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Holiday Book Shortage

By Eleanor Sevigny

Published October 21, 2021 in The Burg

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues supply chain issues continue to impact shoppers. This holiday season one of the industries that will be impacted is the book industry.

According to NPR “shortages of paper and cardboard - plus issues with warehouses and shipping capacity - are causing havoc in the publishing industry right before the holiday shopping season kicks into gear.”

How will this impact holiday shopping in Galesburg? Wordsmith Bookshoppe (Teri Parks), Brighter Life Bookshoppe (Mary Spring), and Inner Wisdom (Liana Mastin) took the time to answer questions for local book lovers and holiday shoppers.

Question: How will the upcoming book shortage affect your business?

Parks: As we get closer to Christmas, we expect to be heavily impacted by the shortages affiliated with the booking industry right now. Our main concern is transportation. We expect delivery to be slowed significantly for ALL books, and we are not guaranteeing anything ordered after November 1st to arrive before Christmas. We will continue to order, but will not expect things to arrive in time for Christmas.

Spring: We don’t carry too many books anymore, so hopefully the impact is minimal. We stock a lot of Bibles (They continue to be a bestseller for us.) We have daily devotionals, some fiction, but just because you don’t actually see a lot of books in our shop doesn’t mean we can’t get them. We place two or more book orders for people each week.

Mastin: We have had a relationship with most of our vendors since we opened in 2005. We have been working with them to anticipate delays or shipping concerns.

Question: What are you doing to prepare for the upcoming book shortage?

Parks: To prepare for the shortages, we are ordering more heavily on books we think will make a significant impact for the holidays. These include best sellers from popular authors, books recommended by big names like Oprah, Reese, Jenna, etc., and topics that are heavy sellers right now, especially books being made into movies and tv series.

Spring: We are stocking up on Bibles and devotionals for the Christmas season.

Mastin: We are ordering more often, pre-ordering when possible, and ordering extra of our best-selling products.

Question: Do you have any advice for holiday shoppers?

Parks: Our advice for holiday shoppers is to think of October as the new December. Do your shopping as early as possible to give us ample time to place orders for books that might not be as popular at the moment. If you know of a book coming out in the next three months that you know you absolutely want for Christmas, place your order now! We will order the book and have it available on the day it releases. If you wait until the day it releases, we may not have enough copies to fulfill your wish.

The other thing to keep in mind, if you simply can't do your shopping in October, is to have realistic expectations of your booksellers come November or December. Do not expect the book you want, but be open to suggestions of books similar that you can get from us that will be a nice present instead. And if you can't get the book you want, please consider purchasing a gift card and use it towards the book when it does become available.

Spring: We would advise shoppers to shop early. We are not having a problem getting things in yet, but are not sure what will happen if we need to reorder.

Mastin: We recommend customers shop early this year, even giving us their orders a month ahead, so we can have them for the holidays. Gift cards and online ordering and shipping are also available.

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