Can I tell you a secret? I’m a little nervous, though maybe there’s no reason.
I can’t stop dreaming about opening a little bookshop and cafe. Here’s what I envision: An old house, the walls of the rooms lined with books. The stairs and old wooden floors creek as you walk quietly through the shop. I see mismatched, antique wooden tables and chairs in the rooms, and cozy chairs for sitting down with a book and a coffee. I want to make soups (carrot ginger and roasted eggplant stew and mushroom chowder), sandwiches, fresh breads and pastries. Locally-roasted coffee and loose leaf tea in big mugs. Jazz playing quietly throughout the shop. I want people to discover great books, new and used, and linger over lunch or a snack.
I’m inspired by a few bookstores I’ve visited during my travels—in particular, Ampersand in Sydney (how much do we adore that name?), Gertrude and Alice in Bondi (pictured in the top photo), Shakespeare and Company in Paris, and Massolit Books (directly above) in Krakow. But I’ve never found anything quite like what I envision here in the States.
Of course, I’m too much of a chicken to ever take the chance (and the loan) needed to open my little secret dream shop. Sometimes, when I buy a book, I tell myself that one day it will be for sale in my shop. N asked me recently when I would start buying doubles of books I already own to one day sell. (He thinks anything one wants to accomplish can be done, and I love that about him.) It feels like what I should be doing, but it’s not the safe bet. So instead I dream…