"We've had sidelines for a long time," Diane Etherington, owner of The Children's Hour in Salt Lake City, told PW. Recently she's found a few new items that are so popular with her customers that they have forced jewelry, a perennial favorite, to, well, the sidelines. "Our biggest sideline now is shoes," said Etherington, who stocks as many as 50 different styles. "Shoes always fit, and you don't ever have to worry about gaining a few pounds."

Other strong sidelines include $10 daisy toe-rings that appeal to both moms and daughters, as well as reading glasses. "Reading glasses for women are so hot," noted Etherington. "I'm always on the prowl for nice ones. They retail for $45, and there are four or five companies we use."

The strength of sideline sales for items ranging from homemade toffee (cooked by a former employee) to sweaters in no way means Etherington has given up on books. On the contrary, she finds that sidelines bring in what she and her staff refer to as "dormant book people." In fact, she said, "Our book sales have gone up every year because we have a bigger customer base."