Because her Lufkin bookstore is one of the few in Deep East Texas, Absolutely Fiction owner Becky Jackson said she hasn’t noticed a generational gap among her customers.
“My customer base is children, young adults, adults and older adults,” she said. “I have them all.”
The children’s section is the biggest section of her store, and the store often hosts events like storytime to attract families. Last Christmas, more than 45 kids attended “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Polar Express.”
“You get them when they’re this age, and you keep them,” she said.
One of the best ways to reach children is to listen to what they want to read, Jackson said. Right now, the trend is fantasy and dragons and series like the ‘’Warriors’’ series by Erin Hunter. If readers don’t respond well to a certain type of book, Jackson stops ordering.
As long as a book is in print and available from the store’s sources, Jackson said she is happy to order books for people if they aren’t on her shelf.
“I enjoy seeing the joy the children get from reading,” Jackson said. “For them, it is a joy; it’s finding new things, new ideas that they hadn’t thought about but someone thought enough about it to put it in a book.”
The trend for the last few years for young adults has been fantasy, science fiction, romance and a little mystery, Jackson said. Not long after Absolutely Fiction opened, the trend turned away from sad, depressing books.
“For East Texas, the novel is probably pretty safe,” Jackson said.
However, there is a bit of butting heads when it comes to genre. Older readers stick to older authors because they relate to them more, not the newer and younger authors that are becoming popular, she said.
“Unless this 30-something author has been a single mother and has had to fight for everything she’s got, then older readers can’t really relate,” Jackson said. “If they don’t have the life experience or pretend well enough that they have that experience, then these older authors are not going to read their books.”