Yesterday I started daydreaming about the day when I will open my own bookshop...and I thought it was so good I had to share. It would be called "Take it Easy", and its name would reflect its mission: a place where we take everything the easy way. Absolutely no uniforms. Individualism in dressing would be encouraged, as well as in the hairdos, make up and everything else. Staff behaviour should be friendly and open but not sales driven. Customers should feel like they're stepping in their own place, like a second home, where they're welcome but not pushed to buy or to make conversation. The shop and the shelves should be neat and tidy but the shelves and the walls would be customised by the staff and the customers: stickers, accessories, any kind of decoration. All the posters would be hand-made, painted by a member of staff recruited for their artistic skills. Or any of us should try out our artistic senses.
Then, and here I think it's the best part, the sections wouldn't be your regular, traditional ones. Well, yes, I would retain maybe the main "Fiction" or "Biographies" for examples. But the main features should be sections like "Books to keep you awake at night" , "Unputtadownables", "Banned books you should read", "Future Classics", "Non-sappy romances", "Gates to the Otherworld", "Books you shouldn't bother, you're warned"(I'd say that'd be a small section, but yuu always have those people who always want to do the opposite of what they're told...), "Comfort reading", "Recommended by customers" and others...
Then I'd have a section for the dead stock (unreturnables) with a mailbox beside it for people to leave whatever they think the book is worth ( inspired by Hay-on-Wye!).
I imagine the shop itself to be very colourful. Also, if there's enough space, I'd like it to have a small coffe-shop, run by the staff at turns. I don't want a different company inside it. I would hire someone to bake organic and fair-trade cookies, muffins and cakes. And pancakes in the morning. This idea is stolen straight from my other dream job which is a coffe-shop with lots of other things going on, but that's another story. If I can't have that one, I'd have a bit of both in them. So, in my "Take it easy" bookshop, there would be regular gigs in the evening, with locals or emerging bands, and obviously book launches as well!
To encourage the building of a community of people I would offer free coffee or cake to anyone who writes a review for our newsletter/magazine. Also I'd have bookclubs, make-and-do clubs, knitting clubs, and lots of other stuff.
It'd be AWESOME!
Now, who's willing to put the money in? :P
No? Ok then, I'll keep dreaming:)