A Roundup of Results From BTW’s One-Second Survey

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Over 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 prefers customers’ pets over their actual customers, from favorite literary bears to favorite places to read, and so much more.

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

  • Most booksellers are relatively indifferent about screen adaptations of books (53%), but 29% love them and 18% hate them.
  • When attending industry events, booksellers most look forward to the education (44%), followed by connecting with other booksellers (40%) and networking with publishers (16%).
  • For booksellers who attended Children’s Institute in New Orleans, beignets were the favorite food (65%), but po’ boys and shrimp and grits still had a following, at 24% and 11%, respectively. (I was solidly in the beignets camp.)
  • 71% said their go-to advertising method is our good old pal The Internet, while 17% said they use print and 12% said they use “other.”
  • The most common place booksellers put the Indie Next List in their stores is on the cash wrap (42%), followed by those who put it by the front door (38%) and those who put it in purchase bags (20%).
  • Booksellers’ favorite kind of bookstore visitor is their customers! At 63%, who would’ve thought. But 27% prefer their customers’ pets, and 10% prefer the delivery person.
  • Favorite literary dog was, no surprise, Clifford (58%), but there were fans of Old Yeller (24%) and Toto (18%), too.
  • The favorite literary cat was (huzzah!!) Crookshanks at 43%. Readers also love the Cheshire Cat (34%) and Pete the Cat (23%).
  • The favorite literary bear was Winnie the Pooh (62%), followed by Mother Bruce (24%) and Little Bear (14%).
  • Regarding favorite literary villains, George Wickham won at 53%, followed by Dracula at 28% and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde at 19%.
  • 22% of booksellers look up spoilers for a book before they read it, 75% are a fan of deckle edges, and 57% listen in on story time!
  • The best-selling non-book item in stores — by far — is greeting cards at 91%. Newspapers came in at 3% and magazines at 6%.
  • 74% of stores offer a customer rewards program, and 71% offer refreshments during author events.
  • 67% have a staff member run their book club, while 28% have a reader from the community and 5% have an organization in charge of the program.
  • Booksellers’ favorite place to read is in a comfy chair (67%), followed up by their beds (30%) and those sneaky few who read in their store’s back room (3%).
  • Opinions were split on the best bookish movie: You’ve Got Mail came in at 40%, Beauty and the Beast at 31%, and Matilda at 29% (where my Roald Dahl fans at?!?).
  • Booksellers were a little more decisive about their favorite bookstore-themed novel: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry won at 55%, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore got 28%, and The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend got 17%.
  • 81% said they grew up in a household with a lot of books, which makes me wonder what inspired the other 19% to get into the business.
  • 31% of stock rooms are organized by category and 5% by pub date. The other 64% said, “Organization? What’s that?”

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.