I’ve had a little fantasy, for as long as I can remember, about owning my own small used bookstore. I’ve always considered it as something that I would do if I struck it big one day.
I’ve always grown up around bookstores. My first job was at a Crown Books (I don’t think they exist anymore, at least not on the west coast). Then I worked at a Barnes & Noble for awhile. I usually have the closest bookstore locked in my brain and I frequent it often.
In my current living spot I have a chain bookstore not too far away and, my favorite place to go de-stress, a tiny little cramped used bookstore just a short drive away.
I was contacted by that small lovely bookstore a couple of weeks ago as they were advising me that they’re closing and I was heartbroken. The store isn’t the nicest – the shelves are double and triple stacked and it can be hard to find things. There isn’t any place to sit and browse… but it smelled like books and magic and it was one of my comfort spots.
There are no other used bookstores in my city. There are a few in neighboring cities, but that’s the only one close. It’s gotten me thinking. What if it was ME behind the counter of a cute little bookstore with personality? It has my mind whirling about possibilities and about what I’d love to see in a dream bookstore.
In my perfect bookstore there would be huge comfy chairs that you can sink into to read. There would be an area for authors to come and speak or read or for open mic nights to happen. There would be the scent of hot chocolate and baked goodies coming from the coffee bar. There might be cats. I picture myself behind a counter and chatting about books with happy customers. And I want it. I want it so badly.
Most of me recognizes that this is just a dream. That a used bookstore is no way to make a living in today’s world of internet sales and big chain bookstores. But there’s still a piece of me that clings to that dream and wonders… can I make it happen? Can I mix up that recipe for success and find a way to make my living within my passion?