There are some positive things coming to the Tree House to brighten the last weeks of winter! I was on the verge of deciding it was a losing battle, but the wonderful encouragement and enthusiasm for the Tree House of friends and strangers alike has spurred me on.
After a short break, the film club will restart this coming Sunday – thanks to those who helped make this happen! We will meet twice weekly, on Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings – see the Film Club tab for more information.
The piano was tuned yesterday, and is sounding lovely! I was really worried it was too far gone, but the lovely piano tuner did not throw up his hands in horror and in fact was quite jolly about the whole thing. I can recommend Keith Owen, if anyone needs a piano tuner! So feel free to tickle the ivories next time you are in. Someone did yesterday, soon after Keith had left, and played beautifully…I was in tears! So lovely to have a piano in the shop, now that it can be played.
I am hoping to introduce some little bits and pieces to make the shop more fun. A blackboard where people can tell us what they are reading, or write a quote, or recommend a read. A ‘blind date with a book’ box – an idea I saw on Twitter over the weekend: books are wrapped in brown paper with a few words written on it to give a basic sense of what sort of book it is, and you buy it unseen – a little adventure! Great for when you can’t decide what you want to read. A regular radio time – maybe Crime and Thrillers on Radio 4 Extra, which runs from 1-2pm during the day; once a week we could meet on the sofas with a cup of tea and listen to the radio. And other such things!
Various musicians of various kinds have been in touch offering to perform, so I will get my act together and get a programme of live music together. I was going to scale things down and focus on the books, and still very much want to do the latter, but it’s crazy to turn away lovely and talented people who want to be involved.
I am thinking about bigger things in the longer term – changing the status of the shop to a community interest group or, more appealingly, to become a co-operative, if there is interest. This might help with our overheads – the shop is doing well, if only we could reduce our overheads slightly we would get on much faster.
There’s more – there is always more – but I have a renewed sense of what might be achievable. Above all, though, I want to promote reading and books and literature as a crucial part of society and a means of creating and enriching a sense of community. The key reason for setting up the bookshop in the first place was to make a stand against the anti-intellectualism I see all around me in British society, and that is my priority for this new year.
Reading is fabulous, on so many levels.