Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Closing Time

We got the official word just days before Christmas that they were closing our store. We’ve all done surprise, shock, denial, and are slowly moving into acceptance. In retrospect with one lackluster year almost behind us and two more coming up (due to lots of local construction cutting into our customer base and a sister store so close by), it made sense for our little store to go.

Recognizing this fact doesn’t make this any easier. We all thought we’d leave the store one day, go our separate ways due to school, career or life, but in each scenario we were doing the leaving, not being left behind. The choice would be ours. We would have moved on, and the store, we were sure, would always be there to visit in some form or another. David talked once about how bookstore customers don’t like change, well neither do booksellers. Be the instigators of change? Sure, move a section, try out a new line of books, set up a new display. No problem. But being on the receiving end of change? Thanks, but no. Not if we have a choice.

In this case, however, there’s no choice involved. In thirty days our little store will be no more and we’ll be scattered about. Do we try to find other jobs as booksellers? January is a hellish time to find a job in the retail world with businesses already flush with temporary workers that they must decide whether to keep or let go. Do we move on and find other jobs that may have nothing to do with the book industry? We have to decide soon.

In the end, whether this is the event that nudges us all along on our separate life paths or just another link in the retail chain, I’m glad that I had the opportunity work with some great books, people and customers.

And, of course, I’m thankfully for the chance to meet y’all. Something I never could have done had I not blogged about the various adventures of bookselling. Whether I remain Bookseller Chick or just become the Chick formerly known as Bookseller, it’s been a hell of a lot of fun.

One that I hope will continue in some way or another.

For the next couple of weeks or so, y’all will have to live through the anatomy of a store closing.

I’m still working my way into full acceptance.

27 comments:

BuffySquirrel said...

Sorry to hear it.

Good luck with the job search.

Our last indie bookshop just closed, which leaves us with two Waterstones. Staff disgruntlement was palpable.

Wesley Smith said...

BC, I got ten bucks that says you get an offer through this blog from other booksellers within the first week of the new year.

Good luck.

Amy said...

Oh, no! I'm so sorry, Chick. I'll throw in another ten spot that you receive an offer through this blog.

Ellen said...

I've been an anonymous reader of your blog for some time, and I'm sorry to hear such sad news. I'm sorry for you and your co-workers, for your customers, for us blog readers.

Thanks for all the insights you've shared here. Wishing you all the best ...

lady t said...

Sorry to hear about your store closing,BSC-I've been out of work for about a year now and it's a tough deal.

I know your store is a chain,so couldn't they keep some of the staff? Maybe send some folks to another branch in the area? If not,I'm sure you'll get a better job with hopefully saner customers(just a few weird ones now and then,for story fodder).

Best of luck to you and hope you find greater opportunities in the new year.

Kendall said...

Damn...good luck to you, BSC! I hope you find another (bookselling, of course ;-) job real soon!

Jane said...

Wow. How sad. I think I can make an educated guess as to what chain store you work at. This is not an uncommon event. I wish you luck and hope that you never stop blogging!

RandomRanter said...

You have my sympathies and serious vibes that whatever your next step is it becomes clear sonner rather than later. Lots of companies need dedicated, organized and service oriented employees, so I'm not super worried.

Little Willow said...

May the new year present you with a new job that is intellectually stimulating and satisfying - and well-paying. :) As others have posted here, I'm certain that your friends and blog readers will support and assist you with the job hunt. Best wishes and good luck!

Karen W. said...

As a fellow "Bookseller Chick," you have my sympathies. We all know it could happen to all of us in the smaller chains. Here's to a better job in the future -- whether it be in bookselling or not!

Stephen D. Rogers said...

I wish you the best of luck. And thanks for an entertaining and informative blog.

Stephen

Marta said...

BSC, how devastating. It's always frightening to lose your job and worry about what comes next. I hope that something wonderful comes your way soon. Now, if we had an idea of your geographic location, we could send job referrals your way...

