So, Borders is in some trouble. In the book world, we have known this for years. There have been signs. I’m not sure if closing one third of Borders stores will save the company or not. I do know that there will be a lot of good people out of work who will be wondering if they will ever find a job that allows them to professionally exercise their love and knowledge of books again. It’s tough; things are tough all over.
Things are tough here, too. We don’t want to close our doors any time soon, but to be honest, the store is struggling right now. There are lots of reasons. Late winter and spring are traditionally our slowest times, with no summer or holiday reading to boost sales. In Fort Collins, I think the recession is starting to really hit home. Amazon and Walmart will always be cheaper. E-books may be eating into sales too, although you can buy Google e-Books online at our website. (Call us if you’re unsure how to order e-Books- we’ll be happy to help!)
We are now seeing our slowest months since we moved our bookstore downtown. It’s a bit worrisome, because you never know if customers are just giving their wallets a break or if they’re never coming back. We truly do understand that many of our customers shop at more than one bookstore. But: we don’t want to suffer the death of a thousand cuts, a little trickling away here, a little there, until we have nothing left.
So here’s a proposal: buy one more book per month here at Old Firehouse Books than you normally would. Choose one more book. Let us help you pick one out- we’re great at that! By helping to support your local bookstore, you are supporting five different book clubs hosted at the store. You’re supporting a place for local author signings (Laura Resau and Carrie Vaughn this month, C.J. Box and Diane Mott Davidson later this spring). You’re supporting a community gathering center, a place to hang out downtown while you’re waiting for dinner, a place to take the family when they’re visiting you. These are all services that are unique to our store, our town.
Everyone wants to have a vibrant downtown with a cool independent bookstore. I read every day about another independent bookstore closing, with customers in tears about losing their special place. We don’t want to do that to the community or to you. But we need your help and support. Please help us out with one more book per month. We love our customers, and want to be here for you.