Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pay No Attention to that Magazine Bin Behind the Curtain!

Since Boswell. opened, we've been using some shelves under one of the fixtures on the floor to display magazine cases. Unlike book overstock, which can theoretically made to look rather attractive (not that we are doing this consistently or partiucularly well), these cases will always look like tubs from a home storage superstore, and the green doesn't even work well with our color scheme.

Well, we had this plan to make curtains to cover them, and these plans have been in place for a long time. And while they don't take a long time to make, it did take some concerted effort. Anne recently made the offer to try her hand, and in short order, we are positively draped. Yes, I know, a slipcover for a certain couch is next--but I'm going to try to buy one of those. I really love it, and feel like it's worth showcasing in the blog. Nice job, Anne!

One more shout out...we bought the fabric at Fischberger's Variety Store on Holton. Every time I go to this store (it's on the #11 bus and the parking is very easy), I find something interesting. I love their vibe. Yes, I know it's an odd neighborhood for something of this sort, but get over it--you'll be fine. Go on a Friday or Saturday and you can include Northern Chocolate in the same trip.

Back to the magazines--our sales have improved quite a bit since the first year, but are certainly not up to the level the store had as Schwartz. This is likely due to two factors--we eliminated the central display rack to include a meeting area, but we can't discount the decline of the magazine business in general. That said, we still think we can improve our sales, and are continuing to select new titles.

One local title we are trying actually came up in conjunction with an upcoming event. When we booked David Herlihy's The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance, the author suggested we do some promotion with locally-based Cog Magazine. Editor Peter DiAntoni icycled by with our copies, and I was really blown away by the design quality. In addition to bike enthusiasts, I can really see designers and planners really loving this magazine. The current issue (#8, a quarterly) includes an account of a six-day tour of Grenoble, France, and interview with a director putting together an urban cycling documentary, a travel piece on bicycling in Las Vegas, as well as profiles of various urban cyclists, equipment reviews, and a report from the Cylist Messenger World Championships. Here's a link to their website.

If you haven't heard us talk about The Lost Cyclist, the book takes place during the first bicycling craze of the 1890's. It follows Frank Lenz, whose attempt to bicycle the world led to worldwide acclaim through his reports in Outing Magazine, until his mysterious disappearance in Turkey. Outing sent another cyclist, William Sachtleben, on his trail to prove he was murdered. The book is classic adventure with a cycling spin, perhaps a Born to Run on two wheels.

And one last shout out--we are trying to put something together with Amaranth Bakery, also friends of Mr. Herlihy. The retail bakery doesn't have summer hours, but they showcase their wares at the East Side Green Market on Saturdays.

More magazine madness coming up--Boswell's featured in quite a nice one, just hitting the stands.

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