Sunday, December 19, 2010

This is not a dream . . . at least not in the usual sense

Dear Reader -  One of the most typical responses that I receive when someone hears that I'm opening a bookstore is, "Oh! That must've been a dream of yours for a long time!"

The truth is, it wasn't. Not at all.

I never thought of it 'till I was in the midst of a meditation. I was just sitting there, minding my own mindful business, when the clearest vision just popped into my head: used bookstore on Second Street in Lewes (I know the whole meditation thang may sound mildly insane, but just roll with me on this one, Reader).

And I knew instantly that the idea was perfect. Perfect for Lewes 'cause we lost our only general bookstore this year (it had really shifted to become more cafe-oriented, anyhow - the other bookstore in town is Seekers, which offers a really cool mix of books, cards, and gifts for spiritually-minded folks of all faiths). Perfect for the Delaware beaches 'cause the only other general used bookstore around here isn't open very often (John Milton & Co. in Milton is a super store, with tens of thousands of volumes - the owner is a college professor, though, so he's only able to have the shop open on Saturdays - there's also a 7-days a week shop down in Fenwick Island that only carries novels, called A Novel Idea). And perfect because Lewes has a charming, viable downtown - frequented by locals and tourists throughout the year.

It was also perfect for me and Miss C, since it allows us to enjoy doing this together (as opposed to me being away from home working and her being with stuck with a sitter when she's not in school), while simultaneously letting me continue my work as a writer and editor and also working with the special events that I love to help, like St. Peter's Art Show, Comedy at the Beach, and Taste the Fruit of the Vine.

I know it's not a proven path to millionaire acres, but we have a very simple lifestyle, and I felt confident that the shop'd provide us with what we need.

So I had this idea, right? But I had no idea how or when it was going to be effected. So I kept up my meditating and praying and just stayed open to where I'd be led. I knew that I'd need inventory, so I started buying books. Knowing that our life needed to be more nuclear and walkable for this to really work well, I starting putting feelers out for making the move to Lewes. And knowing that I'd need a storefront, I started to network, letting property owners know what I was looking for.

Early in the fall, the housing piece of the puzzle fell into place, thanks to my friends Libby and Tom. And then, shortly thereafter, I found out that the shop that I'd secretly determined would be the best for what I had in mind was coming available at the beginning of the year.

Since then, in an almost uncanny fashion, every other aspect of the shop has just effortlessly fallen into place. I couldn't have made it happen any better if I'd actually planned it.

It's been an adventure, indeed - and now Miss C and I are craning our necks a bit, happily anticipating what's coming around the next bend. I'll keep you posted!  - Jen

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