Sunday, 20 November 2016

Our first grand Book Sale in aid of Church Charities - What's it like being a bookseller for the day?

Books books, lovely books!
My mother in law is a very persuasive lady! She came up with the idea of us helping out on a book stall for her local church so we found ourselves packing a (literal) ton of books up, ready to sell at the Annual Abingdon Baptist Church Christmas Fayre.

We've never done anything like this before (though we donate all of our spare books to schools and charities). Charlotte was ridiculously excited at the prospect of "Playing Shop" for the day and we were lucky enough to nab a good spot. So along with my lovely wife we were ready to rock and roll.

The practicalities of getting all those books packaged up was pretty tough (thank heavens for printer paper boxes scrounged from work) so once we got there and moved all the books inside, we had the problem of trying to arrange nearly 200 books.

We swiftly found that laying them out flat only allowed us to put out about 100 so during the day we were busying ourselves filling any gaps from book sales, bringing more stock out as required.

The interesting part (for me) was seeing what sold, and who came along to buy. We made a point of saying that the books were brand new or read once, a mixture of our duplicate copies or excess stock though some of the books were a real struggle to part with (as any book blogger will confirm, it's just too durned hard to get rid of books but we were harsh and severe on ourselves as we knew it was for a very good cause!)

So many bargains to be had (Photo © The Abingdon Blogger)
My wife priced the books up very fairly and competitively, and paperback picture books were the biggest sellers though some of the gorgeous (slightly pricier) hardbacks swiftly sold as well. Chapter books didn't seem to budge quite as much but I think there was just such a huge and dazzling choice on show that the older kids that came along didn't know where to start (thankfully we were on hand to offer a bit of guidance and point out the good stuff!)

Charlotte really enjoyed herself though as a 'shop assistant' (though she spent rather too much time playing with the present she'd got from visiting Santa!) but it was a great experience for her, using her mental maths skills to tot up the cost of books, hand over the correct change and generally chat to customers. It was great to talk to teachers and local children's group organisers who'd come along (most of them spending their own money, I might add) to pick up a book bargain to take back to school.

I've got a new-found respect for booksellers though! Being on your feet for four hours was tough so huge kudos to those folk who are in their stores all day doing this 'for real'. We'll be back next year as it was a lot of fun and we talked to lots of awesome folk, so if you were one of the 'buyers' we really appreciate you visiting our stall and buying a lovely book or two.

In the end, though we did take most of the stock back home again we still raised a whopping £213 for the church fund so thank you, thank you, thank you so much (and if you picked up one of our flyers, do a quick search on the title of the book you bought and you'll find out what we wrote about it!)