Every since I started working at the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop Iron Block store (in 1986), I've been dealing with the lucite cubes. We used them for displays (to give them height). We used them for storage. But mostly, we used them for calendars.
Twenty years later, we were still using them, and the same ones at that. They were a bit scuffed, and some had broken. We had gotten new calendar racks that faced out more wall calendar, but they also have a taller profile. We took cases that had books and tried to adapt them to calendars.
When the Schwartz stores were closing, I had to decide how many cubes to take along. Many of Downer Avenue's were gone, and I was graciously offered some of another store's stock. I didn't take enough. I learned a bit of a lesson, as replacement cubes turned out to be far more expensive than I expected.
So when my pal Sue visited for lunch this week from the wonderful Lake Forest Bookshop, she commented on our calendar cubes. And though I spend just about every moment I'm not in Milwaukee visiting other folk's bookstores, my first reaction was "Doesn't everyone sell calendars like this?" But I think, on reflection, the answer is no.
Our bestselling calendar continues to be that August to August engagement calendar that comes in a half dozen colors. People are fiercely loyal. They aren't displayed in the cube.
New Books 3/28
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