If I owned a bookstore, I’d . . .

If I owned a bookstore, I’d . . . run a Signed First Edition Collector Night program offering hardcover, hand-signed, first edition print books from established and upcoming authors. For those interested in the Signed First Edition Collector Night program, I’d offer a printed six-month “menu” of book selections, showcasing about six noteworthy book titles per month (36 total titles) from which to choose. Collectors would indicate (pre-order) which books they’d like to collect – buying all, or a few, or just one book per month.

Then, once per month, on the “Signed First Edition Collector Night,” I’d wrap the pre-ordered books in beautiful parchment paper and bookbinder’s twine and invite “Collector Night” patrons to a special wine tasting among the stacks. The collectors’ books would be waiting for them on a beautiful antique monk’s table and to thank them for their patronage, I’d offer an evening of private, after-hours browsing and book buying while the store is closed to the public.

And I know this program sounds a bit snobbish – but it’s not meant to be. It’s meant to be a celebration of signed, first edition books. Plain and simple. The books don’t have to be rare or “uber literary” or hard to acquire. This is just a focused “type” of book event – sorta like an art opening. The kind of book event Amazon can’t hold. Because, well, you know. It’s hard to drink wine and talk books when the bookstore is a computer screen. And gosh, how much does a hardback book cost? $24.95? This isn’t going to break the bank. Heck, I spend more than that on chicken nuggets when my four kids are in the car.

Types of books I’d offer each month in my Signed First Edition Collector Night program:

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Imagine you’re a “Signed First Edition Collector” at my bookstore, which of the above books would you like to collect as a hardcover, hand-signed, first edition print book for your bookshelves? Leave your order in my comment section. It’s fun to pretend.

One more. (Consider yourself spared. My actual “If I owned a bookstore, I’d . . .” list runs quite long.)

If I owned a bookstore, I’d . . . offer the services of a Private Library Curator to assist with building and installing custom libraries in my customers’ homes. Oh, now, settle down. I’m not talking about “fancy” libraries in “fancy” homes (although, I wouldn’t turn anyone away!), I’m talking about helping parents establish a top-notch library for their child’s bedroom. Or helping a geography buff discover new books on the topic.

I curate a couple of small collections in my own home library. Nothing fancy. Just shelves dedicated to a type of book I like to read. I’d love it if my local indie bookstore offered curating services . . .

Book collections don’t need to be big or rare or expensive to establish. They need to be special. That’s all. And who better to help you build your collection than the hand sellers of the trade?

Imagine a curated collection of books for a child’s room or cabin get away.

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A curated collection can fit on one bookshelf. This shelf would make a great holding place for books about maps, travel, politics . . . OR! Books organized by state – either the state in which it was set – or the state in which the author lives. Super cool!

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If I owned a bookstore, I’d . . . do lots of things. For one, I’d do whatever it takes to make my customers feel cherished and unique. I’d elevate the book-buying experience and I’d foster a world where book lovers feel supported in their never-ending pursuit of the perfect book.

Damn I wished I owned a bookstore.