Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Bah humbug

Business has been dismal the last several weeks and I spent the morning putting up holiday lights and displaying winter-themed books, and for whom? Absent customers, or perhaps simply to entertain myself? Times like this I feel kind of like a kid playing "bookstore." If you have a shop and no one buys much of anything, is it still a shop, or merely an attractive storage facility? I look around, and find that yes, I do have many good books for sale, I have a check-out desk, shopping bags and change at the ready, and good signage outside. I've ordered some cool remainders for the holidays (books I'd be happy getting as gifts myself) - they arrive today - and I'm even bringing in some cedar boughs from home to give the shop a pleasant aroma. I mean, it smells fine - no moldy books here, by god - but the greenery gives the place some freshness, now that it's too cold to have windows or doors open (fourteen degrees at dawn yesterday, brrr). I'm heading to my sister Kate's house for Thanksgiving, then coming back to open the shop on Friday and Saturday, to be here in case folks eschew the hideous mall sprawl nearby and come downtown to browse around instead. I do hope so. Ryan and I went to a decent little friends-of-the-library sale over the weekend, and I've got a lot of good books on hand. Build it and they will come, right? That's what I've always believed. If this entire season is dismal, not just these past couple of weeks, I'll think I'll be casting around for Plan B. Not to be a Scrooge, but jeeze louise. Someone please remind me next year that early- to mid-November is a great time to take a vacation.

Hi Sarah,
If I lived closer than Salem, MA, I would visit your shop this weekend.But with gas prices....
I know this doesn't put coins in your pocket, but i just want you to know how much I enjoy and look forward to your blog postings! Your blog helps keep my goals and dreams in focus. I hope to someday have a brick and mortar bookshop of my own, but at this stage in my life, unfortunately, it is not financially feasible. So I just plug along, doing my best to move some books on craigslist and Amazon, dreaming of better business days to come!
I hope you and your family have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving! And I am looking forward to your next post!!

Thanks for those words of good cheer, Mark! I get grumpy from time to time but please don't think that I don't absolutely love this business just because I can gripe to a captive audience every once in a while. Keep your bookshop dreams alive - it took me a long time, as I built my business up from literally nothing, but I did it and you can, too! Happy Thanksgiving to you -
Hi,Sarah-didn't know you were back in the blogging business:)! Good to see you,even if things are slow for you at the shop(don't worry,things will pick up soon).

Happy Thanksgiving!
Heeey lt - it's been a while! I tried to stop blogging and that plan worked for all of several weeks. I missed it. The persuasive emails I received made the decision to return all that much easier.

Happy holidays to you, too - I hope you've read a lot of great books this year...
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