Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Social Media's Selling Teens Old Books

cute old couple reading
These two aren't in the age range I'm talking about below.
But they are quite adorable. And reading.
Photo by zorilla.

An Article From a Bookseller

This weekend, between learning far more than I ever wished to know about Days of Inventory and the cash-to-cash cycle, I read this article with the very click-batey title "I Liked Hurting Girls: A Bookseller on Diary of an Oxygen Thief, Milk and Honey, Young People and the Internet."

The woman who wrote this article owns a book shop, and she noticed a few unusual trends in teens coming in to ask about specific books that weren't actually new or popular at the time. One of those books happened to start with the line, "I liked hurting girls ..."

Juneau, Alaska, gorgeous mountains
Juneau, Alaska (see below for semi-relevance).
Really chosen for my obsession with mountains.
Photo by Ian D. Keating

This Just in: Teens Like Social Media

However, others books she mentions include Looking for Alaska, which become popular after John Green's YouTube channel took off, and Milk and Honey, which is apparently an illustrated book of poems that deals with topics ranging from abuse to survival to sex. She describes the book as "explicit, emotional and very social media friendly."

cool bookstore
Photo by Per Gosche.

In other Breaking News: Teens Won't Explain Themselves

It was also rather entertaining to me that every time this bookseller asked her teen customer what made them want to purchase this book, they'd answer, "I don't know. I it's really good," rather than actually explain to an adult where they'd heard about the book.

And it is really interesting how social media can help people rediscover books. We tend to think of books in two categories: new books and classic books, or at least that's how it seems to me. I'm glad that sometimes books that are neither of these two things get brought back into the light and "re-discovered" by a new audience.

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