I have been giving this a great deal of thought lately. Is the internet putting an end to the mom and pop used course in miracles bookstore? When I started my store up five years ago this never entered my mind. I just assumed that people love books and in turn loved bookstores. I went even further in my thought process and assumed that people who love books would love a used bookstore. So, in all my newness I started a little used bookstore. The store was little, but the dreams were BIG! So, with my dream, a few dollars and some unused space in my house I started a used course in miracles bookstore.
Now, a little background might be in order here. Just to give you a feel for the place I live in. We live in a pretty small area. If you compare it to Seattle or New York; we would be a few city blocks. Most of our population lives in the outlying towns and little subdivisions. For most of my growing up years we had local mom and pop bookstores. We had several used course in miracles bookstore and a couple new bookstores. This was the “normal” in our small area. Then, as has happened in many places, the “box” stores started to spring up and the customer loyalty, most stores counted on, came to a slow end. Then came the internet stores. Now, don’t get me wrong I have come to like the internet and I am just as guilty as anyone else. When the internet came into our home I stopped going to the bookstores.
So, with this in mind I started to think. Do the majority of people still want to browse in a used bookstore or would they rather sit at the computer in their own homes and order the things they want. The bigger question for me was would I shop in my own store? Truthfully, the answer is no. Now isn’t that an eye opener. I would probably not take the time to go into my own store. I would visit the web-site and order off of it. I would save the shipping and pick it up in the store,but I do not think I would spend hours browsing. I would much rather order, pick the book up and head to the park to read it. Now that was a painful realization!! So if I can not even get myself to walk in the door what is a bookstore owner to do? The answer for me came in a weird way. About three years ago I started an online store for the local people. I wanted them to be able to see what I had in my inventory and to be able to walk in and pick it up on their way to the park. The exciting thing was that not only were local people looking at the site,but we started to get in a few orders from other places. When I started the site I had no clue as to what I was doing. Thankfully, I was smart enough to hook-up with a great web-site company and they built the site for me. I broke many of the “rules” of internet business,but the site has still been successful.