Jack’s weekly guest blog post –
February (and just imagine a Scotsman’s pronunciation of that word) is always a quiet time in the bookstore as far as customer numbers is concerned. But don’t let that fool you!
This is the time when bookstore owners take care of all the jobs that there’s little space for during the busier months. That’s why we chose now to lay the new floor covering in the bookstore kitchen area.
It’s when we give the place a good clean from top to bottom, look at whether the shelving is appropriate or any repairs are needed, fix that dribbling toilet tank.
Then there are the books we have listed on-line to be re-checked to see if the prices are still competitive and whether any need to be culled and re-shelved in the shop. While we’re doing that we need to check whether customers have also re-shelved any books inappropriately and move them back to their rightful places. This is also a good time to check the alphabetizing by author in the various sections – we don’t have a computerized database of our stock, so that makes it much easier to find things when customers have a specific request.
One of the reasons why this month is quiet is because it’s just so damned cold out, so this is also when we check all the windows and doors for draughts and proof them where necessary.
But just because there are fewer customers doesn’t mean there are none at all, so we still have to make sure that the shop is accessible. The room where all our Westerns are located lies beyond the area that we re-floored and, of course, two customers specifically came looking for Westerns as we were in the middle of that!
Finally, just because there are fewer bookstore customers doesn’t mean there are fewer café clients looking for lunch, so the menu gets tweaked to suit the weather with hearty soups and warming chillies and we create more evening events with themed dinners.
How many other bookstore owners out there are following a similar regime this time of year?