I wrote the previous post on an up note. Things went well my first weekend, again thanks to many supporters, friends and family. Since then, I’ve met some very nice people. Some people grateful there’s a place to give their books another home. I’m finding more and more people who, just like me, won’t throw away a book. I’ve gone through so many basement boxes sorting and organizing along with trying to decide if it’s something I can put a price on or something to practically give away.
My shelves are full and my husband has had to build me another bin. I wanted a table I could put discounted (even further) hardcover books I have weighing down the shelves. In a month and a half I have filled four 4 feet sections of shelves. I’ve had plenty of deposits and moderate withdrawals in my used book section. I’ve tweaked my exchange policy to something I and my community can live with and have advertised to the best of my financial ability. I started a website, www.ambrosiasbooks.com and signed up with twitter.com. I’m networking through my business association and my children’s school. And yet I still go whole days without one customer.
The Saturday before Mother’s Day I sat at the store from 9am until 5pm without one customer. Talk about discouraging! On Mother’s Day, I was torn. I could spend more of the day with my children or I could spend a nice quiet day catching up on my reading at the store. I chose the store for the morning (alone) and went for dinner with my family after we closed. I never would have thought that day would be the best business day we’ve had since we opened!
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were valleys. A couple browsers came in and out, but no sales. Another point I thought ‘What am I doing?’ Friday and Saturday, peaks. Sunday again, a few browsers came through but no sales. I’m doing enough business to cover the rent and utilities but I’m still supplementing with my income from my job.
It’s discouraging but it’s something I love. I’m sacrificing dinners out, family vacations, and any regular shopping! It’s worth the sacrifice to do what you love. I have great children, a supportive family and many new friends who have encouraged me to keep going.
So I will continue to learn, to believe in the value of holding a book in your hand and reading until you’re lost in another world, and believing in the small business and communities around the country that one way or another, make our world a better place.