Booksellers Diary: Books, The Kindle Killer

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This week Bookselling This Week launches “Booksellers Diary,” an occasional feature of first-person accounts of bookseller’s experiences on the frontlines. BTW invites booksellers to send us their own stories of bookish triumphs, surprises, and everyday life. The first entry is from Carol Chittenden of Eight Cousins in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Dear Colleagues,

I just have to share this with you.

An hour ago, at 7:00 p.m., I’m still at my desk, the phone rings, a mother asks if we have Sarah Dessen’s Someone Like You. “Yes we do,” I say. “The store is actually closed now, but I’m going to be working for a little while longer. Do you need it this evening, or would tomorrow work for you?”

I overhear her ask her daughter, who says she needs it tonight. She lives about eight miles away. I say, “Fine. Come on in the back door; it’s still unlocked.”

Fifteen minutes later she arrives. I have the book sitting at the counter, and the computer booted up again. As I ring up the book, she says, “I bought my daughter a Kindle for Christmas because she said she wanted one and I thought it would encourage her to read. Now I find out she’s using it to get around the filters we have on our home computer, and she’s surfing the Internet for god knows what. Besides, she says she actually likes real books better.”

I try not to smirk, give her change, and say, “We hope we’ll continue to be here when you need us.”

At 7:28, she heads out the back door, book in hand.

I continue gloating for another 29 minutes, perhaps longer.

Carol Chittenden
Eight Cousins

Falmouth, Massachusetts

Originally posted on the listserv of the ABC Children’s Group at ABA.