This week, the library played host to a Scholastic Book Fair. I found this to be an interesting approach to our perpetual goal this summer: raising money for the local food pantry SHARE. In the past, selling trinkets like bookmarks have worked well to bring in funds, and it's been a surprising week trying to sell books to go with those bookmarks.
Probably, the most critical experience I have gained from clerking this sale is the insight into how parents determine the difference between a book that should only be borrowed from our stacks and one that they are willing to purchase and bring home permanently. From simple observation, books that tend to sell in the book sale include baby boardbooks, (Some people felt that it would be better for their child to teeth on a book they own rather than one of ours.), beginner chapter books, and juvenile novels. All of the books that I have seen sell had original inventive plot, and were not necessarily tied to a specific series.
What has surprised me about what has not been selling are all of the franchised books, like those based on recent movies, video games, or popular toys. Prior to this sale, I would have thought that those would be the big sellers, since we do not have them in our collection and the kids are familiar with the icons that grace their covers. But I have not seen even one go home with a family. I guess people really are returning to basics in this recession.
Well, in any event, the Scholastic Book Fair will be continuing on until Saturday, July 18th. So come on by! Find a great book and support a good cause all at the same time!