Fall is in the Air (at least in New York)
Still getting used to the idea that the people who read this may, even if reading it the same day I write it, be in a completely different season than I am.
Anyway, here in New York, where I am, it has felt like early fall the past week or so, with temperatures in the 70s (Fahrenheit, low 20s Celcius), mild breezes, and a nice sun with puffy cumulus clouds. It has been very pleasant, with cool mornings and evenings and no rain to speak of. The leaves on the trees are still green, so summer isn’t really over but the hint is there.
Just around the corner are the bright colors of full autumn foliage, crisp morning air, where the frost is a short distance away, kids are busy with school and the myriad of activities that seem to be the modern schoolkid’s life, and the animals in constant motion, either preparing for the coming winter or preparing for a trip to warmer climes. In short, it’s a time of heightened activity and constant change compared to the summer where the heat and humidity can cause a lethargy and the number of “required” activities feels smaller, even if it may really not be.
Once school starts one becomes instantly aware of the upcoming holidays. Here, in metropolitan New York, they parade at a pace to ease the kids along the school calendar – Rosh Hoshannah, Columbus Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas; enough for the children to have something to look forward to, outside the normal routine.
From a bookseller perspective it provides both opportunities and headaches. Opportunities because the holiday-themed books sell much better near the holiday and headaches because you need to try to adjust things quickly and constantly, hopefully when the customers are looking for it.
For example, as Halloween approaches, you want to make sure the back titles of the likes of Stephen King and Peter Straub (for adults) and R. L. Stine (Goosebumps) and all the series themed Halloween books (Arthur, Franklin, Sesame Street, etc.) for kids are up and, if possible, prominently featured. But as soon as one holiday is done you need to get the next holiday’s themed books up in rotation.And, of course, if you are also holding down a full time "real" job and getting into the holidays yourself...
All that being said it is an exciting time and one filled with plenty of projects and opportunities. My best wishes to everyone to enjoy the holidays as they roll in one after the next. I knwo I am going to enjoy the ride.