You see and hear about bookstores a lot in the news today, whether it’s because they’re closing or moving or raising funds or are caught up in a private party sale – or sometimes all of these. Once in a while you hear about a store expanding or opening a second location.
And, of course, there’s the famous (or infamous) ad taken out by James Patterson – who, by the way, didn’t bother to respond to my message to him. Just sayin’. And recently, Stephen King announced that his new book is ONLY coming out in print – good for him!
One of the commenters on my last blog about bookstores said I was “whiny.” Probably someone who doesn’t go into bookstores, or read – at least, thinking that makes me feel better. At the very least, he’s probably someone who has never been in business for himself and collects a nice paycheck without having to worry overly much about the company’s bottom line.
At any rate, no, I don’t think it’s “whiny” to point out that people walking into a bookstore, circling the perimeter, and saying, “I’ll be back,” are not helping the bookstore – or any business – succeed.
So, why do you go to a bookstore? To kill time? No problem – we have a nice little seating area, take a load off. Chat with us. Have a cookie – they’re free. Rummage through The Big Red Tub – free books.
Free? No, we’re not giving away the farm. We have books and things you have to pay for too, but we like you, we really like you, and we want you to come in and hang out. And, well, buy a book. Or two.
See, we’re not only free, we’re cheap… our used paperbacks are just $3.00. If every household in our city spent just $3 a month – that’s every 30 days – things would be great! We could even expand, and offer more space, more seating, more cookies, more everything.
And hey, if used books aren’t your thing, if maybe you’ve read all that we have on the shelves, say, 10,000 or so, then we have a fantastic selection of local authors. You might even know some of them. Or, even better, stop in some Saturday afternoon and meet someone new – we have authors in the store almost every weekend.
Is that whiny? We’re not out to get rich – we do this because we love books. We’d just like to stick around for the foreseeable future.