'I've Come to Cherish My 'Backlist' Even More'

In an e-mail newsletter to patrons of Prairie Path Books, Wheaton Ill., co-owner Sandy Koropp wrote: "The buzz in BookLand is almost always about new releases or bestsellers. A bookseller gets a bazillion emails from publishers with links to lists of new titles, plus magazines and promotional materials in the mail. New is fun and shiny and pretty and we love to arrange tables with the latest stories and histories, all crisp and fresh looking in their gorgeous covers. When I'm excited about a new release it's fun for me to tell about it and hope you like it too, and let's face it--it's so easy and profitable when I can simply say: 'There's a new David McCullough out!'

"Three years into this biz though I've come to cherish my 'backlist' even more," she observed, noting that in those early days preparing for the store's opening, "we bought many wonderful paperbacks for our first inventory, but really those were other stores' bestsellers. An excellent start for sure and some have become our bestsellers too. But when you tally up Prairie Path Books' top sellers, they are always books we have read and loved so much that we take them down reverently from the shelf, hold them to our hearts while we describe them, and then hand them over for your admiration. Many of our favorite 2014–2017 hardcover new releases have come out in paperback: it's our biggest compliment when we continue to carry a title after that. Me and Jenny sometimes remember a title we've loved and don't have yet, plus, very often if one of you gushes to me about a great book I order it on the spot, enriching our shelves all the more. Now that's a backlist!"

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