One of the key things here at Indy Library Store is an awareness of who we are—and who our customers are. Shared experiences are critical, both in how we organize the store and in how we approach each book sale. At the last sale, the importance of this idea was illustrated in a most hilarious way.
It was Half Price Day (always the second Friday of every sale). While checking out, one customer was talking with the cashier about Marie Kondo’s recommendations about decluttering. The conversation went something like this:
Customer: I can never have enough books. I don’t know where I’m going to put these, but I’ll find a place.
Volunteer: I know just what you mean. (Note the shared experience?)
Customer: Have you heard of Marie Kondo? She’s the one who teaches people how to declutter. She says the average person doesn’t need more than 30 books in their house.
(moment of stunned silence)
Volunteer and ALL OTHER PEOPLE NEARBY: (uproarious laughter)
Customer: (continuing to laugh) I have more than 30 books in my bathroom!
Everyone: (uproarious laughter and like-minded affirmations)
This is our tribe, our community. We get them and they get us. Books, to us, are more than mere possessions. They are friends. Whether customers in the store, volunteers in the store, or staff, we have these key shared experiences that unite us.
Before Ms. Kondo’s fans come to her defense, her actual advice on the topic of books is a little different than that customer’s understanding. Kondo is all about “if it sparks joy in you, keep it,” whether that’s 30 books or 1,000 books. But this illustration is not about Kondo, it’s about who we are here at Indy Library Store and who we serve. It’s about values, community, and, yes, joy. You keep your 30 joy-bringing books, I’ll keep my 1,000+, and we’ll all be content.
If you’re a book nerd, like us, or if you’re a book nerd who is looking for a place to spend some quality time with books while benefitting our Indianapolis community, we’ll look for you at the next book sale, beginning with Friends Night (April 6) and ending with $7 Bag Day (April 13).
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~ Mike Ehret, Coordinator, Indy Library Store