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Frog love

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The windows at Frog Hollow Books (Park Lane) are emblazed with dozens of fire red hearts, part of an on-going "show the love for Frog Hollow" campaign. "I don't usually do anything special for Valentine's Day," says owner Heidi Hallett, "but as I was thinking about it, I came up with this as a way for people to show their love for an independent bookstore."

At checkout, customers are handed a sheet of paper reading "I (heart symbol) Frog Hollow because..." and, if they choose, they can write in the reasons they support the Frog. The store offers to pay the GST for those who do, "but lots of people turn that down," says Hallett.

The demonstration of customer love is part of Hallett's negotiation with Park Lane management to roll back a large rent increase. The increase came last March, and was part of her long-term lease on the space, but Hallett argues that between economic duress in general and hard times for indie bookstores in particular, now's the wrong time to be hitting up small-time business people for more rent. Looking at all the empty storefronts on Park Lane's second floor, I can't disagree.

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