The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Revive a Dead Thread > Ever thought of opening your own bookstore?

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message 1: by Amber (new)

Amber (poetryeclipse) | 19 comments I spend hours and hours walking through local bookstores, waiting to find the perfect book to settle down with at the shop while having a drink and maybe a snack and it's there where I let myself delve deep into the worlds of the characters and escape from reality.

I am so addicted to books that when I was a little bit younger I dreamed that I would go to college, major in Business and open my own little cozy bookstore. As the years went by I realized that it may not be a good idea because of places like Borders and Barnes and Nobles.

I just love walking into bookstores and smelling that alluring scent of thousands of books on shelves.Nothing makes me happier than picking up a used book and knowing that someone else has read the very same pages that I'm about to read.Don't get me wrong I love borders and Barnes and Nobles but I like how the local shops feel as soon as I walk into them. I usually feel more at ease and welcome. The best part is you can sometimes find real treasures in there if you dig deep enough!


Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments i have thought about it plenty of times. I've been a business major throughout my time in school and the thought has crossed my mind so many times for different projects and stuff like that. i've always wanted to open up my own bookstore or my own clothing store. i think as a reader you can be such a great bookstore owner..because you know what types of things you look for in a bookstore. i love the idea of a small bookstore where you can go and read and I would want to defintely have book clubs that meet at the bookstore.


message 3: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
my hubby and I threw the idea around, if we were ever able to save enough money to get started. I know the town/county gives out grants to new buisness owners too... but its a frightening thing.. I love books, and would love to open a used bookstore... my area is sorely lacking one!


message 4: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments That was always a part of my dreams during night...... . I still sometimes think about it. After reading the book Bookends I loved the idea even more!!!! I think that may be the main reason why I liked that book so much.

Well, never say never and keep dreaming. You never know that one day it comes true....


message 5: by Marsha (new)

Marsha I would never have the discipline to actually work if I were surrounded by books, and owning a business is just that- work.

I'm also convinced I could never hold a job as a librarian. I'd be fired inside of a month.




message 6: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments I would adore it to spread all my love and enthousiasm for books to the customers!


Maranda (addlebrained_reader) (mannadonn) | 133 comments I never thought about opening a bookstore per say but I have thought about opening a coffee shop that would have tons of books in it. I recently walked into a local coffee shop and they had a little shelf where people could leave a book and pick up another one. I thought it was so neat and that's probably something I would do. I actually talked seriously with a friend about opening this coffee shop for a while and then I moved...maybe one day...I even have a name picked out and a theme and everything!


message 8: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments I have to say that it's always been a dream of mine, though hearing of all the trials and tribulations that Petra goes through with her store has made me hesitate. For the time being I'll just keep on building the most awesome home library possible.


message 9: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrisa-uk) Oh I would love to own my own bookshop ... with a cozy little cafe ... but like others have said, I'm sure it wouldn't last long as I'd just want to browse through the books all day long!


message 10: by Marsha (new)

Marsha I would be happy to just hang out at the bookstore/coffee shop repeatedly...




message 11: by Jensownzoo (new)

Jensownzoo | 338 comments If I ever get to the point where money isn't important, I would love to open a little bookshop. Maybe something to work for as a retirement project?


message 12: by Amber (new)

Amber (poetryeclipse) | 19 comments Sometimes I think some dreams you have are just meant to be dreams! Now that some of you mention it I would definately spend ALL my time browsing through the books and I doubt any real work would actually ever get done. My little bookshop wouldn't stand a chance!


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) I have my own bookshop on a tiny Caribbean island with an arty cafe upstairs. I have no money.

I have never been so poor in all my life. Generally I change my occupation every five years and generally I make money, sometimes lots, but bookselling is a joke financially.

I'm not necessarily unhappy though :-)


message 14: by Kellie (new)

Kellie (acountkel) | 992 comments I have a dream that when I retire I either work in a book store or open one.
It's a dream...I am not a risk taker so I doubt I'd ever do it.
I like to dream about it though.


message 15: by Jensownzoo (new)

Jensownzoo | 338 comments Yeah, PetraX. That's why the caveat to when money is not important. With my business sense, I think the best I could hope for would be to break even. It would be something to keep me busy and involved with people while being surrounded by something I loved, though.


message 16: by Amber (new)

Amber (poetryeclipse) | 19 comments PetraX,

Wow, You actually get to surround yourself with books all day long? I'd be in heaven :). You usually change your occupation every five years? What were you doing before you decided to open your own book store?


message 17: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (missfryer) | 453 comments When I win the lottery and marry a reallllllly rich man, I'm totally going to open up a bookstore. Seriously, I've thought about it, but I'm not going there any time soon!


message 18: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 413 comments I would open a book store in a hot second! Its always been a dream of mine. For some reason anytime I'm upset being surrounded by books calms me down. what a great job!!!


