Sporadic Sequential
Monday, April 02, 2007
Random Bookstore Thoughts

[NOTE: All thoughts relative to bookstores in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, and even then narrowly focused on stores near work and home.]

» Borders does seem to have a broader selection of manga than Barnes & Noble — I actually saw several titles from Dark Horse at Borders while usually the only Dark Horse selections I see at B&N are scattered volumes of Oh My Goddess, although even Borders doesn't stock Mail or Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service — but I hate those stickers they affix to the back of every book.

» Most stores I've been at have had an American comics-to-manga ratio between 1:3 to 1:6.

» I haven't ever really seen scores of teens lounging around in the manga aisles reading books cover-to-cover. I do see lots of teen traffic in the manga section, but they usually hone in straight on the item(s) they're looking for and run off, presumably to buy them. One time at Borders I did overhear a conversation between a guy and gal who were camped out a couple rows over in the GN section, but by the time I made my way to that aisle they quickly got up and moved out of my way.

» I've yet to find a bookstore that stocks a complete run of Bleach starting with volume 1, while most stores seem to have every single volume of Naruto available on the shelves.

» Those Tokyopop and Viz endcap displays are pretty effective, at least in getting me to look at books I'd otherwise pass over. (In fact, I even bought a book off one of those displays after picking it up and flipping through it. Of course, after reading it, I've now resolved never to engage in manga impulse-buying again.) Are there any stats or studies showing how endcaps like these impact sales?

» Weirdest comic I've seen prominently displayed at a B&N: The Stan Lee Meets... collected edition. Is there really much interest in a $25 hardcover collecting one-off stories of Stan Lee interacting with characters he co-created?