Bookshops advised to put children’s books first
The value of the sales of children’s books is set to overtake that of adult paperbacks and hardbacks by the end of 2014, according to the latest Nielsen Kantar ‘Understanding the E-book’ Consumer Report.
The report predicts that the ebook market for adult fiction will grow considerably faster than for children’s books, so while demand for print will fall for grownups as they buy more books on their ereaders, that same decline will probably not happen for their children.
Nielsen have therefore suggested that booksellers place their children’s department at the front of their shops, rather than situating them at the back as they more commonly do at the moment.
What does this mean for the consumer? An adult reader (and physical book buyer)’s gut reaction may be to reject the idea – why should they have to battle through screaming children to browse the Man Booker Prize shortlist, or find this week’s bestseller?
If they think for a moment, however, they should come to realize it makes a lot of sense to have children’s books at the front of a shop, and not merely because they are going to be the shop’s main source of revenue. An adult can move much more quickly through a children’s department than a child can through an adult’s, so any disturbance should actually be reduced rather than increased. Also, it has to be said, the children’s departments of bookshops are always the nicest places to be, and can rarely be described as rowdy. Perhaps a shift of this kind will give book stores a more welcoming, ‘ooh, look, isn’t reading fun?’ image and create an opportunity for brilliant kids’ window displays to serve as a beacon to happy shoppers.
And Book Walrus is less likely to knock over the adults’ shelves with his tail if he doesn’t have to move so far to get to the children’s books. Everyone’s a winner!
Image: By John Phelan (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons