I have owned a bookstore for three months. Wait, let me try that again. I have OWNED A BOOKSTORE for three months. Me, an owner. Living my dream for one quarter of a year and let me tell you, it has been amazing. There are hard days and good days and tired days and magical days. But what am I doing now? How am I celebrating bookstore ownership?
I am on vacation! I am huddled away in some deep dark hole resting and thinking about every nuance of change that has come in the past few months. Running away like this for the moment is a luxury. I am still in partnership with the previous owner and I can feel a certain sense of confidence in leaving the store in his extremely capable hands.
I have been wanting to blog about this experience as a way to share it with others and gain perspective for myself, but there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to deal with everything that needs to be dealt and sleep anywhere near enough. This is all, of course, part of what I signed up for. I guess the part I didn't consider is that I bought the bookstore directly before tourist season. The few slow meandering days I had before I owned it were gone once summer hit.
I keep remarking how anyone who thinks paper books are dying has never been in my bookstore. People are eager to pile up books on my counter and tell me how they must be crazy for not liking the whole digital craze. I also have to tell you that bookstore is more successful than it has ever been. But what does that mean? I am not sure how to cope with the own known future of the winter slow down and eventual departure of my business partner.
Having a business partner is a blessing for sure, but it is also a curse. The way that we struggle between what he has done and what I will do creates a tensioned environment, but I think both of us are fine to sit in our discomfort. I appreciate him for all he has ever done for the bookstore. The choices he has made to grow it into what it is today and for being generous enough to share all of that with me. He opens talks of the growth the store has made in the short time I have owned it. Our mutual admiration and discomfort are both products of a changing environment. One we gladly accept. Change is good, but change is also hard.
What have been the recent changes in your life? What would you do if one of these changes was buying a bookstore? What would be in your dream bookstore?