Hope in the Midst of Pandemic
Well…here we are. This wasn’t quite the plan.
The plan was to write my first blogpost in conjunction with throwing wide open the doors to our new Superior Street storefront during the annual Alma Highland Festival celebration. But instead…here we are, focused on building our virtual community presence via social media and this bright shiny new website.
Here’s an introduction…the preface, if you will, to this bookshop story we’re living:
The seed of the dream to one day create and manage a small independent bookstore has lived within me as an imagined right livelihood for as long as I can remember…no surprise there. Most indie booksellers I know or have read about harbored a similar long-nurtured vision for themselves. The vast majority of us are unrepentant bibliophiles who find sustenance in the community that can blossom within a lively, well-cultivated indie bookshop space. So, when the opportunity serendipitously presented itself in late January 2020 to create a bookstore within a shared affordable retail space - a proposition that arrived while I was in the midst of a vocational transition and personal re-visioning – my seed-state dream kicked into germination overdrive.
Enter lessons in humility…
Here’s what I’ve learned so far about my start-up plan – thanks in no small part to the pause provided by this global pandemic: I was naively ambitious. I’ve since learned that the brief three-month time-frame I’d allotted for business launch is known in the bookselling industry as an “accelerated opening” and is not advised…particularly for newbies to the business like myself. In the bright light of hindsight informed by much time spent in needed study and research, I see clearly now how much I didn’t know…how much I still needed to learn… and how arrogant my assumptions were of what I could accomplish in that short a timeframe.
So, like it or not, being forced to delay was a proverbial blessing in disguise.
The revised plan – our most realistic, hopeful projection (pandemic-willing) – is to open our storefront at 111 W. Superior Street in downtown Alma sometime in August 2020…in time for our own celebration of the rescheduled nation-wide Independent Bookstore Day. And if we can manage to open safely sooner than that, well, I imagine much silly happy dancing will commence.
Thanks for reading!