Two weeks. Two weeks without our silly, sweet story time gang on Saturday mornings. Two weeks without our customers stopping by to trade and/or donate boxes of books (feels like Christmas morning every.single.time.). Two weeks without new book arrivals and creating displays, rotating our staff favorites and decorating for the current holiday/season. Two weeks without all of you coming in to say hello, to share the latest news about your new job, your baby’s milestone, the loss of someone you love, the best/worst date you had, the decadent dessert you shared at a favorite restaurant in town, the book you just couldn’t put down, the story you heard on NPR, the charity event your heading, the local happenings that are not to be missed…. Two weeks doesn’t seem like a long time, but it’s certainly been long enough to serve as a reminder that this is what we love.
As you may have already read, we experienced a significant setback that has replaced our excitement/enthusiasm with a hefty dose of discouragement. We have been half-heartedly scouting out alternative locations to house the bookstore and we’re trying to remain optimistic and open-minded to new possibilities, but the truth is we have found the perfect new home for Afterwords Books.
Each morning I walk downstairs to prepare breakfast, past the three rooms we allocated for our shop and try to ignore the weighty disappointment that accompanies the realization that we may not be able to make this happen. The high ceilings, the original woodwork, the gorgeous, gleaming hardwood floors, the sunlight streaming through the windows, our empty bookshelves, the boxes and boxes of books stacked in the corners of each room, our bare puppet, puzzle, and art supplies displays, our blank walls, imagining our littlest readers perched on the window seat we have yet to build under the bay window, and empty armchairs, rockers, and the sofa are begging to become a bookstore! This is challenging without the capital we desperately need, but it’s not impossible.
We haven’t given up the hope that our vision will come to fruition. However, we realize that in order to meet the city’s requirements, our grand re-opening celebration may find us opening our doors to our community with a watered-down version of our original blueprint. As long as we have the community’s continued support, we will follow-through with our plans to make Afterwords the bookstore we see for our customers each and every time we walk through those empty rooms.