When you tell people you’re opening a bookstore, you get a lot of interesting looks. You get big-eyed reactions and unsuccessful attempts to hide fear and anxiety for your plans. In a world of smart phones and ebooks, a lot of people think our population has stopped reading print, but they haven’t. I’m a millenial–part of the generation that people assume live on screens–and I want a solid book in my hands. I want the smell of paper, of dust even. I want a tactile thing to curl up with. I want dog-eared pages and the ability to scribble inside them if the words merit scribbling about. And this is why after years of working a “safe” government job I’m opening up my life to a store full of books.
If you look at recent data, printed books aren’t doing badly at all. Sales at independent book stores are up six percent this year, and ABA (American Booksellers Association) has reported a 25 percent increase in memberships since 2009. So, while opening a book store is a gamble, like starting any business is a gamble, I’m willing to take that chance to do something I love, and that’s reading (and talking about) books.
I was raised on books. Our house had shelves of picture books that I read and re-read. My mother read us The Hobbit before bed, giving each character their own voice. We took frequent trips to the public library, where I read the entirety of the Babysitter’s Club series and every book written by Lurlene McDaniel. I remember being enthralled by the used book store in my hometown and using what little spending money I had to purchase a romance novel where the protagonist was romanced by a genie. I was never happier than when I had a book in my hands, and I want to spread that joy to my customers at Second Flight Books.
We’re opening in just a few days. So come on in, say hello, and find something that makes you happy.