The Big Comfy Bookshop: An Evolution
The last post I wrote somehow became a huge hit. I didn’t start out with an agenda for it except to say thanks for the past 12 months, but it ended up being a call out to the public, not quite a cry for help, but more a nudge in the ribs to maybe pop along soon. It worked too, we had some people come along who either hadn’t been before or hadn’t for ages. The thing is, it’s a short-term solution as that blog has been and gone and ended up as todays chip paper. So, I’ve been scratching my head and thinking how to keep us front and centre, to be more visible, in a more long-term way.
Since September 2014 to July 2018 I’ve grown from having books and cake, to books and cake and wine, to books and cake and wine and music to, well, loads more. The main one obviously being the huge expansion which brought with it food. But we still need to keep evolving. I’ve come to realise that over the past 6 months I’ve done very little ‘book’ stuff. The pricing and shelving is mostly down to Ali and Eve, although I do some but mainly the researching of the older, rarer books. Social media has changed, with Twitter, which was my number 1 go-to, slowly falling behind Instagram and even Facebook in my use. My author-in-residence-who-lives-on-a-boat-in-the-Carribean Elizabeth Earle has inspired me to delve deeper into the media side. I pride myself on not being a faceless, nameless manager. Even that word manager was hard to type. I’m just a guy who wanted to have a bookshop. Anyway, I like showing you my huge triumphs (Opening the shop! Expanding! Writing a witty sign!) and I also like showing my massive failures (Open-Mic Nights! 20-hour days! Rubbish signs!). I’ve done this through social media, and more so these days on Instagram stories (where my kids often pop up). Well I’ll be adding loads more media. I’ve been planning a podcast for ages and even set it up but never took the plunge. I’ll be documenting the shop in a new vlog/documentary/me-with-a-camera and I’m excited to launch our ‘Fireside chats’ with huge help from Dom Russell (Gentleman & historian par excellence). Together with a more varied, yet still Comfy website, with more blogging from Amy, and a more, I don’t know, organised way of working? I’m hoping to evolve once more.
A word on the Fireside chats. Firstly, it was Dom’s idea and I wish I had it. We plan to have a new video every week with different people chatting for 3 minutes about anything they like. Be it their favourite book, their love for Haribo or How the dinosaurs really died. It’s a 3-minute condensed lecture, a knowledge nugget, an info pot-shot. It’ll be filmed in the shop next to our non-existent fire. I just really like the title. What we do need though, is people. You. If you have a passion for something and think you could teach us all a thing or two in 3 minutes then get in touch! We had 2 run-throughs with Dom, one about a mammoth tooth and the other Warhammer. See what I mean? Literally anything. It’s kinda like a Ted talk but squished into 3 minutes, on our comfy chair in front of books next to our non-fireplace. I'm also looking for likeminded people who might want to help me put all this together. I don't have a budget, at all, so it's really just to help out rather than a hired hand. Email me on Contact@thebigcomfybookshop.co.uk and we’ll take it from there.
The excitement about these projects has engulfed me a little but I must step back and say, please come down and buy a book. We have several thousand. Plus cake.