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Most people here - and by that I mean on GR - like to buy secondhand books because they are cheap, go to the library because it is free or look for bargains on Amazon etc. rather than pay full price. On another GR group I was told at length that if a bookshop couldn't compete with B&N, Amazon etc then if it failed so be it, the market wants cheap books.

With a $9.99 book (not a lot of money for the hours of pleasure it gives) costing the bookseller $6.00 and a lot of people wanting it half that or less, there is no money in the business. Selling hardback fiction - a joke, only the top, top bestsellers actually sell. (Amazon and the chains pay $5.00 for that same book, btw and they get huge discounts on mailing).

So for all of you thinking of getting a nice little bookshop and being happy breaking even, think again, the chances are you wouldn't even do that. I've started a cafe (unsuccessful so far) in order to try to generate income and I employ a 17 yr old girl because I don't have to pay her much. (I'm helping put her through college). Of course she loves her job. Its the only one in the world where if you get caught reading by the boss, she says to you, "Is it any good?"


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Of course, there are many worse things to do in life than live in a rainforest high above a beautiful beach in the Caribbean and go down to my little bookshop in the tiny town every day.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments Yeah, I think the only reason that this town still has an independent bookstore is that the owner is independently very wealthy. It's his hobby, owning The Open Book.


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) If more people spent money on books like they do on movies many more independent bookshops would still be thriving.


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Amber - I've had the bookshop for nearly 6 years and the cafe for one. Before that I had a really rather wild bar!


message 24: by Marc (new)

Marc (authorguy) I have a bookselling business, but not a store, and it isn't my primary source of income. I found to my rather naive horror that bookstores wouldn't carry my book simply because it existed. I passed by a school having a craft fair and got in as a vendor. I sold a few books, even though I didn't make back my entry fees the first year, but that was mainly due to the choice of venues and the fact that I was only selling my own two books. The following year I had a much wider assortment, since my publisher had offered a price break at one point and I took advantage of it. Also one of the local towns tried to start a book festival, and I needed a business licence to get in, so I created Author Guy as a real business, and I've been doing it ever since. I go to craft fairs, gift and holiday fairs, and now I've begun branching out into book festivals and fantasy-specific conventions. A good event for me is one where I sell 35 books or so, but unfortunately I don't have events every weekend the way I used to.


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) I wish you luck Marc, I really do. I think its a great way to sell books. I don't have many days when I sell 35 books. I wish I did.


message 26: by Linda (new)

Linda | 887 comments I know this will date me, but long before there was B&N and Borders I thought about starting a bookstore that would also serve wine and cheese and call it Food for Thought. Not having the "I don't mind if I lose spirit" it never went beyond a nice wish.


message 27: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments What a great boss you are Petra!!!!


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) How do you know Jeane?

(btw welcome back, I hope your move went well).

I am a great boss. Everyone whose ever worked for me, despite age differences, has remained a close friend unless I fired them :-) I have to be super-nice to staff as I can't pay them much so I make up for it hopefully in other ways - training, college and stuff.


message 29: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments The move is over Petra, now the work search and normal life starts here.
You are a great boss because you are interested what your staff reads instead of starting about having to read when they aren't at work!!!!


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Mmmmmmmmwah! Jeane.

How's the weather over there compared to Italy? Have you heard anyone say 'begorrah' yet? What about Guinness?


message 31: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments idn't hear them saying it yet Petra but of course I have to realize what they say when I hear Irish. The temperature seems to be around that one of Italy but it is really windy here and every night it seems to rain.
My boyfriend drank a can of Guiness two days ago and really looked forward to it. But I think the experience put him a bit of from buying a new one: when opening the can it just came all out a bit too fast on the bedroom floor!


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) I like your avi Fiona, so cute.

