Jun 20, 2012

Pictures As Promised

I have owned a bookstore for one month and nine days. It is 10:09 PM and I am in the basement of the store. I wasn't lying when I said this is my home now. Tonight was our first annual Lit Fest! Hopefully I will post more about that later. I can't have another post get high jacked because I have promised you pictures!

My pet project!
I love children's and young adult books.
I have made this section all my own.
This picture of the store represents my proudest contribution to the bookstore. Kids and literacy have been a passion of mine for over a decade now. I have been able to explore this passion from all different angles. Now I have a new opportunity.  Sharing books with the youth of my community is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.

In just a number of weeks since this picture was taken the section has grown and evolved even more. I am realizing now the print I am making on this space and store after I realize how quickly this picture has become out of date.

But this picture is a start of letting you into my dream and hopefully my passion. So many moments in your life you feel like you are on the right path, but buying this bookstore was one of the easiest things I have ever done in my. All my past experiences help me do my job here at the store even better.

The store is awesome!
I can take credit for so little of it.
But I love enjoying it every day.
I have inherited so much in this experience. To take over an existing and THRIVING business is such a wonderful thing. The store is a living breathing thing, asking to be molded into more for the community.

The books and the shelves and the signs are all mine now. But in a way they will never be mine. They are for the people who come in and finger through them and forge life experiences that start when they are standing in front of that shelf and continue through turning that last page.

Inheriting such a rich and vibrant bookstore comes with a burden as well. What if I can't be what it always has been. I have to remind myself of the things I have to offer beyond what has been.

I do know that I am happy doing what I am doing. And as long as I am happy people will come to see me shine. I already have customers who are now my friends. The transcendence of books is what we all yearn for. It is why we have blogs and join book clubs and I am able to live that every day that I am at work.

I talk about the books that I love. And the books that didn't work for me. I share my reading experience without shame. I know one person's likes are different from another. I think all of you have helped me to understand that. It is amazing to think about all the years that we have been doing this. Blogging and sharing our thoughts and commenting. And we have all grown closer though said comments, and twitter, and events.

In a way I have transitioned all of our chats and recommendations into a real life experience. I know I am not the only one who has done this either. The most interesting part about the bookstore is that you are all here with me too. I talk about you and your thoughts on books as much as I talk about my own.

I hope to be able to share more of this journey with you but time is harder to find these days. Maybe about as hard to find as sleep. So many of you have shared kind word with me on Twitter and Facebook; I really, really appreciate it!

Did you notice? My post is getting further and further away from the pictures AND I don't have any of the storefront. Will put that on my to do list!

Some days it feels like the store was ready made
for me to come and put my stamp on it.
If I were to chose the colors, I would have chosen different ones, but there is so much room and space to add a few touches of my character into the store. I think that if I had to do it from scratch I might be a little heavy handed. There is something so freeing about being able to work in a ready made space. The pressure is off and you can just add and take away as the whims demand. I may just be one of the most fortunate people on the planet!

Have been told these may be the most
comfortable chairs in the whole world.
Behind them is a magical doorway to the coffee
shop next door.
Everyone says now that I have a bookstore I need to open a coffee bar. The best part is that I can have the coffee without the stress. My neighbors are completely awesome and make the best cup of coffee in all of Utah. Anytime you come to visit me you will have to stop in The Grind as well! The Grind is family owned and generous and wonderful neighbors. They accommodate their customers who happen to wander extremely effectively. 

This is my happiest place on earth. I would love to hear what you think! I would love it even more if you manage to stop by some time. A few online friends have already stopped in and that has been an awesome treat for me.

I hope to have more posts for you soon. Until then, happy reading!

Jun 19, 2012

Braun Books

I have a new home! Or a home away from home. Braun Books in Cedar City, Utah has stolen my heart. I have been shopping there for over 13 years.

And now I am the boss!
Things are a little different on this side of the counter, but I have been wanting to own a bookstore for a long time.

One of the most surreal feelings you will ever have in your life is living your dream.

It comes in two parts, first the dream like not quite real quality your life takes on, but also the sheer sense of panic when you realize you have no idea what you are doing.

The panic is easy to deal with. The joy overcomes everything else. I can't help feeling like I am doing what I was meant to do. On the other hand I am doing something that I never had to do before. Selling to people. Talking about books has long been a passion of mine and in the past month I have gotten so many compliments about my passion, but it is hard to not wonder if people think I have an ulterior motive. Probably only a few people worry about my motives, but it always haunts my thoughts.

It isn't always true that living your dreams means you are successful. I had to consider that before I went into this venture. What is the future of bookstores? After trying out working at Braun Books I decided one thing, bookstores aren't dying. Not independently owned community oriented bookstores. These stores provide something that online and big box can't. A smile and a recommendation and an exuberance that can never come from an online experience.

It is in my own best interest to believe bookstores are alive and well, but I would like to think it is a little bit more than wishful thinking.
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