Here I am sitting in my very own bookshop! Ok, so it’s only ‘mine’ for a week but a girl has to have her delusions! We arrived in Wigtown on Sunday evening and immediately got lost. Well, not ‘lost’ exactly as it’s hard to get lost in a town this small... it was more a case of forgetting to write down the address of my new abode and turning up instead at one of the other bookshops! Poor Joyce was slightly bewildered that we had turned up unannounced claiming to be taking over her family’s business for the week but we were nevertheless very warmly welcomed and brought upstairs while we got our bearings and were given foolproof (for that was what was clearly required in our case) instructions as to how to find the ‘right shop’.
Walking into a bookshop is something that gives me great joy anyway, but walking into one that you get to claim as your own is another feeling entirely. I immediately became attached to The Open Book and scanned its contents with great excitement. A quick run through of the basics and I was off – just me, these four walls and several hundreds of books to share with the general public (oh and that pesky camera crew)!
I knew business was to be slow at this time of year. With the excitement of the holidays long behind us and the cold winter days still stretching before us, quiet it has been so far . The temptation to while away the hours reading is great...at times too great and I have succumbed to the undisturbed silence with my book on several occasions so far (‘Zemindar’ – an epic tale set during the Indian Revolution of 1857 and is well worth a read – just in case anyone was interested)! It’s not all been a content solitude however – people pop in regularly, some to say hello and others looking for books. Yesterday I sold 18 paperbacks to a holidaying couple and I must say that I felt great envy that they were settling themselves in for a week with classics such as Dickens and Hardy.
My main preoccupation so far, has been with the window displays and catching the interest of the passerby. Having discarded several ideas I settled on something quite uncharacteristic... Romance! With Valentines Day fast approaching, what better time to settle down with a great love story?! I gathered some of the classics – Pride and Prejudice, Anna Karenina, Bridget Jones (!!) to line the front window with but that didn’t seem quite enough and so, always a sucker for a good quote (and the prospect of making a mess), I set about filling some pink paper hearts with some of my own favourite romantic literary lines. It was thoroughly therapeutic and has confirmed by own idyllic notions that the life of the bookseller is indeed a happy one!
And if the paper hearts fails to pull the punters in, I intend to try cake! Wednesday will be chocolate cake day at the Open Book if you happen to be passing by!!