Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Blog: def:- A portmanteau of 'Web log'


Once again I had that conversation that starts. "Why 'The Big Green Bookshop'? Are you only selling ecologically sound books? Well, are you?"

Well, are we?

I like this conversation because it gives me a great opportunity to talk at length about the shop - and any other subject that pops into my head. (Simon will tell you that it is quite difficult to keep my attention for too long. I am in fact the secret identity of Distracto-Man... Or is it that Distracto-Man is my secret identity? We were once walking back from our solicitors discussing operational policies and I ended up telling Simon about the rubber-band ball that Harry (Youngest son - not allowed to mention) has been making using only the red rubber-bands that postmen drop everywhere.) What were we talking about? Oh yes, the name.

So here they are, the reasons why THAT name. Word by word.

1) THE: the definite article. We are definitely going to open this shop, despite the best efforts of outside influences. We also know that the site we've chosen is definitely not on a flood plain, and we definitely don't have to pay any chancel taxes. That was a weight of my mind I can tell you.

2) BIG: large in size, amount or extent. Well, the shop isn't large so it can't be about that. Nope, it was the idea that was big (as in "What's the big idea?") When Simon first suggested we go independent I was so stunned I was almost speechless...almost. It was such a big idea, and would mean such a big change in both our lives. It took nearly ten minutes for me to be distracted, but that was only the job I was being paid to do interupting my chain of thought, and therefore not important. Other BIG things that contribute to this being a key part of the name are; The big-hearted people who encouraged us from the start, the big characters we've come across through-out the project (I'm not going to call it a 'journey' as this would imply that we're actually going somewhere instead of just sitting in front of respective computer screens killing aliens (only the ones that need killing) and occasionally ordering hundreds of books... Quite a BIG order, I think you'll agree) then there's The Big Banana which is a tourist attraction in the city of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales and consists of a large building in the shape of a banana. Never been there, hope to go......

3) GREEN: colour, the perception of which is evoked by light having a spectrum dominated by energy with a wavelength of roughly 520–570 nm This is the one which has caused the most discussion, so let's sort it out now. We are not just selling environmentally sound books, but that doesn't mean that we won't be doing our bit to stop the planet from going phut. We are going to encourage people to recycle their bags (this will save us money as well) and we will endeavour to keep all our power usage down (this will save us money as well). OK, if it's not 'Green' in the post-modern, planet saving sense, why 'Green' at all? Well, We are in the heart of Wood Green, and 'The Big Wood Green Bookshop' would have been too easy to explain (also nobody suggested it in the competition. Does everybody remember the competition? for those who've only just joined this blog I'd better explain. We ran a competition (mostly with the local schools)to name the bookshop. We had loads of entries, and a year 7 girl from a local school won it. It's been such a long time I can't remember the winning suggestion.. Oh yes, that was it "The Big Green Bookshop" why are we calling it that? it's not as if we'll just be selli.......... sorry, drifted off again) Also - back to the subject in hand - although we are both experienced booksellers, and bookshop managers, neither of us has experience of running a business of this scale from scratch. So you could say that the 'Green' refers to our inexperience. And green is a damn good colour (it's not my favourite colour. That's blue. But can you imagine the problems we would have if we called ourselves 'The Big Blue Bookshop' Not only the adult connotations of the word 'blue' but the fact that we would be hated by stutterers everywhere. (Why is stutter such a hard word for stutterers to say? That's just mean. It's like forcing Dyslexics to spell dyslexia) Distracto-Man strikes again

Which leaves us with

4) BOOKSHOP: shop where books are sold Let's just think about that for a moment. A shop where BOOKS are sold. That is what we are going to be. Have a think about all the shops you know where books are sold... Have you done that? Ok, now think about how many of them can actually clasify themselves as Bookshops (Bookshop should always have a capital. It is that important. (unless of course it's part of a logo, in which case lower-case is acceptable)(Uh-oh, bracket build up imminent))) Naming no names, but... You've got your stationers who sell books, your post-office with its ladybird spinner, your garage forecourt shop with it's Mills and Boon dumpbin, your computer shop selling computer books, your supermarket with chart books next to the magazines, your department store with stray spinners dotted all over the place (and sometimes an actual book department), your large chain 'Bookshop' with its racks of wrapping paper, greetings cards, notebooks, gift bags, gift tags, reading glasses, bookplates, bookmarks, inspirational/calming music CDs, novelty pens, novelty mugs, remote controlled Daleks, jigsaw puzzles, board games, travel board games, reading lights, magnifying glasses, diaries, calendars and occasional chart-topping paperback ("Do you have any exercise books?"... "No, we don't sell stationery. Have you tried Smi....) OK, ok we will probably sell some greeting cards. But no more than a small spinner full. And we intend to make and sell our own range of bookmarks. BUT THAT'S ALL!!!

So there you have it. THE BIG GREEN BOOKSHOP. It's got a nice ring to it, hasn't it?

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