It's August Bank Holiday weekend and we have been open eight weeks, three days and about 8 hours. Even though I have only had 9 days off since we opened I can honestly say I still love the moment I push the key into the lock and open the doors each morning. It is both a privilege and a joy to be the current custodian of the bookshop in Burford.
I have to confess there were occasional moments during lockdown, probably whilst daubing the fourth coat of white paint on the walls, when I wondered if I was brave enough to do this or if taking on a new business venture during an international pandemic was very sensible.
BUT it turns out I am brave enough and who wants to be sensible all their life anyway.
When I first opened I had very little stock but lots of support from both local residents and visitors so every penny that went into my till went out again on building our stock. There is lots of advice available about which stock to buy but at the moment I try to avoid too much information. I wanted my bookshop to stock not just newly released titles but classics and some of my favourites from Ray Bradbury to Dodie Smith and Jackie Morris to Shirley Hughes.
What you get when you walk into an indie bookshop are shelves packed with personally curated collections driven by love not by bottom lines and today is the first day since I opened on 24th June that I can sit back at my desk, look out (through my required safety screen) and say with some satisfaction, our shelves are stuffed and we are ready for whatever the next 12 months throw our way.
If you are wondering did it take a barrel of wine to get me to this stage, not quite but why ruin a great headline!
Thank you for supporting the indies, between us we are keeping the High Street alive and kicking.