Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
— Harriet Tubman
Once upon a time, I had a dream. And every now and again, I still have it. Wouldn't it be cool to own a bookstore?
I know the world of books is changing. I've heard the battle of paper vs e-ink, of Amazon vs everyone, of closing locations and "no one reads". But. I still have this dream.
When I first had it, I was pregnant with my now 17-year-old daughter. I was gonna call it Books and Beans. Because you can't have a bookstore without a coffee shop. But, I wasn't being practical. It was just a dream.
Many years later, it came back. This time, the opportunity came in the form of moving from the elementary classroom into the middle school library. From 2nd grade reading, writing, and arithmetic to books. The only thing I knew at that time was it had to be similar to running a bookstore. I could get the basics: budgeting, ordering, displaying, "selling". And in the meantime, I could learn about opening a bookstore.
So, I got that book: Opening a Bookstore. And Bookselling for Dummies. And I got on the ABA mailing list and, at first, even joined GLIBA, the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. I visited children's bookstores in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois to get ideas. I worked at Starbucks for 6 months to learn about coffee. I corresponded with a bookstore owner. I did a marketing plan. I was on all the publisher's mailing lists, I got Shelf Awareness (before it came out with a reader's edition), and Bookselling This Week. I put it in writing. I prayed about it. I had all these plans: a blue box for book rentals (you know, like RedBox?), a teacher's book club complete with lesson plans and huge discounts, a frequent buyer's card that you didn't have to pay for, an audiobook sample station like they used to have for music, a fantastic e-commerce site to rival Amazon's, a bookmobile, readers as sales people. I would be like the Shop Around The Corner on steroids (if you haven't seen You've Got Mail, I'm not sure what to say to you.).
One day I was going to do this. After the daughter reached this age, or finished that grade, or something else.
I kept deferring.
Then, I just stopped dreaming.
Could this be where my flux capacitor went?
I'm joining the Slice of Life March Challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I'm late to the game but I'm staying until the end. #slice2013