Right now, with about a month to go before we open, we’ll admit that the shop looks like a bit of a war zone. There are half-built shelves all over the place. There are wires peeking playfully out from behind screens. (Where do they go? Nobody knows.) There are light fittings we can’t wait to replace. And there’s half a Harry Potter novel plastered to the front window to protect our modesty from curious eyes.
What there isn’t much of, so far, is actual books. We’re nearly ready, though.
In the back room stands this beauty, which will hold the shop’s galleys, or ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies). These are uncorrected proofs that publishers circulate to booksellers and other industry people several months before scheduled publication, in the hopes that early readers will rave about the book and start creating a buzz about it. These galleys are one of the best things about being a bookseller. When we went to the American Booksellers Association Winter Institute in Memphis this January, there was a whole room full of the things, and we each returned with – well, it doesn’t matter exactly how many we had in the trunk of my car, really, but it was a lot. It’s fun to read the hot new books before they come out – that’s how we’re able to give our customers recommendations about the vary latest releases as soon as they’re published.
There are already many treasures nestled snugly inside this beautiful box. We can’t wait to tell you about them.