There's no doubt I have my work cut out for me. Going from a reader, book lover/podcast listener, book club initiator to bookstore owner, that's a huge shift. I haven't been shy about asking for help though. And, fortunately, kind, knowledgeable people - folks at Literati and Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tea Room in Ann Arbor and Books & Mortar in Grand Rapids - have been amazingly helpful. Plus, there's a handbook for opening a bookstore! This is now part of my weekly (should be daily) ritual. Wine is optional.
I haven't been this excited and driven to do anything in my life. I'm consumed (and not in a bad way) about all things bookstores. This three-ringed binder isn't intimidating. It's calling my name... "Open me, Andrea. Read about your future. This will help you on your way forward." If this is what getting lit is all about. I'm in.
Obviously, there's more to it than this. There's the business plan and structure, financing, and inventory not to mention the name and the space. Ah, yes. The space. So my daughter and I returned to the Charles Lee Mansion to look at the basement space again. We met one of the other partners in the renovation and talked about the possibilities. We hit it off and found we had similar ideas about the space. His business partner joined us and ideas aligned. Awesome! Better yet, my vision for the space became clearer. Not too big. Not to small. It was going to be just right.
The largest space was 435 square feet. Perfect for gatherings and most of the books. It also had a great spot for the kid's area, a cozy reading area, and inside access to the coffee shop upstairs (previously, you had to go outside and back in to get to the coffee shop). Plus, the cool vintage elements from when Dr. Michael Ryan tended to his patients including the original door that says "waiting room." And, I will be able to customize the space to match the aesthetic I'm going for. I love it when a plan (and, likely the planets' alignment) comes together. Don't you? When has that happened to you?