No matter how bad things get, How to Worry Less About Money offers comfort, a book to sit and stroke as the bailiffs step over your prone body and carry the furniture onto the street.
The series by PanMacmillan has the most strokeable covers you’ll meet. I was seduced in Waterstones. Rationality flew out of the window, as I ran my fingers up and down its spine. I had no need of the book, but I wanted it, with a primitive urge, a base desire to make it mine as quickly as possible. I could barely hand my card over quickly enough.
This despite stiff competition for my money, not from other books (remember, I hadn’t stepped out that morning intending to buy a book) but from a hog roast roll. The smell of pork wafted through the open doors from the farmers’ market in the street. I’d only gone into the bookshop until I could pretend it was a reasonable hour to buy one. Now I was holding a book instead of a bap.
Like all of us, it seems I’m still driven by my senses. The cover felt nice to stroke. Senses evoke memories, perhaps the book cover was a reminder of the picture books (slightly furry) I had as a child, a time of security and certainty. Stroking the cover = comfort in times of uncertainty. This process was going on, while my mind was occupied by thoughts of pork crackling.
Touch is just one of the five senses. Any marketing that makes use of sight, sound, smell, taste or touch will stimulate emotions. Hopefully good feelings, will lead to good sales.
So the next time you go into a bookshop, maybe you should watch out for the sixth sense. The one that alerts you to the other five being hooked, and evoking the good feelings propelling you towards the till. It’s probably best not to try and resist. Or at least have enough money for a book and a roll.
Interestingly, I discovered afterwards that Waterstones has begun a campaign to sell the benefits of buying books from a physical bookshop (Bookseller news piece). My book would still be on the shelf if I’d found it at Amazon. But what do you think?