Monday, November 2, 2009

It keeps turning out like a game of musical chairs - me in the middle with an armful of books that have nowhere to sit! Well, actually, we've been moving the chairs around, too. Tis the season to try to fit in all the new books we're hoping will be just what someone wants to give to someone else for a present.

It's more than that, though. Troubadour is also moving away from its original focus on the performing arts. Deb thinks we just don't have the population density in the Colorado Front Range to support a store that's so specialized. I have two additional theories: 1. performing artists are too busy rehearsing to do much reading 2. they don't usually have a lot of disposable income, either.

So we're squeezing together the shrinking performing arts sections, expanding the area for children's books so more of the wonderful cover art can show, and highlighting fiction from all over the world.

Along the way, we're simplifying categories - how to decide on categories to organize books into is a subject for another day - so short fiction and classic fiction are mixed in with the rest of the fiction now. Science, biography, essays, history - they're all just non-fiction. The fun part, though, was switching the two sections of non-fiction with the three sections of fiction, so people would come to the fiction first. Moving the bios in with other NF opened up a section of shelves, into which I moved the middle section of fiction. That left space for the first section of NF to shove over, and so on, but right at the end I was faced with two shelves that needed to simultaneously switch places. Never having mastered the wingardium leviosa spell, I had to do it the hard way.

It's amazing how persistent habit is. Days later, I'm still automatically heading to the old locations. But breaking habits can be powerful, too. One day at the first bookstore I worked at, the owner had me move some gift items from one area to another. They'd been sitting there for months, nobody paying them much attention, but once I started moving them, people were practically grabbing them out of my hands. We hope all our moving will give everyone a new look at all the cool stuff that's packed into this small store!


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