Every day during the month of December leading up to Christmas, Square Books in Oxford, Miss., sends out a joint e-mail blast with its children’s store, Square Books Jr., and its gift store, Off Square Books, that includes a mix of 12 children’s and adult holiday titles. This year for the first time, the staff did a similar Valentine’s Day promotion, singling out a bouquet of 12 books from each of its storefronts, in a single e-mail from each one.
At the children’s store, senior bookseller Leita Patton picked out what she called “a dozen re(a)d roses for Valentines.” Among her picture book selections were Vintage Valentines (Golden Books), Jeanne Willis and Jan Fearnley’s Never Too Little to Love (Candlewick), and Salina Yoon’s Penguin in Love (Bloomsbury). For middle grade she suggested Wendy Mass’s The Candymakers (Little, Brown) and a new edition of The Secret Garden (Penguin), while her teen recommends included Marissa Meyer’s Cress and Demi Lovato’s Staying Strong (both Feiwel and Friends).
It’s hard to rate the success of the mailing, which was reinforced with an in-store display, because Mother Nature has not cooperated. Oxford got snow and a coating of ice that has kept school closed and most people home this week, although Square Books is open. Still, general manager Lyn Roberts is already looking ahead to March. “I don’t know what we’ll do for St. Patrick’s Day,” she said. “But we’ll see.”