new business model: how do bookstores survive? And what about the puppy?

I’ve been thinking A LOT about this lately. We sell less books; you buy less books, but maybe more ebooks or books online – which is fine! It’s just the way things are, but we don’t sell ebooks and I can’t compete with online sales, and even if we did, the margin of profit is pennies on the dollar. I’d rather let Amazon, B&N and others deal with that right now.

So I just have to do what I do best (and I’m constantly re-evaluating that!) What is it that we do best at breathe and how do we monetize that so that I can pay the rent, pay my staff and make a living for myself and be around to create more?

I’m working on the answer to these questions and would love to hear your thoughts (email me at or comment here).

Our comfy little shop is the fertile ground upon which so many interesting things grow. As many of you know, breathe books has presented me with several life-changing gifts over the years, including meeting my husband Larry and our new puppy Ella Shakti!

Ella Shakti Weis-Bohlen

So while I try to figure out the new economic reality and what it means to you and me, I can also just play with my puppy.

After we got her, the book by Eckhart Tolle, Guardians of Beings, kept coming into my mind. I took it home and read it the other day – tears filled my eyes. My little puppy is here with us for so many reasons – our little Guardian of Being who teaches us to constantly be in the moment. I think all she remembers of the past is how warm her mommy felt, and how safe she kept her. Her thoughts of the future are probably more of that – can I snuggle with mommy and daddy? Will they keep me warm and fed? Can I run around a lot today? She looks at us with those amazingly human eyes and just exudes love and gratitude. I try to shine those feelings right back to her.

Stay in the moment. Everything is fine right here. It will all work out as long as we keep doing the best we can…I want to do the best for my husband, my puppy, the store and the community. And, oh yeah, and me too! So I’m going to play with my puppy now.