Why don't I care about awards?

It's weird, but I simply can't get interested in awards for either books or comics. My eyes glaze over instantly. I just don't care.

It's not a moral objection, I don't think. It's not because I doubt the accuracy of them. (Though I do. I suspect that in-crowd politics is the biggest factor.) It just seems superfluous, somehow.

I know that it would probably help sales at the store to pay attention, to be aware of who is "important."

But again, I just don't seem to care.

Same thing with bestseller lists. I ignore them.

I have a budget. By the time I've ordered the replacement books that I know I can sell, and added a few more books that I've always wanted to carry, there is little left in the budget. I almost never feel like wasting it on any current bestsellers.

I used to have the objection that new bestsellers, especially hardbacks, are discounted so heavily by places like B & N and Costco that having them at full price just makes us look bad. But...after a few experiments I found that I could actually sell them

Not a lot of them, but one or two. But these experiments were almost always books that caught my attention in some other way. Either reading a description of them somewhere or having someone ask for them.

In this case, my lack of interest might even help. Books rise to my consciousness because somehow they need to. If enough people mention Ready Player One or World War Z, then I'll go out and get it. Doesn't matter if they are on the bestseller lists, what matters is people want them. (I know, same thing--but there is a difference in approach.)

I've mentioned before that most indie bookstores seem to carry the same stuff--the ABA approved lists and bestsellers and heavily reviewed and contest winners.

How can I be right and all of them wrong?

I don't know. I just think individual curation is more valuable in the long run. Paying attention to what actually sells not what people tell you sells.

It seems to me to be foolish to spend almost all your budget on newer books that may or may not sell. Which may or may not be any good--no matter what the bestsellers lists and contests tell you. The same books everyone else has--books which more often than not have a snob appeal.

Meanwhile genre books that actually have a following are ignored.

But most importantly, it's not taking advantage of the history of books. You can pick books out that have a proven track record. Or books you've read. Or authors you like. Or books that have stood the test of time. Or books that have a cult following.

People off the street see these kinds of books and get excited.

If I've fallen off in my job it's from not being diligent about having all these types of books.

Not from missing out on award winners or books on bestseller lists.

Same thing with graphic novels. I pay some attention to awards just so I don't miss on quality stuff, but generally the quality stuff is apparent without the reminder of awards.

I will say, if I was a full-service bookstore, instead of books being a part of my business, I might have a different attitude.

I should also say that people don't necessarily come to us for books--we sell off the street to people who wander in, so having a great selection of great books is probably more important than having the newest bestseller--and admittedly, if I was a full-service store I'd probably be driven crazy by the constant lemming requests for the Big New Thing.

And I do believe if I could force myself to be interested, I could probably cherry-pick both the bestseller lists and the award winners.

If I can just force my eyes not to glaze over.