Jeane - your bf could try a black and tan - half Guinness and half light ale or lager. Or better is a black velvet - Guinness and champagne.



message 33: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments He did drink already Guiness, but this one was the first one home. :-)


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) The advertising used to say "Guinness is Good for You" but the Advertising Standards Council didn't agree so they had to change their slogan.


message 35: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 510 comments It would definitely be a dream come true to own and operate a bookstore. Some of my friends joke that I have enough books in my house to open one. However, having been involved in a family owned and run business on my husband's side (closed 10 years ago after 40 years in business), I know how much work there is on the business end of your own business. Maybe the ideal situation would be to have enough money to own a bookstore and be able to play with it, not worrying if you made any money or not.


message 36: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 170 comments I don't know about a bookstore, but I have thought it would be fun to be a librarian!


message 37: by Ann from S.C. (new)

Ann from S.C. | 1395 comments My sister wants to open a used book store one day. She and I have a bunch of books in a climate controled storage building. Well, she does, and I just give her books. But I want to help her one day.
I know that it will be rough, but we can have dreams!


message 38: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (sir_reads_a_lot) | 509 comments There is this little town in Downtown Portland (where I live) Called YEs Books. I could spend hours and hours and hours in there, just looking around. I love it. one Day, I want to buy it from the owner with all the books inside, close it for a while and go through everybook in the store. (The store needs new lighting, new shelving, and a lot of cleaning as well.) I want to reprice the books (more affordably) then orginize them. Then re-open the book store. That is my dream at least.


message 39: by Jane (new)

Jane (jane_jones) | 51 comments As much as I hate to say it ...I don't think it is viable today - with the online stores and big chains I htink it is very hard to be independent. Unfortunately I think they will fade out just as many small hardware stores have.


message 40: by Liz (new)

Liz (busy91) I've had the same dream. But living in NYC it just doesn't make sense unless it is a rare book store or something unique like that. BN and Borders are nice, and especially if you are in a hurry like all New Yorkers are, but I do enjoy the smaller stores too.


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Don't say that Jane. We just have to diversify. I've added my (so far not really going) art cafe and am try to persuade the locals that I have a more interesting set of books than the library that are worth buying.

Its partly the online bookstores and big chains but its more the secondhand bookstores, swap places and libraries than anything else. People will pay a lot of money for an evenings entertainment but not for a week of pleasure with a book. Most authors have to write for love because I can't see that many of them make money.


message 42: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinsullivan) | 997 comments No doubt for all but the very few...writing is a passion and it is the love of people enjoying their work that drives them because there certainly is little financial reward.
--
Wife of fantasy author: Michael J. Sullivan
The Crown Conspiracy (Oct 2008) - Fantasy Book Critic Review
Avempartha (April 2009)


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Very interesting thread. I thought about it because my father has an antique store and has a massive collection of used and rare books. He does very well with them. I enjoyed working with him in my younger years. With the economy now days it's better and safer to work for someone.


message 44: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey (mamamunky) | 284 comments There's a bunch of really cute ones out on Nantucket (an island in Massachusetts) and I'd love to open one out there. I'm pretty sure the people who own them are independently wealthy though, because there's only like 1000 people on the island most of the year, then 50,000 during the summer.


message 45: by Jodie (new)

Jodie (jodiemill) | 44 comments I'd LOVE to own a bookstore. But then I'd be afraid reading would become more like work & I wouldn't enjoy it quite as much. Much as I love B&N & Borders, I still like the independent (local) bookstores much better. If anyone is in the area of Lansdale/Harleysville, PA there's a store called Harleysville Books. Check them out! And in Douglassville, PA there's a used book store called Gently Used Books that gives store credit if you bring in books to trade. Both are WONDERFUL & I spend much time in them.


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Jodie - I often used to read a book a day before I had a bookshop, now I read three or four a month usually. My time is taken up with reading about books and selecting them. Its a lot of fun (in fact its fantastic).

Lindsey - I live on an island of 14K people with no other new bookshops (but plenty of freebie places) and I cannot make a living. Second-hand bookshops are more than anything else at all, even libraries, the killer for an independent bookshop. Everyone looks in the secondhand place first.


message 47: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Good luck with the coffees Petra! Hope they buy a lot of them and jump in the books too!


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Thank you Jeane. How's the Guinness?


message 49: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments It is still where it was before...but tomorrow it is my boyfriend's birthday and I bought him a big Guinness glass so need to buy also the Guinness now...


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Hey its my birthday today! So congrats to your boyfriend (and to me).


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