Before I had a bookshop, the idea of having one lit up the back fence like some kind of unwanted answer from the past.
I remember looking at empty shops. When I found one, I thought, well! I never expected any kind of commercial success, but I did hope to survive. What the shop was to look like was paramount. It had to look like Diagon Alley – because this was what I liked. Thus, the shop was based on what I wanted, what I liked, what I thought was good. A good selfish start.
(I had a lot to learn.)
Once a child said, “This is like Diagon Alley’, and sealed the happiest day of my first year.
I was surrounded by thousands of oblongs, each one containing an unexpected rich fuse. I felt so wealthy that I had to lie down and cradle my head.
It was not possible to explain such an abandonment of logic. I remember experiencing it early in life; after reading Tubby and the Lantern. This was because Tubby and Ah Mee had a bunk bed.
In Little House on the Prairie, there was snow.
In Sam and the Firefly, there were lights, gold gems stinging an emerald blue sky.
In Whispering in the Wind, Crooked Mick could sit on a horse and drink two cups of tea while it bucked.
Later, Helen Garner, John Steinbeck, Dal Sijie…. uncovering the diabolical ache of life without solutions. So much. So little time.
Then, repeated visits to Jeff’s Books to learn how to do it:
What happens if…..
What do I do when…
How do I…
What should I….
How can I…
Finally, back to my shop to actually do it. I had to learn how people read, and why. This was different, and it was difficult, and it still is. So much to learn, so little time. Luckily, I recorded it all.