. There have been a few articles written about my husband Brian and I opening Chapter2Books this summer. We were thankful for the press and.....
We are extremely thankful to everyone who has stopped in the store. Everyone has been so nice and welcoming. Most everyone thanks us for opening a bookstore. We hope to live up to most expectations. I'm going to briefly tell again how the store came about and answer some questions. Some I've been surprised haven't been asked!
Brian ran Como Northtown Credit Union up until last fall when a merge was necessary with a larger credit union. He spent months job hunting while we also contemplated business possibilities. The only thing either of us wanted to do was own a bookstore. Brian is a golfer and Cardinal's fan who spends most of his time reading. I'm a History Teacher who should read more (which I'll explain). We looked at a few stores that were for sale but were most interested in Hudson. We live in the Como Area of St Paul but will be moving to Hudson in the Spring. The fact that Hudson was a possibility was great in so many ways. We're both very happy that our 2 teenagers will still be close to their home base on holidays etc.
March-June were spent planning from home. The space became ours June 1st. We decided to open before we were 100% ready because really....when would we be completely ready? For that reason I hope people who stopped in in the early days will be back. We have increased inventory and working technology!
Here's a question I've been asked a few times that I dreaded: “did you always dream of owning a bookstore?”. I should back up a bit and tell you the first step we took. Brian's sister has worked in Publishing for 20+ years. Right now she is some kind of marketing big wig with Random House. The first thing we did was call and ask her if we'd be crazy to open a bookstore.
Everyone who wonders why anyone would open a bookstore should know she said “NO”. Its not crazy even when you hear of stores closing left and right and e readers taking over the world. We truly believe it will be possible to become a nice part of Hudson's retail scene and beyond that collaborate with the library and contribute in any way we can.
So, no, I didn't always dream of opening a bookstore. I've always dreamed of teaching and I always dreamed of marrying a banker …...(wait …..). We have loved every second of this (minus a few). And I've always loved reading, except for a couple years in college when I loved other stuff.
We may not be expert booksellers but you did get very capable, sincere, good booksellers. :)
Oh yeah, here's a question I thought I'd get but didn't. How will we work together as husband and wife? We have a great chance to make this part work. Brian has a great sense of humor. A lot of the work I've done has been from home so we haven't been with each other 24-7. I'm not going to lie, its a strange dynamic, but not impossible by any means.
Just a few more details and then I promise my future posts will be about new books etc. We will be able to sell downloads for e books and we will sell from our website. There are large monthly fees to be able to offer those services so we opted not to in the first few months. We still have faith in printed books! Our website needs work; any day now. We are on facebook and twitter. We have about 5,000 titles in the store. Obviously space is an issue so we only bring in 1-2 copies;but we also wanted to get an idea what people wanted. The books people have bought have been all over the map!
We can order any book in to the store or direct to your home. We welcome any suggestions for authors, series etc. I spend a lot of time looking at lists, reading about books, which is actually really enjoyable. We'll be starting story timesTuesday mornings on 9/20. 10:00 am for 1-3 ish with an activity or craft and the 11:00 am for pre-k. We are working hard on lining up author signings and events and we'll also have a few book clubs. Frequent buyer, bestseller discounts, the works!
We shelved our used books alongside the new so people could opt for a used copy if they want. We will have some book buying events in the future so people can bring theirs in. One slightly difficult thing has been deciding whether to stock hardcover, trade paper, mass market of different titles. We welcome input from you and remember ordering is easy. We'll stock more hardcovers for holiday gifts and then back to more paperback after the new year. The publishing industry is not very open about new to paperback releases dates. General rule is about one year after the hardcover.However I've read that's changing due to the economy.
If anyone wonders what happened to print newspapers (noone does, I know) I have part of the explanation. It has been next to impossible to contact someone about selling the Sunday New York Times. And the Pioneer Press to be honest. We will have both soon.We will start picking up our copies to sell this weekend. For now The Onion very graciously offered to mail us copies to give out and we sell the weekly Star Observer. Let us know whether you'd like magazines. We could stock them if there were interest.
I came across this quote on one of the blogs I love. By the way I highly recommend Shelf Awareness for readers. Please come and truly shop for books at Chapter2. Browse, comtemplate, investigate.
Good Advice: Live with More Books than You Read "He should live with more books than he reads, with a penumbra of unread pages, of which he knows the general character and content, fluttering round him. This is the purpose of libraries.... It is also the purpose of good bookshops, both new and secondhand, of which there are still some, and would that there were more. A bookshop is not like a railway booking-office which one approaches knowing what one wants. One should enter it vaguely, almost in a dream, and allow what is there freely to attract and influence the eye.
"To walk the rounds of the bookshops, dipping in as curiosity dictates, should be an afternoon's entertainment. Feel no shyness or compunction in taking it. Bookshops exist to provide it; and the booksellers welcome it, knowing how it will end."
--Economist John Maynard Keynes, as quoted in a Canberra Times piece headlined "Bookshops about more than just purchasing."
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