Saving Bookstores – Including Used

I caught on FB a recent item from The Huffington Post regarding saving indie bookstores. My interest was aroused so I clicked  on the article and was immediately taken to their website and the article, “How To Save Bookstores: 28 Ideas From Existing Locations.” Obviously I’m not an indie bookstore but I thought I might be able to pull some ideas off the site and the associated blog.

Here is what I’m currently doing from the list: 2. Beautiful space. Love the space here! I have a ways to go before I’m there in terms of my design but I love it here. Want more bookshelves, labels, etc. 7. Show what good value print can be. Hey! this is a used bookstore. Ok, some books are priced high but generally those are generally out-of-print, short run, etc. Most are priced respectfully. Priced to sell. 10. Don’t ban cell phones. No rules here so no problem. I’ll even make a sale while you are talking on it. Even when you’re listening to music and don’t remove your ear pods. A sell is a sell. And again, no rules. And yes, I’ve have. I don’t judge. 12. Establish an ongoing relationship with well-known local creatives. My store is part of the Middlebury Arts Walk and I’m always trying to come up with creative ways to express art. Here at the store and me personally. It doesn’t always have to be oil or watercolor. For example for this month’s Arts Walk it was about poetry. 13. Curate a themed noticeboard. How about themed shelves? I’ve got amazing shelves in this space and I’m always trying to change them out into themes. Currently one is on red covered vintage books. Just for fun. 19. Pool resources – other bookstores. The statewide used booksellers who have regular open hours have been getting together and talking about developing a driving tour of our open stores. I would like to do something with The Vermont Book Shop but I’m too chicken to ask. I don’t know why. Maybe because I haven’t come up with a good idea yet.  27. Make your staff a feature of the store. Been doing that specially over the last four months. My grandson comes in and helps out.  He’s a huge help for being 5 1/2 months old. And so cute! That’s probably not what they mean. 28. Sell online. Check. I do that but not at the level expected. For a one-woman shop it’s fine for me. And I want you in here. To experience the book. Eight out of 28 – not too bad.

Some on the list that I don’t do and frankly not appropriate for me are: 5. Offer more than coffee. Well, I don’t offer coffee in the first place. Or tea. I do partner with Stoneleaf Tea House also in here in the Marble Works. Buy a book, show your receipt, and you’ll receive 10% off a pot of tea. Great deal. 8. Sell old books alongside new ones. New books can be found at Vermont Book Shop so I would suggest going there. We have a great relationship referring to each other.  I won’t sell new. Hopefully they won’t sell used. 15. Keychains. Well, that is a good idea but honestly, since I moved my business I’m struggling to get my business back to what it was before I moved it a year ago. But I’ll tell you, when you see keychains here you’ll know I got it back and I have a firm financial standing. I do have pens though. 16. Make a nonprofit. Wait a minute. You mean it’s not? Actually I want to make a profit. A paycheck, no matter how small, would be appreciated. 21. Sell other, high-quality book-themed products. See #8 above. 22-24. Publish, print and encourage self-publishing.   I encourage you to publish. And I wish you success. And I’ll look forward to the books eventually coming in here.  Hey why not? Keep the cycle going…

 

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