Selling Books by the Linear Foot

Written by Thelonius

Sunday, 3 May 2020

image for Selling Books by the Linear Foot
Do you have any thicker ones?

It’s gratifying to see that in these times, people seem to be returning to reading. Perhaps this is a silver lining. It may turn out that when this is all over, the world will be changed for the better as we become more empathetic and self reliant by simply exposing ourselves to literature.

We talked to Geoffroy Donne, the owner of a small secondhand bookstore in Manhattan about this inspiring story. He suggests that even though bookstores are not open under the current restrictions, they are doing more business than ever online.

“Is it difficult to keep popular titles on hand?” we asked him.

“That’s not easy, of course, but many are not asking for specific titles.”

“They don’t ask for titles?”

“No. Many of the orders are coming from people working or quarantined at home. More and more, people are filming in their own homes. Whether it’s Jimmy Kimmel on his late night show, or Joe Blow talking to his friends on Zoom, people are becoming more and conscious of what’s behind them. At the same time it seems they need others to believe they are voracious readers. Many customers simply tell us how many linear feet of bookshelf they need to cover ( we sometimes help with the math ) and we deliver to their doors.”

“They don’t care which books they get?”

“Not at all. Frequently, the next time we see them, they’re on TV.”

“You’ve seen your books on TV?”

“Yes we have. Behind Anderson Cooper, we saw, “What Women Want and How to Give it to Them”. “The Art of the Deal” in hard cover was behind Nancy Pelosi and Ivanka Trump had “Troubleshooting and Repairing Diesel Engines” on her shelf.

“You don’t worry about selling books to people they would never read?”

“That’s not a concern. The worst that can happen is they get brought back and we’re in the business of selling the same thing over and over. “

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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