Bookstore Wednesday—The End

Yes, I know it’s Thursday. All these snow days make for a confusing week. Or weeks.

Anyway, this will be last bookstore post—All on the Same Page Bookstore will be closing for good on Friday, February 14. Seemed appropriate. Somehow.

In late July 2011, we decided to open a bookstore. Insanity? Who knows? On October 1, we had our grand opening. Things went well until late last fall, especially the holiday season.

Again, who knows why?

Some people said it was the location—others thought we had a great spot. Some blamed Amazon—as do I, to a certain extent. Especially when people RECOMMEND going online to get books. So much for that “local” thing. We had a beautiful store, a relaxing atmosphere, coffee—everything you’d want.

Since we opened, FOUR bookstores in the area closed; one recently opened.

I feel bad that we failed, because we had a good thing going, especially for local authors who found it difficult, or impossible, to get their books on actual shelves. I feel bad for our regular customers, those who came in every week or month and for whom we frequently ordered hard-to-find titles.

And yes, I’m angry and hurt. Angry at all those clueless people who have come in the door over the last few weeks to express their regrets that we’re closing—and mention that they’ve been MEANING to come in, but never have before. Angry at the truly unobservant folks who say in surprise, “WHEN did you open??”

If each household in our little ‘burb had purchased just ONE used book each month, there would be no question of our having to close the store. ONE BOOK. Possibly, Creve Coeur should get the “most illiterate city” designation . . . Of course, we advertised: coupons, apps, online, direct mail. And we didn’t have any employees. Or salary.

The hurt part? Yeah, that too. All the “save” this or that bookstore over the last year . . . four authors whose books we carried either entered our “not a raffle” or purchased a membership. Four. Three others in the STL area did the either/or. Three.

Not feelin’ the love, here.

Oh, and that big ad that James Patterson took out last year, about helping bookstores? No updates, and I signed up twice and messaged him twice. Thanks, Mr. Patterson. Guess I don’t have to worry about recognizing you if you ever show up at the bookstore—we won’t be there. Nice publicity stunt, though.

So, to everyone reading this who might be a little ticked off—sorry, and you’re welcome. We really did enjoy carrying your books and recommending them to customers, and having you come in to do signings and events. Truly. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s over now.