A while back I wrote "25 Things I Learned From Opening a Bookstore." This is the other bookend.
1. When people ask why you're closing, you can tell them that the economy's poor and people are buying Nooks. But it's more fun to tell them that it's time to move on because you've read everything in the store.
2. Two out of every three people will believe this.
3. The rest won't believe you're really closing until you quit putting free gum in the gum bowl.
4. A Butterfinger dropped in a box of books in the back room and then forgotten will still be good when you find it and eat it seven years later. The same is not true for the cup of coffee you set down while searching for the Butterfinger.
5. If you lined up all the left over Harlequin romances from shuttered bookstores and took a picture, you'd have an excellent image of infinity to add to the post on Wikipedia.
6. Left unattended in a back room, used books reproduce like rabbits. Which is one of the reasons it took so long to find the Butterfinger.
7. When you have a half off sale, neither you nor half of the people checking out will know what half off of $7.50 is.
8. And, no, it isn't $3.25.
9. If it's a two part test and you also need to know what half off of $3.50 is, you find out that it's true. We really aren't smarter than the average fifth grader.
10. It's never good to throw away books. However, if it's true that the exception proves the rule, Harlequin romances are the exception.
11. A lot has happened in the seven years I've had the bookstore: moms took over Facebook, gay marriage became a reality, marijuana stores came to Main Street, Vampire and Zombie books got their own sections and 13,892,641 people self-published a book instead of browsing in a bookstore.
12. Don't fact check the above number. I found it hidden in the fiction section, along with every single gum wrapper that the kids who came in for the free gum didn't throw on the floor over the past seven years.13. For every monthly poker game, there are 10 monthly bookclubs. Which might make you think that bookstores do a brisker business than gambling boats, but which isn't true. What is true is that every single poker player thinks they're good enough not to need a "How to Win at Poker" book.
14. Putting up signs throughout the store helps to reduce inventory when closing up. "Shoplifters Will NOT Be Prosecuted," helps more than "Buy Two, Get One Free." "We Accept Bad Checks," hardly helps at all since no one under the age of 40 knows what a check is.
15. If you sneak two small romance books in with every purchase, in two weeks time you'll still have an unlimited supply of romances. Sneak in the "Left Behind" series of books instead.16. When you advertise that all books are $1.00, someone will call and ask if you have any leather bound, gilt edged, first editions from the 1800's.
"You mean the ones that are worth a lot of money?"
Yes they do.
17. If you think people with trucks avoid you when you're getting ready to move to a new apartment, just wait until you're closing a bookstore.
18. Michelle Obama has nothing over the arms of a certain 60-something woman who's closing a bookstore.
19. Other than the size and quality of paper, I will never understand the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel.
20. Whoever said, "There is no such a thing as too many books," was wrong, but is cordially invited to help me pack. Hopefully, he has a truck.
21. If you think you have enough boxes to take all unsold books to Goodwill, you will be wrong by at least half the number of boxes you need. Goodwill was wrong when they said they'd be happy to take however many books you bring.
22. I have tried but totally failed in my quest to see that everyone that walks through the store leaves knowing the difference between fiction and non-fiction. True and not true will just have to do. Even then, they'll still have to think about it.
23. If customers are standing in front of the mystery section looking for Lee Child, and you tell them that the mysteries are in alphabetical order by author names and then leave the room to pack up books, nine out of ten will be standing in the same place, not knowing which way to turn, when you come back.
And, once again, that pesky fifth grader shows his face.
24. Moving your home and closing a bookstore at the same time is not a good idea. The temptation to send the moving van over to pick up all those books and take them with you is great.
25. It is sadder than I thought it would be to close a bookstore--a little like coming to the end of a really good book with a wonderful cast of characters.