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Do I Dare To Take The Next BIG Step?

Do I Dare To Take The Next BIG Step?

It was a quieter weekend in The Book Room this weekend, and I tried not to panic because that is only to be expected, right? Remember a lack of funds means that I have still not advertised my little pop up bookstore anywhere so I am relying on Substack, Twitter, Instagram and word of mouth, so each of you that share news of The Book Room are helping enormously.

Instagram has been new territory for me, I never really had time to dedicate to it before and so it remained a mystery to me. I had a few posts on my @whartonswords one, but has been so much more fun. I am now, officially addicted to reels. And I must thank Ellie Dickens, a social media whiz, who has volunteered her time to show me the ropes these last couple of weeks. Her support has made all the difference to my confidence at getting to grips with Instagram. (She has also set up a tiktok account, follow us

But what also surprised me was how many people came into the shop for the last copy of a book I had put on instagram. Social media really does work, who knew?!

When I was closed.

When I had stated no deliveries.

So anyway, this week’s sleepless nights are caused by something both exciting and terrifying in equal measure – I have the chance to become a real shop.

There is a little movement planned in the parade of shops that I am now popping up in, and that is where I would like to stay, nestled within the community so that I can create my dream which for those who don’t know is a bookshop that is also a backdrop to an arts community hub. I have big ideas, big plans, but to do that I do need a shop of my own. And there is a chance to get one! But so early in my retail career it feels like such a risk, and particularly for me as a single mum doing it alone.

For example, I didn’t realise that in the commercial letting world (unlike the residential letting), the lessee is responsible for the entire structure of the building. I still have a leak in my chimney at home that I haven’t fixed in four years of living here, and my boiler has been on the blink since March and so I don’t have any central heating even if I did dare to turn it on and watch the figures on the meter going up. How could I possibly take a chance of a retail let and be responsible for someone else’s building?

Oh, all the things that could go wrong! Imagine if I ended up having to fix someone else’s chimney when that little patch of damp is still there in the coving in my own bedroom.

The house from The Money Pit which appears in my 3am wide-awake thoughts

…but oh, my idea for a permanent shop. Oh, what a space I could make The Book Room. These dreams are very seductive, and I do like to throw myself at a bit of (measured) risk.

Every single person who has walked through the door of The Book Room, and even all of you who have cheered me on virtually, have made me feel a little bit braver in this dream to open a book shop. And so the question now is do I roll my sleeves up and get in there for the long term? Am I brave enough? Foolish enough (some might say).

As Eleanor Roosevelt said: ‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’

She would want me to open a permanent book shop, right?

More soon…

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