Chapter 27 - Every Last Word
I had an "Out of Africa" moment this week. The first line of that terrific book by Isak Dinesen is "I once had a farm in Africa." You see, I was in line in the grocery store and the cashier said she was just going to spend the July 4th holiday reading a book. I asked what she was reading and she said The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews. We started talking about Mary Kay and I told the cashier about meeting Andrews at the Savannah Book Festival. We talked about Mary Kay's books and the cashier asked me how I knew so much about books. I nearly said I own a bookstore but stopped myself just in time.
Norma and I sold Bookends Used Book Store this past week. Talk about bittersweet! The new owner is Mindy Romanosky, a lovely woman, big reader, and former teacher. I know she will do extremely well with the store and love it as we have. While I will miss the mechanics of the job and the peace I have found in walking into my favorite bookstore almost daily, I will miss the friends I have come to know most of all, for my customers have truly become my friends.
While I can't give shout outs to all, there are so many that have made my heart happy and filled my brain with book talk. I know their stories, I know their families, I know their challenges as they do mine. There is Betty who has become a great friend, the sisters Sue, Sharie, and Bonnie - my ladies who lunch, and Marty who comes in to keep Norma and me company periodically. I'll miss Diane who is one of Bookends' favorite customers for many reasons. I'll miss George who is the world's biggest Clemson fan, Bill who just got a new Great Dane puppy, and Gloria who tells me I turned her into a reader. For summer folk, I'll miss Jennabeth, Caitlin, and Janet who are always up for book chats, the Baltimore family with their two beautiful children, and the family who has been bringing their children in since the store opened and now, after 15 years, have sons and daughters-in-law coming in with them. I will miss my Canadian friends too - Sharon who is a cozy mystery fan, Jim - an adventure story kind of guy, Ann and Ian with their beautiful Border Collie, and Claudette who is a fall visitor.
Of course we have lost some customers over the years, not due to customer service, but because of age or just because they have moved away. There was Judy who loved romantic suspense, Jeppy who was into popular fiction, Marjorie who was a big fan of Southern writers, Leah who introduced me to the Ocean Creek book club, and Leonora who was a big literary fiction fan and, of course, many more.
I would be remiss if I don't acknowledge some extremely important people in my bookstore life. First, without question, is my business partner, friend, financial guru extraordinaire, Norma. I can't imagine being in business with anyone but her. My dearest friends Claudia and Albert who helped me decide to pursue a bookseller life. Last but certainly not least is my wonderful husband, David, who, when I said I wanted to buy into a bookstore said, "Go for it! It is where you need to be in the universe."
So as I say goodbye to this period of my life, my heart is full of happiness of the people I've met and the books I've read. I look forward to the next chapter for both Bookends and myself. While I'm not sure where my next book will take me, you can be assured I will never stop reading or talking about books!
For now, I'm taking a summer vacation. Look for me again in the fall when I'll be bringing you more books for you to enjoy via this blog!