Thursday, September 2, 2010

How it all Began

How it all began
     As I sit down to compose my second writing as a blogger I am in awe as I realize how strongly my life has been influenced by books.  I can't remember not reading.  I can't recall a time where I didn't get a thrill of anticipation at the thought of a new book. 
     For me owning a bookstore can be equated to an alcoholic owning a bar.  When I purchased the Bookstore in 1992 it wasn't for sale.  In fact the owner made it quite clear that it wasn't for sale.  But that didn't stop me from pursuing my dream.  I use the word pursue the former owners called it stalking...........I called, I inquired, they answered, the answer was no.  I called again, again the answer was no.  Not one to give up easily I took one more end run at them and this time I phrased the question differently: "Hi this is Debbie, Wait don't hang up.  I understand that The Bookstore is not for sale but...if it were for sale how would you go about selling it?"  There was a long dramatic pause, a deep intake of breath and a terse reply "We would hire the prospective buyer as a a manager with no guarantee that we would sell and no expectation that they would want to buy."  I quickly said "When that time comes give me a call......."  She called me the next day.
     At the time I was employed with an insurance agency.  I knew nothing about running a business.  I just knew that I loved books and I loved reading and if I was having a bad day I would find myself at The Bookstore.  Where I would embrace the feeling of coming home, where I would straighten the books on the shelves as I wandered around the store.  Where I would daydream about rearranging the window displays and moving the counter.  I just knew that I felt good when I was there.
     My husband had just begun working for the City of Dillon where there were good benefits, health insurance, a retirement plan and a regular paycheck.  All the things needed by at least one of us in our household in order for me to live my dream.  After meeting with the owner, over a 2 hour lunch, we had ironed out a deal.  I had yet to tell Bill about my harebrained adventure.
     I took Bill out to dinner, laid out my plan, he was speechless (for just a moment) Then the comments and questions began:  "Sooooo, you are quitting your job, giving up a regular paycheck, health insurance, weekends off and paid vacations to buy a business.  As their manager your take home will be 1/4 of what you were making, and we both know you will take home Zero dollars because you will owe them at the end of the month for your books........................"  I said "Yes, to all of that" Then he asked the next question -- "on top of all of that you are going to put us thousands of dollars in debt and how are you paying for this?"  I ordered him another drink, smiled sweetly and said they are carrying the balance and I just need to have the down payment up front..................and I thought we could take out a mortgage on the then he needed that drink.
     Hard to believe that was over 18 years ago.  In that time we have paid for the business, bought the building and burned the mortgage.  There have been many changes yet in some ways no changes at all.  I love what I do.  I still get paid in books and that is fine by me.  Thank goodness I am married to a very handy(and understanding) man that builds bookcases almost as quickly as I fill them.


  1. I love that story!

  2. Thanks Di -- do you get the Montana Standard? There should be a really nice ad for the signing tomorrow. How are you feeling?

  3. Hi Debbie, It's Shannon (Christensen) Clark. I love that you've joined the world of blogging! I would so love to see a book of the month with recommendations from you and others to add to my own reading lists. I, like you could sit for hours reading, too bad diapers need changed and lunches need be prepared!

  4. Beautiful & fun, thank you for sharing.