The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap : A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book
Wendy Welch and her husband always dreamed of owning a bookstore. When the opportunity to escape a toxic work environment and run to a dying Virginia coal mining town presented itself, they took it. And took the plunge into starting their dream as well. They chose to ignore the death of the book, the closing of bookstores across the nation, and the difficult economic environment, and six years later they have carved a bookstore and a life out of an Appalachian mountain community. A story of beating odds with grace, ingenuity, good books, and single malt, this memoirchronicles two bibliophiles discovering unlikely ways in which daily living and literature intertwine. Their customers ""Bob the Mad Irishman,"" ""Wee Willie,"" and ""The Lady Who Liked Romances,"" to name a few come to the shop looking for the kind of interactive wisdom Kindles don't spark, and they find friendship, community, and the uncommon pleasure of a good book in good company. The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gapwill make you run to the local bookstore, and curl up in an arm chair with a treasure in bound pages.
In this beguiling, blog-based memoir, a former nonprofit administrator and storyteller chronicles how she and her Scottish, ex-academic husband found themselves in a central Appalachian town of 5,400 mostly known for Adriana Trigiani novels and a seasonal "folk opera" based on Tales of the Lonesome Pine. The couple daydreamed about opening a used bookstore, and when they found a suitable five-bedroom fixer-upper, they bought it, moved upstairs, and got to work. With scant experience, they opened their bookstore amid the deepening recession and traditional publishing's general decline. Once the initial local curiosity was satisfied and grand opening thrills faded, in dire need of customers and revenue they reached out to a broader customer base through old-fashioned guerrilla marketing and community events on the way to a 38,000-volume inventory. The author chronicles how their customers taught her and her husband about the human element in small business, bookselling, and life itself. The whole narrative exudes enormous charm and the value of dreams and lives truly lived. Agent: Pamela and Louise Malpas, Harold Ober Associates. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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St. Martin's Press
October 02, 2012
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