As it turns out, there is money in books
Hello! I'm not sure where to begin with this month's newsletter, so I'll just start by saying that I've now been open over a month and it's been absolutely incredible. Thank you everyone! Below you'll find some reading recommendations and a first set of upcoming events at The Margate Bookshop, but first I thought I'd share some reflections from my Building a Bookshop diary.
There was a beautiful metaphor that a Bloomsbury publicist left me with when she visited: she told me that amongst book publishers, dealers, bookshop owners and authors there’s a real collective rejoicing when a new bookshop opens its doors, akin to the immense excitement zookeepers share when a baby panda is born. Since I opened The Margate Bookshop, I’ve been referred to as a “rare breed” by many. It seems the new bookshop owner, the young bookseller, is the rarest of breeds. Occasionally people come in and tell me: “It must be hard”, “Bookshops are dying out eh?”. Being in the press also means that I get the odd local popping by just to look at the space, not planning on buying anything but hoping to catch a glimpse of the precious specimen that is the bookseller – once, a woman exclaimed “You look just like in the photograph!”. It has not taken me long to realise that I am the baby panda. As a one-woman show a lot of attention is concentrated on me as a person, but I have merely put a physical space into the world, knowing that people would come and make it their own. The success of a bookshop is not testament to the bookseller, rather to a community. Sometimes I don’t know how exactly to react when naysayers make it out that earning a living out of selling books is a foolish proposition to toy with, or even what to say when people kindly ask “how’s it going? “, because the truth is that actually – “actually,” I always start – it’s going really well. I’ve been meeting the sales figures I’d set myself for busy summer months in Margate once I’d established myself and started to maximise on all income streams, I’ve been meeting them since day one. That’s not because I’m good at what I do, it’s because you, people of Margate, love books. You have wonderful, eclectic tastes and interesting ideas and books you’ve published or your friends have published, or books that you no longer have room for at home, you delight in being able to order books somewhere that isn’t Amazon and you believe in educating children, you gift books to friends, family, lovers, you recommend titles, you passionately speak to me of those that have changed your life. So, thank you.
The Margate Bookshop is now serving tea and coffee, so do pop down to Market Place for the two things that make life better: hot beverages and books!