Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stump the Booksellers!

"What books do you have for my grandson who's in Boston for the first time/my eight-year-old who loved all the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books/my students who want to see more characters who look like them/my friend who just came out/my teen who loves realistic humor?"

If I didn't work among the kids' books, I imagine that these questions, which come fast and furious, would flummox me. Even as it is, the really good questions make me stop and think. That's why we spend some time on quieter days making lists: Boston-Themed Books, Books with Multicultural Representation, John Green-esque Teen Novels. They're useful for us and for our fellow booksellers, and making them is a great exercise in looking at our books from different angles, and every time I do that, I learn something. A recent customer-inspired quest for young adult books showing "courageous kindness," for instance, made me realize that that's the theme of a huge portion of historical fiction.

Try to stump us. If your request is one we haven't heard before, it may take a few minutes, but you may help us prepare for the next like-minded customer.

No comments: