Gondolas, Counters, and Shelves, Oh My!
If you've been keeping up with our email updates, you've probably already heard that Brilliant Books is in the midst of some serious upgrades. Our shipping and curbside pickup operations haven't slowed down since the height of the pandemic, so we've decided to take the plunge and expand our back-of-house space. Since we're not about to add on to our gorgeous historic building, we've moved our administrative operations next door into the Anderson Building, which freed up a great deal of space for processing new books and staging orders for shipments, plus packing and shipping the thousands of books we ship out for our Brilliant Books Monthly subscribers.
While most of those changes won't impact what customers see in-store, the move to the new space has freed up some additional spaces and shelves, so we couldn't resist making a few improvements to the rest of the store as well, including:
Our Children's Section Register & Pickup Desk
This addition came as a thoroughly unexpected—but very happy—surprise. For quite a while now, we've been wanting to add a fully fledged register station to the back of the store, as both a convenient checkout option for patrons in the children's section and a location for order pickups. But finding the right counter proved to be trickier than we thought. Everything was too tall or too wide or too narrow, or not the right look for our children's section. We were starting to despair of ever finding just the right piece when we remembered our neighbors at the recently closed Bookie Joint.
Though a happy twist of fate, we ended up stopping by to ask about their old checkout counter at just the right moment. Now, we've found the perfect tiny checkout station for our children's section—while preserving a piece of downtown book lover history. It's bittersweet knowing that our "new" station means our neighbors at the Bookie Joint really aren't just around the corner anymore, but we are so proud to have this wonderful reminder of Traverse City's bookish history—and to keep this piece of the Bookie Joint alive at Brilliant Books!
The Great Games Gondola
The least new of the new changes, our games gondola is a great opportunity for us to expand our games section! Thanks to this stunning gondola display, you can now find all our games in the same place, instead of rifling through shelves. It's got all different kinds of games: board games, card games, tabletop role playing games, and so much more!
It also adds a ton of shelf (err, gondola?) space that we didn't have before, meaning that we can bring in even more games than before! And we have to admit: it's also very pretty.
Speculative Fiction: Now with 50% More Speculation!
When in the midst of moving books, technology, and more, we somehow managed to free up a whole shelf from the back room. And while a shelf isn't that exciting on its own (it does look pretty much the same as any other shelf), the new space means new books. Thanks to the additional shelf, we get to expand our Science Fiction and Fantasy section by a full 50%, and we're even adding a whole new section: Manga! We're bringing in tons of new Manga to fill up the new section—so if you're also a Manga fan (or if you have a friend who is), be on the lookout for our Manga recommendations, coming out next week!
While we're excited about all the changes we've been able to make so far (and about all those we have planned for the near future!), it's a bit nerve wracking to take such a big step. The past ten years have shown us, though, that we're surrounded by an incredible community of book lovers, and we're confident that these changes will allow us to better serve that community, whether you're with us here in Traverse City, across the country, or even overseas. Even as we grow and change, we will remain your Long Distance Local Bookstore—and we hope that we can continue to count on your support as we make take these exciting next steps.