Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taming the Bookstore

For those of you who come into the bookstore a little less than frequently, and, honestly, even for those of you who come in every other week, you may notice that a thing or two changes between each visit. And if you only come in two or three times a year, you may even have a hard time recognizing us! Since the beginning of 2011 alone we've moved nearly every section in the bookstore at least once; some sections have been relocated two or three times already!

So what's the deal? I'm often asked by customers why we would move things around so frequently when it's just going to confuse customers. Being confused is never a very pleasant feeling, so please believe me when I tell you we're doing what is best, even inevitable, for the store.

What most people do not know is that a bookstore is very much a living thing. With each season, a new section inhales and expands as more books are demanded by customers. As that section grows, inevitably another exhales and shrinks as customers seem to stop caring as much about the contents. This is particularly true with the crafts and gardening section. Few people tend to want books on planting flowers when the ground is so cold even the pine trees are shivering, and by that same rule the craft section is more popular when the weather's cold and the holidays are moving in.

In order to keep the store healthy and happy, we have to groom and relocate sections in order to let the store breath and contract as necessary. When one section is getting a lot of attention, it demands room to stretch. When another section is shriveling or becoming bloated with unsold books, we squeeze it out and shrink it down.

So believe us, we're not doing this to confuse you. We are merely servants to the unpredictable whims of this insatiable beast we call Old Firehouse Books. But if you ever do come in and need a guide through the shifting sections, we are always more than happy to help!

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