Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Maybe I shouldn’t publicly admit this, especially since I have a novel releasing in ten days and I wouldn’t want bookstores shunning me, but I recently went into a bookstore and caused a ruckus.

Let me explain.

I was searching for Rae Carson’s book, The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I searched and searched the shelves, but it was nowhere to be found. Then I spotted one of those rolling book cart thingies sitting at the end of an aisle with books stacked up chest-high. (The real cart was narrower and had a much higher stack of books.)

I started at the top and scanned all the way down to the bottom. And there, at the very bottom of the cart, were four copies of TGOFAT. Me, being the big TGOFAT fan that I am NEEDED to see the new cover in person. I read the ARC which had a totally different cover. I needed to see the hardcover--the new cover--so I tried to wiggle the books out from the bottom of the very tall stack. However, I didn’t realize how iffy those carts are and, in ultra-slow motion, it rocked backward. I reached for it, but it was too late. The cart tipped back and crashed onto the floor. Thirty or so books went flying all over the aisle. It was loud. I actually shushed myself immediately after it happened. The five teens sitting at a table ten feet away all giggled and stared at me as I apologized and frantically tried to right the book cart dolly and stack up all the books again.

I’m sure I was ten shades of pink. I think I shushed myself and apologized until every last book was back in its place. I kept waiting for an employee to question me and threaten to kick me out. I was prepared to apologize profusely and explain what happened. I’d buy TGOFAT just so they’d know I didn’t create a scene for no good reason. I figured if nothing else, one bookstore employee would definitely know that a customer went to great lengths to get a copy of Rae’s book.

No one ever came. The teens eventually lost interest in the clumsy woman talking to herself and they went back to their laptops and conversation.

As I stood there with Rae’s books in my hands I figured I might as well do some good for the world and help out the employees, so I put them on the shelf that seemed like the best place for them. TOP TEEN PICKS. Woot!

For the record, I did not take any other author’s books down, I just squeezed Rae’s books into some empty shelf space. If any bookstore employees are reading this, please accept my apologies for interfering with your shelving system. I was frazzled from the book crash incident and jittery from the delicious salted caramel mocha latte that I ordered from the café. I can’t be held responsible for my actions.

Have you ever moved a favorite book so that it has more visibility?

Am I the only one who acts like a hoodlum (not really) in bookstores, or do you have your own story to share?


  1. I have shamefully done the same thing, not the part about clumsily knocking over a high rise stack of brand new books. But I have put a favorite book or a an online friend's book in the top ten area. I haven't ever removed anyone but wedging another awesome book in the pick, well that's like doing everyone a favor, right?

  2. Maybe I shouldn't publicly admit this, but I've taken favorite books and faced them outward, or put them in empty shelf space on featured shelves. I especially do this with books that are older (like SABRIEL by Garth Nix) and that I don't think modern teens might have heard of, or with books that I don't feel are getting nearly enough attention.

  3. Ha! Yes, I've turned books out so their covers showed on shelves. Later, I learned that publishers actually pay to have books displayed more prominently, so it's not always the store employees who make those calls.
    A couple of weeks ago I couldn't find The Scorpio Races in a big store. I was set to raise a ruckus about them not having such an amazing book when I found the special display for it. Somehow it was easy to walk right past the display where it was situated. Bizarre.

  4. I met Rae at WFC, and she was so nice! My copy is on it's way.

    *hopes they hurry up please*

  5. Ha ha ha ha ha! I can TOTALLY picture you doing all that. I'm guilty of moving books, too. :)

    P.S. I stayed up until almost midnight last night reading your book. I'm at 87% and it's killing me to have to teach right now! Karen, it is SOOOOOOO good!!

  6. LOL, this is hilarious! And philanthropic. Hilarianthropic? I don't go into bookstores very often, which is probably good because I wouldn't be able to resist moving the books around. ;)

    Hope TGOFAT helps keep you from freaking out too much about your release day! :)

  7. Shain, yes. Favors in the name of good can't be wrong IMO.

    Alexandra, yup, I'm all about oldies but goodies. :)

    Tricia, yes, that's why I'd never move another author's book or do anything in a negative light. Publishers do pay for prime real estate space in bookstores.

    Matthew, Rae is SUCH a sweetheart. Hope you love her book as much as I did.

  8. Shannon, yyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy! I'm so glad you're liking it. Phew. *sighs with relief* It's still a little scary to know my baby is out in the big world! :)

    Tere, bookstores may not let me in after reading this confession post. I think I'd cry. Thanks for the comment! :)

  9. Store Clerk #1 - "Did you see that woman? She totally trashed that cart full of books."

    Store Clerk #2 - "Yeah, but she's picking it up."

    Store Clerk #1 - "Let's pretend we don't see her. Maybe she'll clean the whole mess up. If we're lucky she'll even stock the shelves for us!"

  10. DL, bwahahahahahah. That's probably exactly what happened. And I'm okay with it. ;)

  11. I've never re-arranged books in a bookstore, but I may or may not have been involved in a minor incident in a Barnes & Noble in which a number of dragon plushies from the childrens section mysteriously left their shelf and gathered in homage around Cornelia Funke's Dragon Rider.

  12. I want you in my corner when the time comes! Awesome girl!!! :O)

  13. I reserve my climbing antics for last jars on high shelves in Asda ;) Good luck with your book.

  14. I ALWAYS face out my favorite books at the book store!

  15. OHMYGOSH I love you. Love this story. You are too awesome for words.

  16. UGH I hate going to Barnes and Noble lately. The staff does not care about books at all. They never know what on earth you are talking about if you do bother to ask them a question. Half the time a person is asking a sales person about a book and I can tell them where it is, what it is about, and if it is any good, faster than the sales person could. Not that the sales people even bother to read so they never know if a book is any good or not.

    I swear the bookstore should start giving me a pay check because I help far more people than the actual people who work there.

  17. Glass Dragon, bwahahahahahah. LOVE IT!

    Diane, I'm in your corner. Don't you worry!

    Elaine, high shelves are tricky for us short people. Thanks!

    Jessica, ME TOO! But shhhh.

  18. Alison, Aww. Thank you. Love you too! :)

    Alexa, that's such a shame. The folks at my B&N are great. Maybe you should get a job there and held educate readers. :)

  19. This is seriously the cutest story ever. :)

  20. The Bookstore Bandit strikes again.


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