Selling the Sweet Appeal of Books

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What better theme for literature than love? And -- with all due respect to the chocolate, flower, and diamond industries -- what better way to show one's love than the gift of a book?

Oskaloosa, Iowa's Book Vault making the most of
Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 14, is Valentine's Day, and total Valentine's spending will reach $13.7 billion in the U.S. this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). In a report this week, NRF noted that 60.9 percent of consumers are planning to celebrate the holiday, with the average consumer projected to spend $100.89, up slightly from 2005.

Given the retail potential of the holiday, some booksellers are including a Book Sense Valentine's Day Top Ten display in their stores' marketing efforts. The new list features adult and children's titles in paper and hardcover and ranges from Love You Forever (Firefly Books) to Brokeback Mountain (Scribner).

Booksellers in the Book Sense program received the Valentine's Day Top Ten in the January Red Box, and the list is also available in PDF format on

An interesting facet of the NRF findings is that middle-aged consumers -- a strong demographic for book buying -- are projected to spend the most this Valentine's Day. According to the survey, consumers aged 45 to 54 will spend $128.78 each, up from $118.11 in 2005 and far higher than the $88.96 the group spent in 2004.

The NRF 2006 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted for NRF by BIGresearch, was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Valentine's Day. The poll of 6,618 consumers was conducted in January. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus one percent.