I am a jumble of mixed emotions as I set fingers to keyboard. My good friend and fellow business owner, Rob of Bert's CDs is closing his doors. He has taken a job on campus, a job where he will do well, a job where the students will be lucky to know him, a job that will provide benefits for his family.
This wasn't a decision that he made lightly. Because, like me, Rob loves what he does. Loves his customers, loves the music industry and despite the competition that he faces daily from the internet and downloadable product his niche store provided him a good life. A life where his work was his passion, a life where he got to be happy every day. Both he and his wife are self employed and the cost of medical insurance had become a burden. He was looking for a job that he hoped would not only provide his family the much needed benefit of health insurance but one that would also provide him a sense of satisfaction, a job that he could do well and make a difference. He found that. The loss to downtown Dillon is huge but the gain for the University of Montana Western and the students he will work with is also huge. I hope they all realize how lucky they are to have Rob Micken as part of their team.
As for The Bookstore and me.......................well the Times They are a Changing. We have added the greeting card lines and magnets that were availabe at Berts CDs. The lines he carried compliment our existing greeting card selection. Last week all those cards and magnets moved down Idaho Street to The Bookstore. So those very funny, sometimes off color, unique products can now be found on our shelves.
We have always been able to order music CD's but chose not to because on the corner was the expert. We will now offer that service. But be patient with us -- we know books. We are excited that we will be able to order music for you but I am being really honest with you when I say the guy down the street was the expert. I always knew that if I gave a partial title or very poorly sang him a couple of bars he would know what I wanted. We will work very hard to provide you good service when it comes to ordering your music.
For several weeks I have been exploring an offer from the American Booksellers Association for independent bookstores like ours. An offer that allows us to enter the ereader arena. I am both excited and frightened. Frightened to the point that I made the decision to accept this offer and sell the KOBO ereader at the very last minute. I will soon be taking a crash course on these contraptions. But for the first time we will be able to offer an ereader to our customers, an ereader that can be purchased locally. When the KOBO is purchased from us and is registered on the KOBO website (http://www.kobo.com/) we will also be credited for the books you purchase. In the next couple of weeks we will have demo KOBO's to show you.
Good luck Rob we will miss having you on the corner, Thanks for everything you do and good luck on your new journey.
The times may be changing but as always I will be reading books my way, held in my hand where I feel the pages, smell the ink and cherish those words from cover to cover.