Mental meanderings of a bookshop owner

Stuff that crossed my mind on the way in to the shop this morning:

Music: Should the music in the bookshop be for my benefit or would it be better to try and cater to the clientele? Usually, the local radio station is sufficient. They play a variety of songs, mainly popular songs but not of the Billboard Top 100 genre. Playing a new song every hour every day for a month in order to drive it into the ground is, thankfully, not their modus operandi. On occasion I’ll switch to classical or play cds of a former classmate, folk music – mountain dulcimer to be precise, great stuff! Her name is Thomasina and can be found on the ‘net if you would enjoy the atmosphere her music provides. Other than that, a selection of cds from my collection is in order, Journey (personal favorite), New Age-y stuff, instrumentals that set a pleasant tone or holiday music as appropriate. Which leads me to…

Holidays: When is a good time to highlight the Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa themed books and gifts?  It has always annoyed me to see holiday stock in the stores in August or earlier. What about Halloween? What about Thanksgiving?! That said, there are those customers who like to get their shopping done early in order to brag to their wait-for-Christmas-Eve-to-shop friends and family about how they finished back in April. I’m shooting for the beginning of October to highlight a few items, Herschel and the Chanukah Goblins by Eric Kimmel and The Secret of St. Nicholasby Ellen Nibali are on deck, among others. Making sure to keep a good spot open for Halloween is important as well, Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, Haunted Finger Lakes by Dwayne Claud and Haunted Rochester by Mason Winfield, et al, fit the bill there.

The little dark clouds and the silver lining: The coffee shop next door closed up at the end of August. Nothing substantial so far on a buyer, except a gentleman who was interested enough to call the proprietor (at my urging) last week. He will be in later today (Sunday, 9/12) for discussion. Here’s hopin’! UPDATE: He canceled for today, rescheduled for next week Saturday. Our Labor Day here in Honeoye was a bit less fun and profitable due to a nasty-stinky-toxic blue green algae bloom in the lake. The beach had to be closed, no cardboard boat races for the kiddies at Captain Redbeard’s Feast/Pirate Festival over the holiday weekend. That and the weather diminished participation and attendance. Still had fun getting all pirated up and marketing like crazy on Saturday, the 4th, getting the word out to more residents about the new bookstore. My efforts have bourn fruit, rack cards (created on and purchased for a reasonable sum from Vistaprint) scattered about town at the local B&Bs, Wizard of Clay and local restaurants have attracted several new customers.

Onward & Upward…

Carol Goldstein

Mackerel Sky Books & More

Honeoye, NY

3 thoughts on “Mental meanderings of a bookshop owner”

  1. I would be out decorating our little village with scarecrows and cornstalks this morning if it weren’t pouring rain. I like classical or “environmental” music–something pleasant, not overpowering, just enough to soften the otherwise deadly silence that makes people uncomfortable without filling it with yada-yada-yada. Crossing my fingers for you for a coffee shop next door!

    • Thanks! So far, the radio has been good. Some of my customers start singing along and even dancing! I have gotten several positive comments as well.
      No luck on a buyer so far. The one potential individual did not show up for the rescheduled meeting.

  2. Normally I have a custom station set up on Pandora to stream internet radio. Mine usually tends to have lots of electronica and Johny Cash. My mother comes in a few times a week so has her own custom station which is largely classical.

    The amusing and aggravating thing with pandora is will stream similar artists and you can give them a thumbs up or thumbs down. Sometimes it’s a good match, sometimes… not so much. Came in one day to find Mom’ station on… and playing Finnish death metal.

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