Sunday, March 02, 2008

Did I Mention................


i've had a couple of people ask when we're going to open. I was sure i'd mentioned it before but


Yes, the Big Green Bookshop will open just 17 days after we got our hands on the keys. Ten days ago there was an internet cafe at Unit 1, Brampton Park Road, Wood Green, London N22 6BG. But that was then, and we don't plan to sit around like we've had to for the last 4 months as we waited for a bunch of incompetent estate agents and solicitors to do their job.
Yesterday was another brilliant day, and our call for help was answered in spades.

Bookshop United. Top Row L-R. Shena Aitkenhead, Katie Chuck, Katie Scarfe, Mark Farley, James Hoddinott, Laurie Owen, Lauren Ace, Neil Wilcock. Bottom Row L-R. Tim West, Simon Key. Not Pictured. Harry West, Julie West, Ewen Brown.
What an amazing turnout, and we got a load of stuff done again. WE had a team of dedicated bunting makers, and we're on our way to making 150 metres of green bunting

Ewen had a rotten job of putting together stools and a folding table, which he did without a word of complaint, and we really appreciate it.

We got in a bit of child labour as you can see, and Harry was very useful getting into those tight corners to finish off the painting.

There are some more fantastic photos on Mark Farley's brilliant blog, The Bookseller To The Stars.
I hope he won't mind if I nick one, because we finally started getting some books on the shelves and I was so busy checking them off the invoice (it's my money now, so it was even more impportant to make sure all the books were there), that I didn't take any photos. Mmmm, lovely books.

We finished the day having checked all of the fiction section, and pretty much all the Science Fiction. It was quite emotional to be honest.

My request for a Maisy Mouse costume wearer has also born fruit and we have a couple of people who have said they'd be happy to do it.
We've now persuaded 8 authors to make an appearance during the day to sign copies of their books and to generally join in all the fun, and the balloons should be here on Wednesday.
The shopsign is due to arrive tomorrow. I hope we don't drop it in our attempt to put it up ourselves. We'll do anything to save a few quid. We've also hopefully got the local paper coming to take some photos, and our (paper) carrier bags should be arriving tomorrow.
Lots of kids publishers have been brilliant, and have sent us tons of free stuff to put in goodie bags, and we're finalising games and competitions to keep people amused. We also have had an offer of a fanfare and the like for when our competition winner reveals the shop sign on Saturday at the opening.

We're spending today away from the shop. I'm re-doing an order that got lost in the post, and going through the short list of books that Bertram's didn't have form our opening order. I'm also trying to source boks that weren't available from other suppliers as well.

I go through stages of panic as the great day gets closer. I've ordered too much, i haven't ordered enough, the books are all wrong, the're's going to be a thunderstorm next saturday, no-one will turn up, the tills won't work, i'll be violently ill and unable to stand up. I imagine this isn't unusual, but it is'nt the most pleasant of feelings.

We have a website you can go to it by clicking here. At the moment it's at the development stages, but there's all the info you need for the time being. We'll stick some shiny photos of the shop on there as soon as the shop becomes shiny. Once we've got the opening out of the way we'll be able to spend some more time and money on it. The website is being designed by the talented and amiable Tim a website designer from Brighton, who can grow a fine moustache with considerable ease. Check out his website.

Oh yes, we we're going to have a pre-opening party this Thursday, but we decided it would be better to make sure the shop was ready to set sail on the good ship retail, so it's going to be a couple of weeks later than previously advertised. Patience...

Right then, back to work.


June said...

I would be the one blooming saturday when I have to work wouldn't it ! Blast and botherations !! I will be there in spirit though cheering you both on and visit as soon as I can ...

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I won't be there either, as it's my birthday and I've got relatives visiting from across the North Sea and I don't think they'd appreciate being dumped at the local pub...

On the other hand, it is kinda neat that I'll be exactly 30 years older than your shop ;o)

Couldn't come over this weekend (work) or the weekend before, but I'll come and visit as soon as I can. WITH chocolate.


MarkFarley said...

what am I doing with my hands in the team photo?


Simon Key said...

Katie and I were wondering the same thing. I assumed it was something for Mother's day.

LadyBooks said...

I would just like to say how much of a blessing it has been to me reading your blog. My husband and I (we're Americans, African Americans at that)decided to open a bookstore this year...and ironically, I thought, how hard could it be? I've spent my life with books and been an online bookseller, shouldn't be that hard. Just the beginning planning alone has been an interesting adventure in detailed chaos.
But finding your blog has been so encouraging! I'm super excited about your store opening!!! Odd how the internet can make you feel apart of something that you have nothing to do with! :) I wish you much deserved success!!

Lesley said...

Gggrr - family is going to get in the way of me seeing your lovely, shiny new shop for the next fortnight or more. Hope to pop over by the end of March. It's been awe-inspiring seeing everything take shape - congrats again.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to wish you all the best for the big opening. Sounds as though I'm moving back to the area just at the right time.

J D'L said...

Dear Simon and Tim,

It was an honour to visit your premises. I can't believe the changes from ruined internet cafe to BGB in just these few days. You've created a brilliant virtual community and its power for change in the real world is obvious.

It's amazing how long an idea can stay in the conceptual phase before become concrete and it's great to see your vision solidifying. I've got everything crossed, inlcluding my marvellous testicles, that this venture becomes something enduring and of benefit to many people. Judging by the comments here, it's already touching people's lives far, far away.

Good luck for the Big Green Day. I hope I'll be able to visit again soon.

All the very best,