Saturday, September 4, 2010

SNB stewardship, benefits, and a lawn squirrel

Patrons at Stuart Ng Books enjoy a variety of unique benefits. Our website allows us to fill orders all over the world. Just this week we added new pins to our Map of the World when we shipped books for the first time ever to South Africa and the UAE (United Arab Emirates). (See Oct 2008 post "A Map of Your SNB World" for the backstory on our maps).

Patrons who shop our booths at conventions enjoy the benefit of being able to peruse the books and evaluate which titles from our stock best suit their needs. In spite of the expenses involved in bringing books to shows, we honor the same book prices at shows as on our website.

Patrons who visit our showroom get perhaps the best deal of all: as Carrie Fisher once wrote, "Instant gratification isn't fast enough"... but our patrons experience a wild rush of excitement when they visit our showroom. No waiting for shipping... just select and enjoy.

Additional amenities for your comfort include:
Fine decor (look for the lawn ornaments.....

Mr. Limpet....... Sherlock Squirrel and the Hummingbird Bird Bath...

..... they aren't always out, so you may not see them on every visit...

Inside the showroom, there's a sofa (thanks Carol :)... and a basket of magazines for companions to browse while you shop. There's something for everyone here.... fashion, news, and industry rags....Right now, there's an Australian Vogue from the 1980s...

Lots of visitors don't even notice our famous box of "hurt" books, a special offered for showroom patrons..... these are individual copies that are reduced in price due to slight damage or defects. The selection is always changing, so be sure to check each time you stop in.

We have a toy box for the 5 and under set... there's also a large, shady tree with benches in the parking lot behind our showroom if someone needs to run around.....

We have a large, clean restroom (I know it's clean, because I clean it). It's the only one we have, so treat it kindly (and please DON'T lock the door on your way out).

So is it all these benefits that makes Stuart Ng Books work??? Maybe.... but I think the real secret to Stuart is his sense of he takes care of things.... the books, his patrons, our artist friends. Because he has a knack for all of this.... he is able to employ people during this bleak economy.... and support his family.
I was always nervous about expanding... taking on staff... and being responsible for peoples' livelihoods. It was one thing when it was just us taking that risk. The trade off with expansion was that it also allowed us to offer medical coverage: a big sacrifice for a small business, but it's probably the most appreciated benefit Stuart provides. People have a romantic view of bookselling... and there are perks.... but our staff can tell you it's not the pay, and there's lots of heavy lifting.
The woes of the world can get to all of us. One small countermeasure of hope is to appreciate the people around us and take care of them the best we can. In the circle of Stuart Ng Books, there are people with chronic medical issues who get the healthcare they need thanks to the coverage this business provides. This care happens because of you, the patrons who support Stuart Ng Books, and the jobs and benefits that result from that relationship. An MSNBC profile is a feather in his cap... but the real success story of Stuart goes way beyond business.

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