Cioran-uary at Seminary Co-op

Cioran-uary at Seminary Co-op

I love reading bookstore newsletters and discovering unique promotions that you create. One that recently piqued my interest is Seminary Co-op Bookstores “Cioran-uary” promotion, which features one quote from Emil Cioran every day throughout the month.

Marketing manager Alex Houston explained to me that this is in fact their third year of Aphoristic Januaries.

“With the expansion of our marketing department beginning in 2014, and in recognition of our customers’ (near and far) appreciation of quirky, esoteric, and unexpected things, we decided to try a ‘Lichtenberg Appreciation Month’ in January 2015,” she said.

Every day that month, one aphorism from Georg Christoph Lichtenberg’s Waste Books was posted across their social media accounts.

“Aphorisms fit nicely into the social media format, while also overcoming it. They’re brief in terms of character count, but contain a great deal of wisdom–often not the case on social media!” she said.

Both the book and the execution of the promotion were well received, so Houston said they turned it into an annual tradition, featuring an aphorist each year since.

“Last year we highlighted Joseph Joubert’s Notebooks (Joubertuary, we called it), and this year we’re doing Cioran’s whole oeuvre (Cioranuary),” she said.

They’ve used the same marketing formula each year: a quote in the weekly newsletter, social media posts, and in-store display; and Houston said that every year they gain more followers and subscribers.

“It’s actually one of several ‘traditions’ we’ve started over the last few years–in February, we highlight a major piece by Theodor Adorno (Adorno-a-Day) and in July we highlight the Library of America–and people seem to enjoy the continuity, focus, and daily bits of wisdom each one provides,” she said.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay