Remembering “Bean” on International Rabbit Day

Remembering “Bean” on International Rabbit Day

When a B&Wn survey asked about bookstore pets, Katie Capaldi of Between the Covers Bookstore in Harbor Springs, MI, wrote, “Our bookstore pet just recently passed. Not a dog. Not a cat. Not a pig. But a rabbit. Named Bean. Everyone loved her. Even the neighborhood dogs. And she used her litter box right in the staff bathroom.”

Since we just celebrated International Rabbit Day over the weekend, I thought this would be good timing to remember this beloved bookstore pet. Katie shared with me this little profile of Bean:

Name: Bean (December 2009 – August 2013)
Type of store pet: Mini rex rabbit
Color: Castor
Weight: 3 lb.
Favorite dogs: Shepherds of any kind
Favorite cats: None
Favorite book: Anything by Emily Gravett (judging by how often she would drag them from the bookshelf and lie atop them)
Least favorite book: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe (judging by the entire spine she chewed off)
Favorite places in the bookstore: Under the new release tables, underfoot and in her bathroom litter box

As you can see from Katie’s description of Bean, bookstore pets can have great personalities. And through those personalities, you can have another voice speaking for your store. I recently stumbled upon a Facebook page for an outdoor museum sculpture that often comments about the weather and what she sees from her limited point of view. (Her relationship status? “It’s complicated.”) The NPR Bees used to be active on Twitter. Cat Golay even has her own Twitter account, and I’m sometimes shocked by what she’s thinking.

With a social media account, bookstore pets can use humor, sarcasm, photos, etc. to relay messages that your staff might be hesitant to say to customers. And while photos would typically be selfies, some could be images shot from the bookstore pet’s perspective.

Through Katie’s description of Bean, it’s apparent that she ran a great store. And I would have been one of her followers… socially.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay