A Roundup of Results From BTW’s One Second Survey

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Survey SaysOver the last several months, hundreds of readers have responded to Bookselling This Week’s one-second survey. Here’s a snapshot of the results, from the things booksellers love to the things they hate, from who uses shelf-talkers to who uses sandwich boards, from favorite literary love stories to favorite books to read at the holidays, and so much more.

Of the options given each week, here’s what responding booksellers said:

  • 36% of you occasionally sneak off to read during the workday, 8% of you do it frequently, and 56% are adamant that you NEVER tiptoe into the back office to pick up one of the EIGHT THOUSAND galleys in your TBR pile.
  • When characterizing your store’s location, 64% said Main Street, 17% said strip mall, and 19% said freestanding retail.
  • 62% of responding stores host multiple book groups, 22% host one, and 16% host none.
  • 18% of respondents have a bookstore cat and 19% have a bookstore dog (you other 63%, it’s time to get on board the bookstore pet bandwagon!).
  • At the same time, 74% allow customers to bring pets into their stores, 9% don’t, and for 17% it depends on the pet (so…no peacocks allowed, I take it?).
  • 92% of you offer seating in your store, 83% offered free gift wrapping at the holidays, 37% use a sandwich board to draw in foot traffic, 86% hold off-site events, 24% have a coffee shop, and 89% offer an employee recognition program.
  • 88% of stores display ABA’s monthly Indie Next List flier (hey, thanks!!).
  • Somehow, 8% of you said Groundhog Day was the busiest holiday in your store, versus 31% for Valentine’s Day and 61% for Mother’s Day.
  • You love your shelf-talkers (we love your shelf-talkers, too!): 90% use them, 10% don’t.
  • When it comes to music, 42% play classical music in their stores most frequently, 23% play jazz, and 35% play rock.
  • In the fall, 69% of stores wait until after Thanksgiving to start playing holiday music, 7% start before, and 24% never turn on those holiday tunes.
  • Booksellers’ favorite type of book to read during the holidays is new releases (aww, where’s the holiday spirit?) at 65%, versus 20% for holiday-themed books and 15% for classics.
  • When we asked what color you’d like to see ABA Senior Program Officer Joy Dallanegra-Sanger’s hair colored next, you voted for pink (65%). We’re holding her to that for next Winter Institute!
  • Booksellers’ favorite literary love story is Pride and Prejudice (58%) over Love in the Time of Cholera (28%) and The Fault in Our Stars (14%).
  • Your most frequently used off-site programming locations are arts centers or theaters (37%), closely followed by schools (32%) and libraries (31%).
  • You are NOT fans of movie tie-in book covers: 72% hate them, 1% love them (that had to be an errant click, right?), and 27% are indifferent.
  • Half of stores (50%) get dusted once a week, while 22% get dusted once a month and 28% asked, “What’s dusting?”

Check Bookselling This Week each Wednesday for a new one-second survey and catch the results in the following week’s issue. If you don’t want to miss out, subscribe to Bookselling This Week now.