Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pros and Cons of Owning a Bookstore

Wouldn’t that be cool?? Surrounded by books every day, new boxes full of them being delivered on a daily basis, old friends you’ve read over and over, new discoveries to be made? Awesome!
Yeah. Except it’s not. Not entirely.

For starters, you have customers. Well, of course you do – or you wouldn’t be able to stay open very long! But darn it, sometimes they walk in at the most inopportune times, like right at a crucial moment in the latest book you’ve started reading. Then you have to stop readying, make conversation, help them find the right books. Sigh.

Then there are phone calls that interrupt you as well. Usually it’s someone trying to sell you something, or asking for a book for which they can’t remember the title or the author – just the color of the jacket. Or it’s a wrong number. Or, in our case once, the caller asked if this store was Borders; Borders had closed its doors six months prior!

And, well, there’s a lot more to running a bookstore than just reading. Naturally, you have to love books and know books and be able to talk about books; that’s a given. But you also have to advertise, you have to market your store, you have to do accounting and pay the bills, and keep the place clean and stocked – that means you have to order books! And you have to plan and host events and book signings and promote your authors, and on and on.

Yes, a bookstore is indeed a dream come true for a lot of people – just make sure your dream includes a little bit of reality.

Photo Credit: Wikicommons, Creative Commons Attribution