Monday, January 9, 2023

The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch


Book Description: "An inspiring true story about losing your place, finding your purpose, and building a community one book at a time. Wendy Welch and her husband had always dreamed of owning a bookstore, so when they left their high-octane jobs for a simpler life in an Appalachian coal town, they seized an unexpected opportunity to pursue their dream. The only problems? A declining U.S. economy, a small town with no industry, and the advent of the e-book. They also had no idea how to run a bookstore. Against all odds, but with optimism, the help of their Virginian mountain community, and an abiding love for books, they succeeded in establishing more than a thriving business - they built a community. The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap is the story of the little bookstore that could: how two people, two cats, two dogs, and thirty-eight thousand books helped a small town find its heart. It is a tale of people and books, and how together they create community."

My Review: I have mixed feelings about this book; sometimes I really enjoyed it and other times I was sort of meh. I actually enjoyed the content of the entire book---I think I just didn't care for the author's perspectives, from time to time. 

I'd say this is a fantastic resource and should be required reading for anyone who wants to run a book shop---which I actually am seriously considering doing someday. There was so much good information, even just on how to buy books for resale. 

The book was also full of really great quotable thoughts, like this one: "I don't think I have ever left a library without feeling a twinge of regret, a vague sense of panic that I'd missed something important, that stories, people, and ideas were still in there waiting for me to find them so they could tell me secrets."

I am sort of wondering about the wisdom of keeping humor and some romance books in the bathroom. Do people use this bathroom? Because that’s disgusting... 

The end of the book features lists of what to read and what not to read---all fantastic until the very last entry on the "not to read" list: Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown. And now you know the real reason I have a chip on my shoulder about Wendy Welch. 

Nobody insults my 218 year old boyfriend.

The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap meets the criteria for these reading challenges: The Alphabet Soup Challenge for the letter "L", the TBR Challenge, and the Brighter Winter Reading Challenge for "a book that's structured as a collection of essays or short stories". 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'm not a huge fan of Hawthorne, but that's rather rude of including Hawthorne's to 'not to read' list. Is it the author's list, or the book character's? It's pardonable if it's the latter, but still...