In the last few months I have written and deleted this post something like ten times.
I was looking for the right words, the right way, the right message, but then I thought that clarity and transparency were the only way.
So dear friends of the lilac box, here I am, very tall (not that much), very pure and very high to explain to you what is boiling in the box.
When I opened the bookshop I tried to involve the activities of the neighborhood by setting up a card that would allow for mutual agreements. (10% discount)
The years pass – we are almost at 6 – the accounts do not always add up and since I wrote to you that I wanted to be clear, now I will explain why starting from today the aforementioned conventions will no longer be valid.
So let’s do two maths:
On a book, the bookseller’s profit margin is about 30% of the cover price.
A book costs 10 euros, the bookseller collects 3.
Therefore, if I sell a book by applying the aforementioned convention, 2 euros remain and to cover the fixed costs of managing the box (rent, bookseller’s INPS, bags, management, telephone and so on and so forth), of I have to sell books in industrial quantities.
I am sure that I am creating the problem and that those who have chosen to enter the box certainly do not do it for the convention and for that saving euro, but I wanted to be clear and honest.
I’ve always said I want to deal with words, because with numbers I’m a landslide, but every now and then they too demand my attention.
One euro today, one euro tomorrow and as if by magic the mortgage payment comes out (damn mathematicians!)
As you know, I have not been alone for almost a month and I also asked Silvia for advice, my colleague bookseller who opened my eyes and who would like to add her point of view to this post, which I report below:
The moment a reader – indeed let’s call him by his real name, this reader, let’s call him a customer – that’s the moment a customer decides to buy a book in the box, he doesn’t do it for the 10% discount, because online you would find it with a greater discount, by 15%, and in times well below Standard 48 hours which a library can guarantee. If the customer decides to come in the box, he also does it for the box itself because, in the box, he:
– find a bookseller, now two, to which you can ask for advice, with which to congratulate if the book has hit the mark or with which to quarrel if the book has not met expectations;
– find an armchair to rest on after running all over Milan;
– find someone to chat with (we know how to do this well), a word of comfort, a joke.
– finds the author he has appreciated since the beginning, sitting on the armchair, with whom he can shake hands, ask two questions, he will also hear him joking and suddenly discover that the writers are human, in short, they also talk about something else besides books, sometimes they even watch TV;
– find a glass of wine on Friday evening;
– find Rosa’s schiscetta almost every day, from 13.00 to 15.00 (at 16.00 we leave with a snack);
– find some time, find a little piece of home.
If you, the customer, decide to buy a book here, you do it because you want to buy a small piece of this box that we booksellers sell you every day together with the books proposed and chosen for the showcase of the week.
And as the good Vincenzo Costantino says “we take nothing for granted”