It's been wonderful having you as Bookseller Chick, and I hope you'll remain Bookseller Chick for a long time.

Jen said...

I'm so sorry to hear your store is closing. Good luck and best wishes. I hope you find a new job involving books, or whatever will make you happy and fulfilled.

Racy Li said...

*hugs* Thanks for all wonderful posts! Your blog truly has been a great slice into the book industry from a sellers standpoint.

Book Nerd said...

Well, it seems obvious to me that now is the time for you to pack up, move to NYC, and join me in my crazed bookstore-opening venture. =)

Seriously, I have no doubt you'll find something else quickly, and I hope you can find a way to remain in bookselling. It's great to have you as a colleague. Keep us posted.

Robin Brande said...

BSC, I'm SO sorry. I agree with all the others that opportunities are sure to come your way, since you're obviously bright, committed, charming (seriously), savvy, etc. Nobody wants to be the leavee, so that most certainly sucks. But you're obviously a cut above, and people like you are the ones who get the jobs.

Bet you didn't guess when you began your blog that it might lead to new opportunities when you need them, but I'm sure (as others are) that is will.

You have lots of friends out here wishing you well. I hope that gives you some comfort, but also some confidence that if we, your discriminating readers, can see how valuable you are, surely your future employers/partners/customers will, too.

Best of luck. Keep us informed.

how to furnish a room said...

I'm sorry to hear of the stores closing. Surely BSC will lead to an opportunity somewhere that's a good fit, as bookselling needs all the handsellers it can get.
Good wishes from here.

Laura said...

Oh for crying out loud! I just found your blog yesterday! I love reading about behind the scenes at a bookstore. I am an avid bookstore lover and want to hear many more tales of the trade! Well I can read through your entire archives! I hope that wherever you find yourself in a month that it is a place you want to be and that everything works out very well for you!!!

Josh said...

Start priming for the book and movie deal sure to rise out of this tragedy. That's the natural thing to do, right?

Sheri said...

Ugh! I still remember so clearly the day I found out my favorite book store ever was closing down. I think I'm still traumatized. You are right, Bookstore lovers do not like change.

Best of luck to you!

quiche said...

First James Brown now this. I am sorry to hear about your store and what this means to you and your co-workers. Giving you the news right before Christmas was extra sweet too.

I wish I had advice, a job to offer or a five pound box of money to send. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. You will bounce back, bigger and better things will come your way.

Thanks for all the posts, advice, info and thought-provoking insights into the bookselling game.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. I've been an avid reader of the blog for some time and was always delighted and enlightened by what you had to say.

I am quite certain you will find another job soon, and I do hope it's in bookselling.

Maya

Lara Adrian said...

Noooo! Oh, this sucks! I'm sorry to hear your store is closing, but what really breaks my heart is the idea that you may not continue with your blog. :-( I hope I read that wrong....

Wherever the new year takes you, I wish you much success. My fingers are crossed that you'll find another--even better--position selling (and discussing) books and the biz.

Good luck, Bookseller Chick!

Larissa said...

Oh, man, that sucks! I've been a fan of your blog for a long time (thought a big lurker! *g*) and I'll miss the bookseller content!

But hopefully you'll stick around, and I hope that you get a fantastic job that you love!

Maya Reynolds said...

BSC: What a crummy time of year to hear that news. I'm so sorry.

Back in February, 2002, I was laid off. I can remember the exact feeling of disbelief you described. I had expected to leave them; not the other way around.

The Chinese character for "crisis" is also used to symbolize "opportunity." My crisis prompted me to focus on my writing--which turned out to be a good thing.

Here's hoping that this event will turn into a golden opportunity for you.

Best wishes for much happiness and success in 2007.

Jennifer Estep said...

So sorry to hear about the store. We should all observe a moment of silence any time a bookstore or library closes.

Good luck with your job search and may 2007 be better than the end of 2006.

Anonymous said...

That sucks big time. It's outrageous how it's always the small stores that need to pay the price. I wish you the best in your job search... :(