A book about losing your place, finding your purpose, and immersing yourself in what holds community, and humanity, together—books
Wendy Welch and her husband had always dreamed of owning a bookstore. When the opportunity to escape a toxic work environment and run to a struggling Virginia coal mining town presented itself, they took it. And took the plunge into starting their dream as well. They chose to ignore the “death of the book,” the closing of bookstores across the nation, and the difficult economic environment, and six years later they have carved a bookstore—and a life—out of an Appalachian mountain community.
A story of beating bad odds with grace, ingenuity, good books, and single malt, this memoir chronicles two bibliophiles discovering unlikely ways in which daily living and literature intertwine. Their customers—"Bob the Mad Irishman," "Wee Willie," and "The Lady Who Liked Romances," to name a few—come to the shop looking for the kind of interactive wisdom Kindles don't spark, and they find friendship, community, and the uncommon pleasure of a good book in good company.
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap will make you want to run to the local bookstore, and curl up in an arm chair with a treasure in bound pages.
I don't think there's any theme I like more than reading about books and bookstores. When I found this title I coveted it for a couple of days and finally couldn't resist grabbing it. It was at about the same time that my brother started his campaign to convince me to open a bookstore with him and it seemed like fate.
I don't think it's just me, I think any book lover enjoys reading about books. This also appealed to me because it dealt with the workings of a used bookstore and, a bit like us, it seemed the author's were just regular people with a love of books and loaded bookshelves who decided to follow their dream of owning a book shop.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters about running the business. It seemed for a while that they were a bit clueless on how to do it but it was fund to read how they dealt with their troubles. I think they had quite a bit of luck that things did work out in the end.
I did like the community aspect, how they managed to make friends of their customers and all the classes and workshops they imagined to help bookstore sales, but I think that really only works in certain neighbourhoods and where they were had as much to do with their success as who they were. I wasn't as excited about the book club chapters but that was probably because none of the books mentioned was one I had read and loved.
I think this made for a nice, fun, cosy read. Ideal if you love old houses, tea and used books and I can honestly say that I enjoyed it very much as a whole. I just wish she had developed a bit more the working of running a used books store.