It’s a great bookstore, with a nice selection of books, but more importantly, an owner and staff who care about their customers and know their product.
I went in looking for a particular book, but also wanted to do some browsing around and came across a few books that attracted my attention. In particular, there was a book right near the counter, The Boys from Eighth and Carpenter by Tom Mendicino. It’s a novel set in South Philly, so you just know it’s going to be good.
Since I was right near the counter, I asked one of the women working there is they had the book, Guns Down: How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns by Igor Volsky. In the book, Volsky tells the story of how he took on the NRA just by using his Twitter account, describes how he found common ground with gun enthusiasts after spending two days shooting guns in the desert, and lays out a blueprint for how citizens can push their governments to reduce the number of guns in circulation and make firearms significantly harder to get.
In other words, my kind of book.
The woman told me that the book was still in the basement in its carton, and they were planning to bring the books up to the main floor when Volsky visits the store on May 21. I said that’s fine, I could wait until then, since I had found another book that I was going to buy.
I continued to walk around the store, carrying the Mendicino book. A couple of minutes later the woman from behind the counter came up to me and handed me the Volsky book. I thanked her, and one of the first thoughts that popped into my head was “Well now I have to buy the book.”
But it was more than that. I WANTED to buy the book. Not only because I was planning to do so at some point, but because of the extra effort the woman made to get me the book. It was almost closing time, on perhaps one of the busiest days of the year for the bookstore, yet she was still willing to make the trip to the basement, open up a carton, and bring me the book. How could I resist?
So a few minutes later I want to the register and placed both books on the counter.
The woman smiled at me and said, “I thought you would buy the book if I brought it up for you.”
I responded, “Well played.”
But I did not feel like I had been duped at all; in fact, it was just the opposite.
I had just experienced the power of great customer service, and it gets me every time.
So thank you, Main Point Books, for your willingness to open an independent bookstore and for running it the way every business should be run.
I look forward to visiting again when Volsky makes his presentation.