Jack’s Wednesday guest post reverts to Thursday again –
It’s certainly no secret anymore that we are actively looking to pass along Tales of the Lonesome Pine to as yet unidentified new owners. The building/business should be listed very shortly.
One of the interesting things has been producing a briefing sheet showing the financial information over the twelve years since we opened, as well as a narrative describing the things that worked/didn’t work to promote the business.
The financial report was relatively easy as we have kept careful records, could consult bank statements and sales tax returns as well as saved card sales. Of course running a bookstore in a small rural town in an economically challenged area isn’t easy. But what was obvious when I ran the figures was two things. Opening the Second Story Café had a significant impact and so did the publication of ‘The Little Bookstore’. There was a big trade-off between the bookstore and the café, and the book continues to bring folk from all over the country and even from around the world.
We wanted to pass along to any potential new owners all the insights we had gained and experiences that had ‘educated’ us. We also wanted to try to share our enthusiasm for the place – not just the business but the town and the community as well.
‘The Little Bookstore’ is almost a working manual in itself, but it’s now six years old and life moves on. Things that worked then don’t necessarily work now and lots of different opportunities have presented themselves.
Our fondest hope is that ‘Tales of the Lonesome Pine’ will continue to operate and flourish as a bookstore and hub of this community, and doesn’t end up being sold as simply the house we stumbled on twelve years ago – but that’s in the hands of fate!
Where we, personally, end up next is anyone’s guess right now but there comes a time when you just know it’s time to move on. The world’s a much smaller place now so you never lose touch with friends and we might not be too far away anyway.
Hopie that our Bookclub can make a trip to the book store before you sell it.
Oh wow…….it won’t be the same but prayerfully the new owners will add a new dimension and you two will continue to share with those of us who love your enthusiasm, fun adventures and great writing.
You ARE selling it as a bookstore, right? Having been there and loved it (I wanted to move there), I certainly hope nobody buys it just for the building/location/whatever other reason than continuing to keep a wonderful bookstore for the community. That would be too sad.
We definitely want it to continue as a bookstore!
Will miss your insights and all your furry friends…..
Big Stone Gap *needs* a Little Bookstore.
Having visited in May after reading the book, I was blessed by the sense of mission combined with sharing of yourselves. Thanks for the opportunity to read wonderfully written stories about building a village. Please keep the blog going–love the stories.
In all seriousness, I would love to take over the Tales of the Lonesome Pine. I know that seems foolish to say (given that I know nothing of the finances or numbers), but your memoir encouraged me to take huge leaps and pursue my own dream of opening a bookstore.
If nothing else, thank you so much.
Give jack a call at the shop and have a chat. It’s 276-523-5097.
Please do Alexis – you wouldn’t be committing to anything but I can certainly provide numbers etc.