30 Days to build a bookshop: Day 4 (my first sale)


Katia dangling a screw from her mouth

I zoned out today working on unscrewing things. Each screw seems to need a different type of coaxing, some come out clean and you palm them with the satisfaction of a kid peeling pound coins off a birthday cards. Others seem to have their own desire lines and have you have to keep applying pressure while they follow the crazed path they’ve decided to take, some spin perfectly in their holes but don’t come out at all and you have to lever them lightly with a chisel or a scraping knife as you work the screwdriver. Some don’t budge a millimetre even using the drill and you end up with a gnarled stripped screw and a low down feeling in your gut that you’ve tried the wrong approach and you’ll pay for it later.

In terms of what happened with the shop I got a fair amount done today. I took the faces off the plug sockets and unscrews them from the wall which meant we got the last big panels off. Now the plug sockets have their faces reattached they hang down from the ceiling which looks weird but works

Inside of a wall

I figured out the puzzle of the slatwall which is that it’s not coming down until the dividing wall does as it runs underneath and clicks into place but it should be a short job in the end. I set to work on the dividing wall and managed to get down to the plasterboard in one area. Taped up the mirrors which are glued to the wall so I don’t accidentally damage them and can remove them more easily when it comes to it. Then something amazing happened,  I got my first sale.

My phone pinged and I saw that Suzi, who runs a gorgeous little shop up the road called Sunshine No. 1 had ordered some books through the website and I burst into tears. It wasn’t just that it was the first sale, it was that it was from someone so great who has been so kind since I rocked up, and also it was that she has phenomenal reading tastes, by that I mean she seems to like the same things I like. I’m lucky to be in Mount Florida, I’m lucky to have neighbours like Suzi, I sat on the floor in the plaster dust and had a little sob. 

When I got home I found out I’m even luckier than I thought. Ollie from Pages of Hackney and Sam from Burley Fisher had both been looking over my crowdfunding campaign and basically rewritten the thing so when it comes out people will think I’m clever and professional. Hopefully they’ll even think the project is worth funding. 

26 days to go. 

I am a lucky lucky happy tired grateful bookseller.