I visited the White Rose Book Shop in Thirsk yesterday. They have sections for all age categories in chikdren’sl books but also have spaces for promotions. They use the seasons to promote books and the window display was Autumn and Halloween. Books on foraging and colours and spooky themes were hung on broomsticks, laid on autumn leaves, hanging in spider webs etc.. . They covered a good range from picture books to educational to adult recipes, making sure they captured the widest audience.
The store has a cafe on the ground floor which is located towards the back of the shop. The tables and chairs were interspersed by wide square pillars that provided a perfect space for displaying themed books. One pillar was covered in Halloween books with colourful and spooky covers aimed at young readers.
In the cafe there were several young mum’s and In full view of the diners with young children are six wide, floor to ceiling, bookshelves aimed specifically at pre-school children. The first shelves were filled with games and characters relating to the books on the subsequent five shelves. The other five were clearly marked at the top in large letters. ‘ First Books’ ‘Once Upon a Time’ ‘Stomp Stomp’ ‘Roar Roar’ and ‘Here come the dinosaurs’. The shop had even provided an outdoor eating area with a Wendy House and a sand pit which completed the picture on what was their most lucrative market.
I was disappointed to find the age category books on the first floor where I didn’t meet another person apart from a mother taking a child for a nappy change in the facilities provided. This floor had five separate, floor to ceiling, bookshelves which were split into ‘6-8 years’ ‘9-11 years’ ’11+ – A to Z of Fiction’ and ‘Young Adults’. I wasn’t convinced with this space and felt it was not well sign-posted from downstairs.
The lady on the till said that they changed themes regularly so it will be interesting to go back in a month and see what is different. She also said that early years was the best seller although I didn’t get to find out any specific titles. She said the least popular was teenage fiction as “It’s very hard to get teenagers to read these days.” I wondered if that was due to digital media, kindle, android etc. Is most reading by teenagers done on-line? A quick google when I got home reveal lots of links to articles on teenage reading habits. I need to decide which of these sites may have more dependable information before I take on board their comments but most seem to headline The decline in teenage readers.
I haven’t answered all my research questions yet but I feel as though I have made a good start.,