if you read the back of the book it says that there is some violence, but this is a young adult book and they can’t be too gruesome with it.” They then ask, “But it’s not bloody right?” These people probably bother me the most. While I think it’s great that they are buying books for their kids, I think they need to just take a moment and read the backs of books that their kids want to read. The text in the back isn’t very long and I don’t see why it’s so difficult to do, especially if they are as concerned with what their kids read as they seem to do.

 

While “The Parent” customer does bug me somewhat, I really don’t have a problem with any of these customers. I’m glad that they’re buying the books. I think they are great and anyone old enough to read them should. I just find it funny how most customers that walk into the store will end up falling into one of these categories. Okay, not funny really, but more of an observation about how customers are.

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2 thoughts on “Selling The Hunger Games

  1. This is really fascinating! I love people watching so it’s interesting to see these different catagories pop up.
    I’d love to work in a bookstore, is it as good as it sounds?
    I have to say personally, I love a chatty bookseller, so keep up the good work! Those people in a hurry don’t know what there missing 😉

    • Thanks! I have every intention to stay chatty. 🙂
      Working at a bookstore is boat loads of fun for any bookworm, especially when you meet with and work with fellow book nuts! The two managers who interview people will always ask what you’re reading now because they know it’s important to have people who love books selling books. The one who interviewed me ended up nerding out with me about sci-fi books. It was great!
      It is really a rewarding job, especially when you find the only copy to a book someone was dying to have. Also, as a college student, the employee discount is really handy for me!

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