Sidelines – What Does Your Bookshop Carry?

Shane Gottwals
Gottwals Books

What are those “extra” items you keep in stock?  My wife and I have recently begun to carry educational puzzles and toys, with mixed success.  (I, of course, want them to fly off the shelves, but I guess I should be patient.)
I was told one time that “Books are what makes the business; sidelines are what keep the doors open.”  Gottwals Books is opening a second location (, and we just decided to stock $20,000 worth of toys by the time we open in another month or so.
A well-known toy store in our shopping center closed down (due to the fact that it was a national chain that went belly-up).  So, the thought of replacing this shop while opening our own is very appealing.  Why not bring those customers into our shop that might be coming in for toys?
Well, I have been a little concerned with the decision.  I want people to know that we carry toys, but I don’t want to lose our identity as a serious bookstore.  We have 30-40 feet of window space to display the pretty, colorful, plush toys, but will that push anyone away?  I assume that, as long as we keep it a “bookstore that carries toys” instead of a “book and toy store,” we’ll keep that long-acquired identity.bookstore_sidelines

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