My Name Is Bel. This Is My Blog about Bookshop Owning, ExPat Life and Anything Else That Wonders Aimlessly Out of My Head And Onto The Written Page.

Today - Monday October 22nd 2018

Today - Monday October 22nd 2018

Today is a Monday. Mondays are not much fun in my bookshop. Well, that’s not actually true - they are fun, but they don’t generate a huge amount of money and often as not I’m lucky if I turnover over enough to keep the lights on. Monday is my worry day, my quiet day. But open I am, I am here, I am going to do my best to find you the book that you really, really wanted, or perhaps something you didn’t know you wanted but will become your favorite new thing! Big smile. Hoping that the person who just walked in wanting “Goodnight Moon” (seriously - doesn’t everyone in America own at least four copies of that thanks to well meaning relatives buying them a copy?!) actually might go with something else that I have suggested. Hoping that the nervous looking young man reaching into his backpack isn’t going to ask me to read his unedited self published picture book that his 2 year old did the art for. Hoping that we will take enough money to keep the lights on. Ugh. Nobody ever said that being an independent bookseller would be easy.

BUT: Today is a good Monday. Today is a good Monday because we had a kindergarten field trip at 10am when we opened. Did you know that we offer this service, for free?! Yup - for the princely sum of absolutely no American dollars whatsoever you can bring your kindergarten class to Bel and Bunna’s! This field trip is one in a series of 5 field trips for kindergarteners from the same local public school. They come at 10am, I read to them (after an inevitably raucous rendition of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”) for 30 minutes, and they leave with a sticker on their hand (or shirt), a current limited edition bookmark and a love of books that will never ever leave them (or so I hope).

Today is a good Monday because my lovely chum Amy and her gorgeous son Freddie came in to talk about the Special Story Time we are doing on Wednesday. Oh - by we, I mean Amy… the shop is just the vessel for Amy’s soon to be monthly event. Amy is one of life’s lovely people, beautiful inside and out. Looks suspiciously like Zooey Deschanel (has anyone ever seen the two of them the same room at the same time?!). An early childhood educator and developmental specialist, she is leading an Inclusive Story Time for children of all abilities - that’s pretty blimming awesome. One of our goals with Bel and Bunna’s was to make it a community space, and as a major East Bay hub for story times (which will go up to four times a week starting on Saturday), as a meeting place, a place for new parents to get advice. Seasoned parents can garner support when their teenagers are being, well, teenagers and it’s a place for book clubs to meet and small people have their birthday parties. We are getting there.

Today is a good Monday because I put up more Halloween decorations in preparation for the insanity which is the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Trick or Treat Street on Friday (I’m sure the chamber has secret shares in the major candy manufacturers… I’ve never SEEN so much candy floating at about as happens at this event!).

Today is a good day because Dr P, who came up with the bare bones for our Books For Schools project popped in for a cup of tea.

Today is a good Monday because my BFF made me write a blog. “You’re funny”, she said. “You’re passionate about your store and your message”, she said. “You’re not getting enough sleep, so what’s another hour of work every day, sleep is overrated”, she didn’t say, but what the heck - I work hard and I’m going to share what’s going on with us, with anyone who cares to read it. The number of people who tell me that running a bookshop is their dream job is amazing. I’m the person who did it. And despite Volderzon having a store 5 miles away, and despite B&N opening a store 8 miles away, I am utterly determined not to fail, to not let my friends and customers down. To continue to make Bel and Bunna’s Books the place for children’s books in the East Bay.

Today’s Numbers:

Meltdowns: 1

Under 8’s Reading Harry Potter on their own: 2

Friends who came for tea: 1

Today - Tuesday 23rd October 2018

Today - Tuesday 23rd October 2018