Whatnot: September 11, 2015

In response to “Name Calling… and Recalling,” Valerie Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, TX, wrote of some of their tricks for remembering customer names. “One trick is for new staff,” she said. “If I call someone by name, I’m supposed to go over and enter their name in the reward system for their order so staff can seamlessly ring them up.”

She also explained that she always calls the person by name, if she knows it. “If I can’t remember their name, I always say ‘hey you’ and the staff knows I can’t remember!”

And the name recall tricks aren’t just for the adult shoppers. “We also keep a storytime spreadsheet so as to remember all the little darlings’ names!”


Today Riverhead Books launched a weekly newsletter just for booksellers.

“We’ll be sharing all of the funny stories, secret sauce, backlist opportunities and previews of what big is coming – all the magic that go into books like The Girl on the Train, Fates and Furies, Big Magic, The Paying Guests, The Vacationers and more,” says Jynne Martin, Riverhead’s Associate Publisher and Director of Publicity. She says that the newsletter is intended to be chatty, brief, and useful while still being a lot of fun to read.

Here is a link to the inaugural edition. Booksellers are welcome to subscribe via the link at the bottom of that page.


Today on NPR’s Science Friday, Ira Flatow looked at The Science of Story TimeI kept refreshing the link so I could include the audio, but it’s simply not available yet. (Though it might be by the time you read this.)

The guests had extensive lists, as did the callers and web commenters, so this would be great to send to young parents through your blog, website, newsletter or social media. Here’s an instant Tweetable if you’d like to send it right now: Science says, “Go ahead… read them ‘just one more.'”


In this video, Chris Beldon explains his inspiration for Shriverthe story of a man, mistaken for a famous and reclusive author of the same name, who attends a writers’ conference only to find himself caught in a whirlwind of literary pretension, a suspect in a criminal investigation, and hopelessly in love with a woman who thinks he’s someone else.

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