Two Weeks Before the Opening of Swan’s Fine Books…
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Sound familiar?
Have you ever heard the old saying, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans? I’d worked hard to draw up a wonderful timeline of everything that needed to be done to open the store, as planned, on May 1. Oh, it was a thing of beauty: a lovely outline, with all sorts and manner of indents, radio buttons, and highlighting. Everything neatly laid out with a day, time, name, desired outcome. I knew that if I only followed THE PLAN, the month of April would be smooth sailing and May 1 would arrive without a hitch.
Well, God is laughing. I awoke the morning after my last blog posting to discover my computer had crashed. Big-time crashed, the black screen of death. The only message, in white DOS letters, was “cannot access the drive”. Uh-oh. Panic, heart-racing, sheer, all-consuming fear and dread.
All of my book inventory. All of the email addresses I’d carefully pulled together to send the store announcement. The Plan. THE PLAN!! All gone. Thoughts of reverting to green ledger paper, the abacus, and quill pens race through my mind. For a short while, it seemed as though my only options were – none. Despair. What to do, what to do. Would Swan’s Fine Books founder before it even got off the ground?
At the same time, Jeff (my erstwhile business companion and boyfriend) had been going through the Mad Max Library (see last week’s posting for background), book by book by book – over 1,000 of them.
And wonder of wonders, joy of man’s desire, exhilaration beyond belief – we are now the proud owners
of…..a first edition Charles Dickens! No, wait, look here – another first Charles Dickens!! And here a first
British edition of Mark Twain (which, having been published several days prior to the American edition,
has a solid claim to being the TRUE first edition). Firsts of George Orwell and Upton Sinclair and T.E.
Lawrence surround us. And the Rubaiyats…..many versions, some in custom bindings, absolutely lovely
to behold. What treasures, what wonderful treasures to have for Swan’s Fine Books upcoming Grand Opening!!
That was then, this is now. Today, Sunday, we sit in the store with our 46 bookcases slowly filling as we price the “Mad Max” library. I write this on a new computer (hoping to learn Windows 8 in record time). The world’s absolute best data recovery people recovered all of my data, every last bit. We have soldiered through the bad times and once again the sun is shining and the birds are singing. However – I think I’ll not write about challenges being opportunities for a while, I think I may perhaps have tempted fate.
Two more weeks to go. Four thousand more books arriving tomorrow.