Why aren’t bookshops always this busy?

It’s Day 15 of the Advent Blogathon, and the question I would like to ask today is ‘Why aren’t bookshops always this busy?’

What prompted this question was being in Oxford city over the weekend and attempting to browse in my local Waterstones bookshop. The entire ground floor was heaving with customers, as was the children’s book department. This was, of course, a wonderful sight in a world where the existence of a physical bookshop is under threat by internet companies but it made me wonder what it is about Christmas that prompts people to use a bookshop more now than at other times of the year? Is it because there are certain Christmas titles that come out for use primarily as stocking fillers? Or do people just like buying books as presents at Christmas more than at any other time of year?

I struggled to get near any of the display tables, and in the Children’s Department, there were excited adults buying picture books for relatives or friends with children. The old favourites were flying off the shelves as adults recognized characters from their youth. Booksellers were running around, trying to keep up with the volume of requests and purchases.

What would help drive this sort of business to bookshops all year round? What is so special about Christmas? Please share your thoughts!

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