Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Your Indie Will Do For You

This is just a little story about a little indie that has been a valued part of our small village life for over 50 years. And maybe you'll see why we're still here, in spite of all the odds against small-time booksellers.

A customer strolled in yesterday looking for a book to read while her car was going to be repaired. And I sympathized. The only thing worse than waiting for car repairs is waiting for car repairs without a book. It's unimaginable. It's torture.

She had a couple of books in mind, and one of the was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. "Ooh, I said, that is a good one." But of course we were out. I checked the computer, and I learned that it would be in the next UPS shipment due to arrive any minute. (We love our adorable UPS man Gary, who cheerfully stacks our boxes in groups according to Purchase Order number, making it so easy to unpack and sort.) I asked the customer: "What time is your car appointment? If you can stay and browse for a little while, the UPS man will probably be here soon."

That's when my colleague Jenny, who is a contagiously cheerful gal, looked out the window and said: "Oh my goodness, there goes Gary now!" She jumped up and chased Gary down the sidewalk, where his dolly was parked in front of another shop. Jenny checked the packing slip on each box that was addressed to The Bookstore, and found the one we wanted. She opened the door of the other shop, and hollered to Gary: "I just stole one of our boxes!" and ran back to the store like she had just captured the flag.

Our customer was thrilled. We opened the box with the excitement of a couple of four year-olds at Christmas. We all had a good laugh. And our customer said: "I'm going to tell everyone about this. This is the best customer service I have ever seen! They don't do this at [fill-in-the-blank-big-box-bookstore]!"

Damn right.

Because that's why we're here. We love getting books in the hands of readers, and we'll even chase down the UPS man to do it. And maybe that's why we've been here for over 50 years.

Just a little something to think about as you start your Independence Day celebrations. Declare your independence and resolve to shop more Indie.


  1. Wow! I wish my bookstore did things like that. That is incredible :)

  2. Love it. This sort of thing is why I drive 30-40 minutes to come and see you guys instead of driving 5 minutes to the closest Barnes & Nobles.

  3. Love this story! :)

  4. I wish I lived closer to Glen Ellyn. What a great story.

  5. Love it! We had a similar story happen today too... indies rock!


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