A Sad Day for Traverse City

If you live in the greater Traverse City area (and maybe even if you don't), you've probably heard the sad news.

Horizon Books is closing their flagship Traverse City location.

They've been our neighbors since we moved to Traverse City in 2011, and a Traverse City fixture for nearly 60 years.  It's hard for us to imagine Front Street without them, and we will miss them greatly.   

People thought we were crazy for moving into a town with such a well-established bookstore, much less moving right down the street from them, but the truth is, Traverse City is filled with booklovers, and being a two-bookstore downtown let us each focus on the areas in which we excelled. 

For Horizon, that was being more than a bookstore.  They became a community hub, where locals and visitors alike could meet and mingle and enjoy the coffee, the books, and the view.  We are all going to miss that, and so much more.  We have Horizon's phone number taped up at our register so we can send customers across the road when we don't have a particular book on hand.  We've hosted author events on back-to-back days to make the most of visitng authors' time.  We've balanced our selection of books against the areas where they specialize so that we could collaborate rather than compete.

The next few months are going to be tough for everyone.  We know there are die-hard Horizon fans out there who have never come to us for books before.  We know there are book clubs that will now be looking for new meeting places.  We know there's no way that we can replicate what Horizon meant to so many booklovers.

But we're going to do our best.  We want all Horizon fans to know that you still have a full-service local bookstore.  If there's a book you need, we can get it, even if it's not on our shelves at the moment.  We offer the gift certificates, downloadable digital audio, and online service that you expect from a modern bookstore.  We may not be able to offer as large a space as Horizon, but we do host book groups and offer group members a discount on the books you choose.  We may not be the same booksellers you're used to asking for recommendations, but we are a staff of knowledgeable, passionate booksellers and would love to get to know you.  We will be expanding our programming and affiliate program to make sure that local authors and artists have a platform for their work. 

Most of all, we want to hear from you.  We want to hear what you need from us so we can work to meet those needs.  Give us feedback about the things you'll miss, or the ways we can help facilitate this transition for you.  Let us know which authors you'd love to see on our shelves, or what programming was your favorite. 

This news means change for Downtown Traverse City, but one thing isn't going to change in the slightest: Traverse City is a town of booklovers, and Brilliant Books is here for all of you.