Facebook for Fun and Theoretical Profit

I was talking to one of the owners of a local coffee shop. He’s a fifty-ish kind of fellow, similar to myself, like a bit of bluegrass music and has been in the food service business for a couple of years. I had worked up a wine-tasting cross-promotion between our store featuring some local Missouri […]Read More

“Where do you get your books, and why we don’t

“Wow. I really like your selection. Where do you get your books?” the Customer asked. Little did he realize that I have a good understanding of customer-speak. Beneath his seemingly simple question lies his true thought: “I have a bunch of books I don’t need, and probably never read, and possibly my great-aunt Tilly left […]Read More

Finding Good Bookstore Staff: Be Picky

In 1997, I acquired my used bookstore. It had a decent revenue stream, and looked like a good turnkey investment. There were two good employees, a steady flow of customers, and I had bigger fish to fry: the ultimate CD store. I would check in on the bookstore on occasion, doing the accounting and deposits. On […]Read More

“Have You Read Any Good Books Lately?”

“Have you ready any good books lately that you can recommend?” the Customer asked… Cue the ominous music. Women and children duck into alleys. Men lower their hats over their eyes and idly drift away. A dog barks. A tumbleweed blows through the bookstore. All eyes turn to me. I nod knowingly and say: ” […]Read More

Bookstore Inventory Decisions – Do I Stock Romances?

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men (Oft Go Awry) In the earliest days of my bookstore, we carried mostly romances: historical, Gothic, Harlequins and Regency Romances. The biggest romance writer at the time was Dame Barbara Cartland, Regency romance author, who penned 500+ novels and was buried in a cardboard casket, which apparently […]Read More

Bartender or Bookseller? A Tale of Whoa

A regular customer, whom I’ll call Phil, loved his grandchildren. When he checked out at the register, he would relate a story or two about their antics, or latest achievements to who listened, and when finished would take his bagful of Clive Cusslers and Vince Flynns and breeze out the door. A not atypical grandpa, […]Read More

Black Friday, or How I Spent My Holiday Giving Away

These days, the “Black” in Black Friday makes people think of  mini-riots, bleary-eyed shoppers, angry confrontations over the latest Sesame Street marketing variation, and shell-shocked minimum wage employees who wish all the customers in their store would go away, forever. The original intent of “Black Friday” was much different, as it’s goal was to change the […]Read More

“It must be nice to own a bookstore…”

“It must be nice to own a bookstore and be able to sit around and read all day. Sometime, when I retire, I'd love to open a bookstore.” If I had a quarter for the number of times I've heard that comment expressed to me in a jovial manner by a well-meaning customer, I'd have enough money to buy that Robert Crais 1st edition of “The Monkey's Raincoat" that I've been wanting for the last 10 years.Read More