I’ve finished day one of working our store’s book table at the West Coast Christian Teacher Convention. This was a great opportunity to gain exposure for RaphaBooks – and to make a few bucks besides. I am happy to report that the venture has been very successful. All objectives exceeded.
My eyebrows are still raised, however, as I think about some of the conversations I had today.
Male Teacher (early 30’s): I just want you to know that I never read a book that has the author’s picture on the cover.
Me: Well, that’s an interesting view.
Male Teacher: I don’t care how good the book is.
Me: You’re entitled to an opinion.
Male Teacher: I said, I don’t care how good the book is.
Male Teacher: Will you continue to carry books that have the author’s picture on the cover?
Me: Yes I will.
Male Teacher: Then I won’t be shopping in your store.
I just smiled and kept my mouth shut. The Male Teacher’s name tag stated that he came from a town 7 hours from here and it was unlikely he’d ever have the opportunity to shop in my store anyway.
Male Teacher (late 40’s): (looking at the sign) RALPHA Books. What does that mean?
Me: It’s actually RAPHABooks, not Ralpha.
Male Teacher: Oh. But what does it mean?
Me: Jehovah-Rapha is one of the names of God. It means “God, our Healer”.
Male Teacher: Oh. So you’re a healing store. Vitamins and health food and stuff?
Me: No. We are a Christian bookstore.
Male Teacher: Oh. (Looking puzzled.) Oh.
The man just walked away.
Female Teacher (late 20’s): How come the table over there sells this book for $13.99 and yours is $15.50? (She holds up a new release book.)
Me: I’m pretty sure that table over there doesn’t have this book.
Female Teacher: Yes they do. I was just there.
Me: (knowing the other table did NOT have this particular book) If you can get this book cheaper over there, then you should buy it there.
Female Teacher: You didn’t answer my question. Why does your book cost more?
Me: We use the supplier’s Canadian retail price.
Female Teacher: That’s what the other people at THAT table told me they do. How come it’s different here?
Me: Good question.
Female Teacher: (put the book down, none too gently) You guys are all way too pricey.
The Female Teacher actually came back half an hour later and bought the book from my table.
There are some strange people out there. And these same people are the ones teaching our children. Scary.