Books for sale

I’ve had these revelations lately that I need to become some sort of small business entrepreneur. It’s not a new idea, but it’s certainly never been this strong, this persistent. This time it’s a book store – a real independent book store that, in my mind, will grow exponentially until it’s bigger than Powell’s, bigger than Barnes and Noble, and, of course, no longer be independent.

I’m not so sure how possible it is. I’ve always been afraid of failing, as many people are, and I’d be horribly anxious about how things would turn out. I’d micromanage too much. I’d worry for weeks about the smallest problems, and I’d end up being a complete burden on anyone who worked for me.

My idea isn’t original – there are at least ten people in every city who think about opening an independent bookstore. I don’t have any breakthrough suggestions, nothing that would separate my bookstore from any other, but I’d love to give it a shot.

How hard would that be though? A first time business owner who would overreact to every bump and who was afraid of failure? Someone who freaks out when their lawn has yellow spots after only one week of summer?

Kerrie and I have talked about this before, except with a different idea. Our concept, dreamed up at the Crocodile in Seattle, was to move into a two level building in some downtown city, living in the loft upstairs while we ran a vegetarian restaurant/bar on the first level — C & K’s Pub-O-Rama. We drew up the plan on a napkin and everything:

Pub O Rama

It was a grand dream, but impossible to do without a large lump of capital and the right location. Of course, I’d be too afraid to do it anyway.

However, I’m warming more and more to the idea of finally taking some sort of chance with my life – to get the money together and rent out a space downtown where I could sell books.

If I failed, I would at least be able to say “yes, I owned a bookstore once.”

This was lovingly handwritten on May 24th, 2005