One thing we've noticed with gift items in our store is that if you put an Eiffel Tower on it, it will sell. No freedom fries for us, apparently. As two of our vendors came out with new Paris-influenced lines, it seemed like a table was in order., particularly as there were several French books we also wanted to highlight (though not too many--it's a small table).
There's always a hardcover fiction book where at the end of the year, we find out that a whole bunch of indie booksellers we know have sold a jillion copies (ok, 500). While we've had nice pops on Swamplandia,The Tiger's Wife, and several others, there's no question that the novel for most booksellers will be The Paris Wife**, by Paula McLain. It's been hanging around the bestseller list forever, not particularly high (meaning the mass merchants are probably not selling it), but very steadily. And it's the kind of book that booksellers love, with some literary reference, in this case, Hemingway's first marriage. It also seems to appeal to a broad range of our customers in all camps.*
I'm also intrigued by the new Europa release, French Leave, by Anna Gavalda. All the quotes are meant to speak to Daniel, from the comparisons to Anne Tyler and Nick Hornby, to the "infinitely charming" reference from Madame Figaro. I have no idea who Madame Figaro is; I think it's a magazine. Yes, Kirkus called it slight, but it's 108 pages with large type and margins. It's slight. That doesn't mean I won't read it.
Regarding gift items, we brought in the Eiffel tower and bicycle items from Coelacanth in April and sold out our small totes and coin purses almost immediately. On reorder, we picked up the carrying case and luggage tag too. Everything is under $10. From Galison (who had already been selling Paris labels and sticky notes from another artist), we picked up correspondence cards (postcards in an envelope) and gift tags. There's also a journal, but they were temporarily out of stock. The correspondence cards are just over $10, the tags are under.
*The camps, by the way, I have named "plot", "character", and "language."
Hello. This is my blog for the Boswell Book Company, located on the East Side of Milwaukee at 2559 N. Downer Avenue at Webster Place, Milwaukee WI 53211.
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Our Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 AM-9 PM.
Sunday hours, 10 AM-6 PM