The old blog, Hooked on Books, has really out-lived its usefulness. It was originally set-up as an experiment at connecting with regular customers at the bookshop I was managing at the time, Methvens Booksellers in Worthing. It grew to include book reviews, reviews and lists of favourite books by the staff, ideas for the shop renovation that was supposed to happen once ArgentVive took over the business and then onto a general talking point for news about forthcoming books, authors and other publishing related stuff.
I’ve created other blogs: one of these showcased short-stories that I’d written and which would otherwise be filed away doing nothing, another was an online gallery for my paintings and yet another was created to allow friends and family to keep updated on travel and other arrangements for my wedding to Rose last year.
The desire to move to a new blog came about slowly but essentially follows on the coat-tails of a lot of other stuff; the stuff of which life is lived.
Some readers will be aware that I left The Edinburgh Bookshop quite abruptly. It came not long after Rose and I moved to a beautiful location on the Fife coast. In little over a year, I’d experienced some very dramatic highs and lows: the sudden death of my younger brother, Gavin; my wedding to Rose; Rose and me attacked in our own home in the middle of the night; the sale of the flat; our move of house… Somewhere along the way, I realised that I wasn’t giving 100% to the folk I care most about and spurred by the way I saw a friend mis-treated at work, I decided it was time to change.
I can’t remember who first uttered the words ‘Be the change you want to see…’ but this is me, still ripping-up everything that came before and only holding onto those people and those experiences I value. Our new house has now – in just two months – become more like a new home. An old career – of nearly 15 years – has been left behind as Rose and I begin a new business. Quite simply, though there will always be printed books, there is for various reasons simply no will on the part of publishers to ensure the future of the printed trade and therefore experienced booksellers. Looking back, it was inevitable that I would get around to the blogs as none of them really captured the recent dramatic events and the changes that followed.
Here’s to the future. I came, I saw, I’m living it…