Friday, August 3, 2007

Making the Big Times (New York Times, That Is)

So, Dana, our fearless store manager and co-owner was quoted in the New York Times the other day! You can read the article here; it's a look at the phenomenal sales of the diet book Skinny Bitch. What's interesting about the sales at our store is that they all happened pretty much before the Victoria Beckham publicity. In fact, our sales of the book have gone down since May, when the picture of her carrying the book was taken.

(Of course, as I say this I just checked our inventory and we've sold out of the copies we had on hand--all those sales being yesterday and today! Must be a result of the article? Ah well, I'll try to get more on Monday.)

Now, I don't want to offend the 203 customers who have bought the book from us, but I hate it. With a passion. As a buyer I get to have some choice in what we stock; the best part of my job is getting to create an inventory of books that I think are worth my customer's time and money, but this is one of those cases where I just have to turn the other cheek.

I shouldn't really be so judgemental, having only skimmed the book, but I have a hard time just getting past the title. I've never been comfortable using the word 'bitch' casually. We have another great seller at our store called You Say I'm a Bitch Like It's a Bad Thing, another one for which I just can't understand the appeal. I'm glad if it gives you a chuckle, but it just gives me the willies. Ah well, different strokes for different folks.

By the way, if you want a great book on nutrition my recommendation is 10 Habits that Mess Up a Woman's Diet: Simple Strategies to Eat Right, Lose Weight, and Reclaim Your Health by Elizabeth Somer. This is one that actually helped me take a look at how I could change my diet without turning myself into a food-obsessed bore. Another fascinating and fun read is Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More than We Think by Brian Wansink. The book is full of clever experiments done by Mr. Wansink (a university professor with his own lab devoted to how we relate to food) and other scientists and psychologists that explore the hows and whys of eating beyond hunger. It reminds me of Malcom Gladwell's work with its quirky yet revelatory insights, and though its not really a prescriptive book I did find that it made me much more aware of how I eat.

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