When you enter that place of contentment and joy that is a book shop, no experience can compare to the discovery that EVERYTHING is discounted. And I’m not talking about the pathetic 20 per cent off sales chain stores promote to entice unwitting customers through the doors. Oh no, what I speak of is almost spiritual: A bibiophile’s temple if you will.
Strolling along Melbourne’s Sydney Road at the weekend for its annual street party I stumbled upon one such institution. “All books $10 or six books for $50, today only,” the sign proclaimed; “surely not every single book,” I thought. But yes, that was exactly the deal. Here are the six books I chose (I could’ve picked many more but uncharacteristically I did show a wee bit of restraint):
Shame by Salman Rushdie
Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
Starbook by Ben Okri
The Possession of Mr Cave by Matt Haig
Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood
This brilliant deal did lead me to wonder just how a book shop profits from such bargains? Sure, it’s moving a ton of books off the shelves, but does that transfer to the bottom line? After some digging I discovered this particular store (The Book Grocer) sells mainly remaindered books (those the publisher wants to offload cheaply due to slow sales). Pretty fantastic novels for those no-one else wants I reckon!