On opening a bookshop

Opening a bookshop is akin, in some minds (my own, for instance), to opening a show—a sheerly theatrical event. There is no chance in hell that you will make much in the way of profit. There is a very slim chance of it succeeding longer than the requisite three year term limit for most new businesses. It is done out of hubris. Because you can. And you must. read more…

Second Saturday

Our second Saturday was more like what I imagine and hope most will be. Before, after, and between sales I had time to do a bit of cataloguing, some straightening of shelves, and a little cleaning. It is important to me that this be the way it works. No need to rush. I had enough of that on Newbury Street when, even on slow says, all the customers we did have would come in waves. It’s actually possible to have a conversation in our little barn in Lee. And to have a second thought. When asked for an author I don’t know, I can use the plastic and digital marvels of the twenty-first century while sitting in this eighteenth century post and beam, and learn something new.

One customer asked about a novel he remembered fondly from his youth that might be called ‘Come Spring.’ He told me it concerned early settlers on the coast of Maine. I looked that up on the magic screen and discovered there were many novels with those words in the title but only one that fit, written by the fine but sadly neglected author, Ben Ames Williams. Williams I knew. He was a favorite in my own youth, but I had never read Come Spring.

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We’ve finally reopened!

As of yesterday, the barn in Lee, New Hampshire, is now open to browsers on Saturdays. After two and a half years of getting things in workable order (not perfect but workable, mind you) with shelves in place, books roughly alphabetical and categorized, lights wired, and just lately, digging out the salvaged artifacts from the old shop on Newbury Street that we put away fourteen years ago with faint hope of ever seeing them again (that now felt like the unwrapping of Christmas ornaments from their boxes) so that we might fill the odd spaces here with whimsey and give reference to our own past, we are here!

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