[Editor's Note: As you know - the More Bookshops the Better has been a pretty steady sentiment on this blog - so in hopes of seeing a new one pop up in Nuneaton, UK we'll help Michael get the word out and keep his enthusiasm pumping.]
In March 2011, after visiting a local town, I came to the realisation that where I live, Nuneaton, UK, lacked a significant element of Culture. Nuneaton is actually the home town of George Eliot so you’d think that there would be masses of bookshops but alas, there is the large chain-store Waterstones and approximately 19 charity shops. Every month a large chain store was closing and the building being replaced by charity shops. I posted a blog on my own website www.barricadesrise.co.uk stating my frustration and how someone should start a bookshop or gallery or something. The idea festered in me until I decided one day that, yes, that person is me. After finding out my wife and I were expecting though, I scrapped the idea, until Easter this year. I researched it, researched it then researched some more. I had savings, mounds of books and desire but my stopping point was my job. After a change in job roles I decided (and was ordered by my wife!) to quit it and focus 100% on the bookshop, so I did!
That was August. Since then I’ve sorted bank accounts, collected thousands of books and contacts and almost a property. As I type I have the solicitors letter next to me that I need to sign to progress further for the property. I’ve been told a completion date will be January so I’m looking to open in February or March. I have managed to start selling online though. The website was set up a few months ago and is growing steadily and can be found at www.thebigcomfybookshop.co.uk. I add books more or less daily and so far there are about 1000 on there. I also started a blog about the shop, books and Nuneaton at www.thebigcomfybookshop.blogspot.com. Also the usual facebook and twitter accounts www.facebook.com/thebigcomfybookshop andwww.twitter.com/bigcomfybooks. I have poured everything I have into this idea and hope it comes off! Another side part of the shop will be a small cafe. I’ll be selling homemade cakes from local suppliers (already found!) plus tea’s, coffee’s and hot chocolates, nothing fancy. I also have a background in music so will host acoustic nights, ideally once a week but I may be snowed under with everything!
This blog has given me so much support and help via posts. I’ll keep you updated to how I’m getting along.