This is the Booklikes profile to my blog AYA M. Productions.
For those of you who don't know me, I'm a bookseller, post graduate job seeker, avid reader, and a blogger. :)
I considered not doing this post because I thought it may sound too similar to my "Being a Book Nerd in Hawaii Kind of Sucks" post, but I thought I'd share the struggles I face being a bookseller in Hawaii anyway. This is not to say, I don't enjoy my job. I do! I enjoy being a bookseller. I love my coworkers. I enjoy being around books. I have noticed, however, that working at my new store in Hawaii has a bit more struggles than it did working in Washington, D.C. (Also these are my personal thoughts and do not reflect the thoughts of the company I work for at all. Just thought I'd remind all of you.)
1. Firstly, you are the only major bookstore on the island.
This, of course, means that EVERYONE shopping for books is shopping at your store. You have the serial romance readers that want their monthly copies of Harlequin books. You have the occasional reader wanting to browse the bestsellers. You have the customers that want the absolute most obscure books ever. You, of course, have the students that NEED "x" book at the last minute. You will probably get phone calls from the outer islands as well. & We have the tourists. LOTS AND LOTS OF TOURISTS.
As you can imagine, with the very diverse customer demographic, the phrase "you can't please everyone" comes into play a lot.
2. Be prepared to have customers complain to you about the closing of other bookstores on a daily basis.
Our only other location closed 2 years ago. Borders closed years before that. People still complain about how the other stores closed every day. I get it. My heart hurt too when they all closed. I'm sorry if we're not near where you live (granted, we are on an island that isn't that big...) or if you hate this particular mall (yeah, this mall is CRAZY BUSY), but there's nothing I can do. I don't have the money to open another store. I don't even get paid enough to move out of my childhood home. Please stop with the complaints. Please...
3. People get mad if you don't have their book and hate that it takes 7-10 business days to get a copy shipped to store.
I'm very sorry if we don't carry your book. We are on an island, in one of the most expensive areas to rent. Therefore, there truly is only so many books we can carry. & I get you may not want to wait 7-10 business days to get a copy, but unless you want to pay express shipping, that's the way it's going to be. You live in Hawaii. There's no such thing as next day delivery from the mainland USA. It's not gonna happen. If you invent teleportation, though, do let me know.
4. You'll get customers with VERY HEAVY ACCENTS or customers that CAN'T SPEAK ANY ENGLISH.
It's a struggle sometimes to understand what customers want. It really is. Especially if they're asking you things over the phone.
5. People will often tell you that we can't close.
Thanks! I hope we don't close too. Although, I really don't have any control over that.
6. You'll also have people that will turn around and announce that they'll just get it on Amazon.
Outwardly you reply "Thanks for stopping in!" On the inside though it's more like "Thanks for not buying anything. If we close IT'S BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU! You're contributing to the downfall of our education system. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! What would they do without a bookstore?!?"
If it's a book that we don't carry, fine. Sometimes certain books can only be sold through Amazon. If we don't have it in stock, I get it you may want to shop around for the cheapest price. If you have the book in your hand, though, that's just plain mean.
Overall, I really enjoy working as a bookseller. Like with blogging, there's just something great about sharing the love of books with people, and to actually see people buy a book you've recommended is AMAZING!
I hope you found this entertaining. :) If you're a bookseller, do you have any similar issues?