The other day I went gift shopping for BF. He is in Indore and not too happy. We do this a lot… get each other little gifts… need not be expensive, just has to be thoughtful. He wanted the last Harry Potter book but was too lazy to go and buy it. At the airport, I stopped at a small book store. I buy books every month. Now that I can afford it, I do not buy 2nd hand or pirated books. I love books… they are worth spending the money. My favorite outlets are Landmark and Crossword but a lot of times I am confused about what to buy. I read varied kind of books… depending on my mood. I prefer fiction to non-fiction… stay away from Management and Self-help books.

Anyway, I entered the book shop. There were books everywhere… like a greedy child I gazed at them longingly. The shopkeeper asked me if I am looking for something specific. “Yes… last book of Harry Potter”; I said. He handed it to me… and started pointing out the new arrivals.

Him: Jeffery Archer

Me: I have outgrown those

Him: You will like “Shopholics”

Me: Read all the series of “Shopholics”… love them

Him: Read this… “Six Suspects”… its good

Me: Have read it

I was trying to avoid buying any books… I had purchased enough. But he kept showing me more books.

Finally, he picked out ‘Black Swan’. I started browsing through it. It seemed interesting but the price was repelling

Him: Have you read ‘Blink’?

Me: Yes

Him: This is similar.. but better. Buy it

Me: No… no… it is quite expensive

Him: But it is good

I purchased it. I envy the shopkeeper… I would love to have a book shop of my own where I can stay among books all day… read all of them… recommend them to my customers… observe consumer behavior and try to predict who will like what. What fun!!!

Shopping at this small bookstore was better than in the larger stores like Crossword and Landmark where everything is impersonal. There is no interaction between customer and retailer. A personal touch is missing.