Friday, January 05, 2007

Hello, hello, it's good to be back

'Tis twelfth night, and although Nicki and I didn't originally plan it this way, with the decorations now down, and the Christmas Tree back in the garden we felt it appropriate to break our Christmas blog purdah. I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas too. Also - more importantly - as of yesterday big boxes of fresh, invigorating new books arrived from various locations, so we felt able to talk properly about a New Year, rather than feeling a bit sheepish that there were still lots of old Christmas books kicking around the place like so much leftover turkey. One of the best things that has happened this week is the feedback from some of our Christmas recommendations. Winner in this category has to be Melissa from our Thursday bookgroup. Back in November I did some serious hunting around for her difficult-to-buy-for uncle in Canada (my only clues: "he doesn't read much, but used to be a semi-professional pool player). In the end I suggested an obscure US book on pool called "Hustler Days". Well, not only did he read it in a day, but he had already (before she'd left to return to England) used two of the hustles to earn himself CAD$200 - not sure if that's legal, but I guess we should have sold the book on a cut of the earnings... Our favourite customer at the moment, however, is Ruth Foulsham - only 7 years old (apologies if I got the age wrong Sally!), Upon receiving a book token for Christmas, she wrote in her thank you note words to the effect of "Thank you for the book token, I am going to spend it in Mostly Books". So - yes, we did survive Christmas, and, yes, we had a fantastic break. Alex turned three on the 29th December, had a frightening number of presents (including plenty of new books, many of which closely resembled the reading list from storytime these last few months), and had a huge blowout of a birthday party last Friday which obviously took some organising. So we didn't exactly spend the festive break sitting around watching telly and eating chocolates (well, not the whole time anyway). So - to 2007. Six months down the round, and Nicki and I have plenty of new ideas for the New Year, some of which we will be posting on the blog over the next week or so. The next issue of the Mostly Books newsletter goes out this weekend - please email us if you want to receive a copy. We have plenty of challenges ahead - but I'm pleased to report that the bookshop is in good shape for 2007. In terms of our mid-year report card, a B+ for the shop and the feedback we have received, a B- for finances, and a C for going a teensy bit mad on stock in the run up to Christmas. 'Satisfactory work and progress, must do better' for those last two. The year ahead will be a red letter one for many reasons - but the biggest challenge undoubtably will be a new arrival in April which has nothing to do with books. Yes, it's official, bookselling not only helps you lose weight, but boosts your fertility too. I am pleased to report that Alex is expecting a new baby brother or sister sometime around the second week in April. I'm sure Crockatt and Powell will think we're copying all their best ideas you know...

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I was looking suspiciously at Nicki the other week, but I didn't want to get barred from the shop if I'd got it wrong.

    That's really lovely news.

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  2. Congratulations. So we'll be getting baby updates as well as books? ( :

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  3. Absolutely, although Nicki isn't aware yet I posted our announcement to the blog...

    P.S. Apologies Verilion for the lack of picture of the SF + fantasy bookcase, it got very manic before Christmas. It's on my list once I've repaired the battering it took...

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  4. Oh good, after all that phantom pregnancy metaphorically awful talk I indulged in over the birth of the shop it's going to happen for real.This one will be a breeze in comparison, Congratulations!

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  5. Hi Mark and Nicki - fantastic news!

    Our Finn has a tooth now. Well, a sort of sharp bit of tooth poking through his lower gum. All happens very fast...

    All the best for the new year.

    Independent Bookshops Rule!

    PS You should see the number of empty wine bottles we have in our cellar. London. Den of vice.

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  6. Thanks guys - I guess you'll need to clean up those wine bottles before your POD machine arrives?

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