Monday, April 20, 2009

Our First Shoplifted Title; Where's the Greeting Card Section for That?

Congrats, Ian. You are now the first officially shoplifted title from the Boswell Book Company. I'm sure there were others, but none have been so blatant.

Several days ago a middle-aged female customer came in and asked us if we had The Four Day Diet, from Ian K. Smith. Gracious and poised, she sat down in one of our chairs to take a look at it. About two hours later, we found the dust jacket stuffed into the cushion of the chair. And a fine welcome to the neighborhood to you too!

(Note to all fans of Dr. Smith. This is no reflection on the author or his other fans. All kinds of books get stolen.)

Shoplifting and theft is an issue I've been thinking out since the store opened. Well no, I've been thinking about it for years. How do you balance a comfortable space with one that doesn't become an easy target?

We gave up the nooks and crannies of the classic bookshop for a more open feel. We've positioned our bookcases for better sightlines. But there are still things to be done. My friends at other bookstores have mirrors, and cameras, and security tags. And of course, every bookseller talks about the importance of regular greeting and acknowlegement.

But that's not going to stop that person who looks you in the eye, says thank you, and then slaps you in the face.

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