A lot can change in a week – this year has certainly shown us that. It’s no different here at the Tree House: a couple of weeks ago we found ourselves at a point where survival seemed impossible, but last week salvation came in the shape of the fabulous Astley Book Farm near Bedworth, the largest second-hand bookshop in the Midlands, and a popular haunt for some of our volunteers and regular customers. Owner Vivienne Mills (we even have the same initials!) appeared on the scene like some sort of angel and offered to take on the bookshop. It was too good an offer to refuse, especially as I will be able to carry on working here (three days a week) and will still be able to run our evening events.
It means the Tree House will no longer be a Social Enterprise – in other words, it’s no longer a non-profit community venture, but will be run as a commercial second-hand bookshop. Vivienne has been running Astley Book Farm for 12 years and it is thriving, so we are in very good hands! It is a huge relief to know that the bookshop is now much more financially secure. Things are already changing in terms of the stock, and it will be an excellent second-hand bookshop – something in itself of real value to Kenilworth.
The community side of things will continue via our evening events, and I will have more time and energy to focus on organising those. We are having a bit of a break at the moment, but I am putting together a new programme of music, lectures, films and literary events, and will publish those soon. For advance notice and earlybird tickets when available, you can subscribe to our mailing list (see the tab above for this).
So there is still lots of potential for us to continue to bring people together through literature and the arts, and to bring live music and other wonderful things to the people of Kenilworth. This is all thanks to Vivienne and Astley Book Farm. Hurray!
Book donations: We are no longer taking donations of books – we now buy books, so if you have books you are getting rid of, call in on a Tuesday or Thursday and have a chat with Vivienne, or bring them to her on those days.
Tea/coffee: We have also stopped offering tea and coffee – this was always an informal arrangement, and while refreshments will still be available at evening events, it is not possible to carry on providing them during the day.
It’s all very exciting, I hope you will continue to follow us in this new chapter and call in whenever you can. I have a lot of people to thank for getting us this far, but will do that in a separate post.