Monday, March 02, 2009

REPOST: Rearrange a Bookstore Day

We’ve been meaning to repost this blog from our friend Debra Owsley since we read it back in January. Deb is a passionate reader, a die hard true blue, supporter of authors AND a business woman—please check out her site ( for amazing reading accessories. But What Doesn’t Kill You came out, the tour started and life got kinda crazy. However, in this case, late is better than never and we TOTALLY believe any day can be

Rearrange a Bookstore Day !

(Originally posted January 12, 2009 at

I’ve been known to go next door to my job, to the Wal-Mart, and rearrange books. Sure I have better things to do but I do it regularly. At first the store manager would, ask me what I’m doing and I simply told him “I’m straightening up your book shelf”. But then I guess they realized they were not just straightened up but also rearranged. LOL They are not going to raise hell when I have a $100.00 worth of merchandise in my shopping cart now are they?

Why do I do this? Well first off , I don’t think we should be segregated. I will stick some Donna Hill’s and some Marcia King Gamble’s and most recently Cheryl Robinson’s, (just to name a few off a very long list), books into the Main Stream romance section.

They ARE romance authors that just so happen to be black.

Yesterday I was at the Books A Million, here in Florida and I caught an attitude big time. the romance section was 43 feet long yes I counted. Each shelf was either 5 rows or 7 rows. The 5 rows were hard backs and mass paper backs and the 7 rows were trade paperbacks.

As I looked to see if any of us were sprinkled in, my attitude worsened.

I then went to the African American Literature section and really got pissed. The African American section was 9 feet long and each rack was 5 rows per, and very sparse. Not only was it romance it was also fiction, non fiction, and bio’s scattered in or shall I say peppered in. I started looking for some authors I know recently released new books. Hmmmm I am not happy, one Seduction and Lies, Donna Hill’s newest release, one Gotta Keep On Tryin’ De Berry and Grant one Tempting The Mogul, Marcia’s new book, 6 Something On The Side, Carl Weber’s book released last January 2008, and I could keep going be you get the point.

Yes maybe they were sold, it was the weekend, but re-stock damn it. It was not kept and not in order at all. I went to my friendly African American salesperson and asked her what’s up with this??? And why are we segregated?, Ain’t Obama in office now? We both laughed but she understood where I was coming from. She said the same argument that I’ve heard repeatedly, half the people want an African American section and half don’t.

That was still no excuse for the way the section looked.

I remember years ago when I wanted one too. The names of authors I wanted to read I did not know unless they came out in Essence magazine each month. I would run to the store and look for them and sometimes be disappointed because they weren’t there, or very annoyed when the salesperson said ”WHO”? GRRRR. E. LYNN HARRIS was the book I was requesting and it was not his first one either.

So I spent the afternoon doing my chosen task, putting the books in order, “peppering the salt” and I did a top shelf of new releases.

Hey, it’s all about love lol

While I was doing this I was thinking about Carlene Brice’s blog about give a black book to a non black reader.


Light Bulb Moment

What if I could get all my friends, bloggers, readers, and authors, to do this too??? THIS COULD BE BIG!!!!

If you spend as much time in bookstores as I do...

Let’s pick a day and we all do it.

Rearrange, pepper in and spread us around, put us on the top shelf on an end cap at the check out counter. If they have several copies. If not ,face the book forward in the African American section.

The only thing I wish was I had way of tracking the results.

Are you willing to rearrange a bookstore?I have even left notes to say “LOOK IN African American ROMANCE SECTION”….. by the way, it works both ways.

Put your favorite authors and new releases on top “Pepper” them in “Main Stream” sections.

Order some books they will add it into inventory or you can, when they hand them to you.

Demand that books are in store and on shelf on release date

Talk to browsers about your favorite book or author

Place new books or your favorites face out

Don’t put them in a weird place; we do want folks to find them

Leave a book review

Leave a post it note

Leave a bookmark in the book from an author

Leave information about your book club

Start a African American club in store

Readers, do you want to add to the list?

Are you willing to adopt a African American book section?

I would love feedback on this

Just My 2 Cents, Posted by Simply Said Reading Accessories

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 3:33 PM


Blogger blackbookblogger said...

I have often thought about doing that, but have changed my mind about it. I understand the point of making the switch - I've been frustrated when looking for titles by one author (A Christian romance author who writes primarily with Black characters). I spent one evening looking in fiction, inspirational, romance and African American sections for her books. No luck.

It's ridiculous to go to all those sections. Yes I could have just asked the associate, but if they'd been in stock but cleverly moved (as Rearrange a Bookstore Da y would have it) an associate wouldn't find them either.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Simply Said Reading Accessories said...

Hello Blackbookblogger,
I did say "Don’t put them in a weird place; we do want folks to find them" I really don't want anyone to be frustrated. The Top Shelf is where I move books to, and I do leave most where they are supposed to be.Depending on the amount of books the store has, determines, how many moves I do.

11:07 AM  

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