We have been asking ourselves this question for the last five years, but I think we are reaching the decision that we probably should. The front of our building isn’t very welcoming, looking more like a book warehouse than a character-filled secondhand bookshop. We have a problem in that council doesn’t want us to change the appearance of the front (it was once Port Fairy’s Masonic Lodge, and the Heritage people want to keep Port Fairy somewhat in the past). Here’s what it looks like, for those of you who might have missed earlier postings:
The current entrance-way is to the right, up a small set of steps, through a bit of a courtyard and in the side of the building. This takes you into our new art space.
It doesn’t make it very clear about what’s inside. Many people have asked if it is a library, despite the A-frame which mentions “Quality Secondhand Books”.
So we are thinking it’s time for a new front door, with a ramp leading up to it, and perhaps a enclosed area that might be able to accommodate some display windows for the times when we’re not open, so potential customers can at least understand that there are books for sale behind that huge brick wall! Council is kind enough to grant us a new front door (at last application anyway). So from that top photo, the new doors (double, wrought-iron, we are thinking) would be in the middle, where the four windows are now.
With a new front door, we would then close off the courtyard at the front and extend it a little at the back, to make it a contained area where we could have outdoor artworks, sculptures etc., and perhaps a few tables for tea and coffee. And once the doors are in, make a more attractive garden in the front.
We have a hard enough time being down the road and around the corner from the main street of town, so it’s important that some changes are soon made. With my mantra of “When the kids are in school” comes the fact that the first will be in school in 2011, and by that time I wanted the shop pretty much properly organised so I was able to just ‘be there’ for the river of customers that would then start flowing with the increased and regular opening hours!