Wow, never thought I'd actually write a blog, yet here I am.
Many of you might not be aware, but The Book Rack was opened in a tiny space in downtown Oak Harbor on February 14th, 1983. My parents owned the store but it was mostly ran by my mom, Kay.
To start, all she carried were used books in a space barely one quarter the size of our current one. It wasn't until years later she expanded into new books. I would hang out there as a kid after school, but mostly I went down to City Beach to play.
We gradually grew in size and moved the store down the street into a larger space. There, somewhere around the late 80s, we expanded into comic books. This was about the time where I started my first job: putting away used books for 10 cents a book.
By the mid 90's, we grew to the point where we had to move the store again, to the location we currently occupy. I would work there for several more years before leaving the family business for other pursuits.
About four years ago, my mom decided she wanted to retire and the only way to do that was to close the family business. She kept the news quiet but told the family that this would be the final year in business. It saddened me to think that The Book Rack would be no more.
After months of pondering to myself, I decided that I would buy the family business. I felt the store still had a ton to offer our community, with lots of potential for great things. I still feel the same today.
So, as the third year comes to a close since I took the reigns of the store from my parents, I have much to think about. I decided that I should start a blog about The Book Rack because I wanted to first let you all know what we have planned for the store.
I also started this blog to allow for a more in depth interaction between us and our community. It will be a place where you can provide feedback and give your opinions about what you'd like to see here at the store.
Feedback could be about a particular book, or a particular game or comic. It could be about a service we provide or one that you suggest. It could be a request for an entirely new product line, an interesting idea, or something unique that we never thought of ourselves. It could be feedback about this blog.
Whatever "it" is, this is the place to throw the idea or feedback out and let us chew on it.
In no particular order, these are some ideas we have come up with that I would like to see us do in the near future. Some of these ideas are currently in progress, some are still just ideas that we haven't ironed out the details yet, and some are on our long term "wish list".
This list is by no means a "this will be guaranteed to happen", but it gives you an idea where our heads are at:
-Remodel the foyer and build a full service coffee shop and café
-Replace our storefront sign with a channel lit, LED sign
-Remodel rear of store and build a game space and event center
-Host tournaments, leagues, and other events for games
-Host birthday parties
-Hire a local artist to paint murals on the walls
-Replace/Update all the lighting in the store
-Buy/Sell/Trade Magic: The Gathering singles (and perhaps other games)
-Buy/Sell/Trade Used Video Games & Accessories
-Purchase a beverage cooler and have your favorite drinks available for purchase
-Have available for purchase a variety of snacks to keep the munchies away
-Selling online through our website
-Expand our board game section
-Expand our new books section
-Expand our kids books section
-Expand our graphic novels section
-Expand our manga section
-Expand our selection of "classic" board games (chess, checkers, etc.)
-Replace flooring with something other than carpet
-Add a selection of vintage arcade machines available for play
-Partner with nearby businesses during community events (Free Comic Book Day, Halloween ComicFest, etc.)
So, those are our plans and/or ideas for the future. Some of them are easily attainable and affordable. It's just a matter of getting the ball rolling and hashing out the details (hosting tournaments).
On the other end of the spectrum, there are plans that are extremely complex and ridiculously expensive (coffee shop & cafe). But I'm still optimistic that ALL of these goals are achievable someday. Maybe with the help of certain crowdfunding sites...
I'm looking forward to the realization of the store's potential, but I'm especially looking forward to the smell of coffee brewing.
Hopefully sooner than later.
Any comments, suggestions, or feedback, feel free to post.
Thanks for reading. See you at The Rack.
-P.S. Pictured below is an interior shot of the original space. It shows pretty much the entire space in that one photo. That's my mom, Kay, at the front counter. Those counters are still being used today.