Remember those greeting cards you'd buy with a lovely rhyming quatrain? It's not that we don't have cards that try to invoke special feelings with meaningful words, but for some reason, in modern day at least, that rhyme brings it to a level of overemoting. I would say most of our serious cards seem to say the sentiment very simply.
On the other hand, the pun greeting seems to be in full force, and our customers seem to gravitate towards them as much as we booksellers do. Excluding the sympathy category, where humor is inappropriate, we're seeing more and more groan-worthy pun cards.
The Valentine's category is where this trend seems to have exploded. I mentioned last year that the card creators have become clever at dropping the "Happy Valentine's Day" greeting from the cards, making them year-round ready, though I should note that the rate of sale peaks appropriately with Cupid's visit.
I know that for some retailers, a card that doesn't say Happy Valentine's Day will not sell for the holiday, but for us, the sentiment seems to be enough. And that leads to a lot of love puns. But are there enough double entendres in the world to supply demand? I tried to be careful, but I still bought several duplicate messages. We've got two cat cards that are "purr-fect" and two unicorn cards that ponder "are you for real?"
A few of my favorite pun cards for Valentine's Day are at above left.
One of my favorite new finds is artist Anni Betts. Her artwork is whimsical, but her text tends to be straightforward. Her Valentine's Day cards pretty much say "Happy Valentine's Day" or that candy heart staple, "Be Mine."
I'm going to go out on a limb and say we've got the best selection of Valentine's Day cards we've ever had. That's partly overcompensation--I really didn't buy enough the first three years. It was only in 2013 that I feel like I had enough to have at least some selection on February 14th. I'm already worrying about 2015. I'll known on the 15th whether I went a little over the top (insert picture of a spinning top here with me jumping over it).
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