Those who read this blog regularly know that my husband and I live above the used bookstore we own and operate in Big Stone Gap, VA. This living arrangement leads to some fun handyman projects around the house-cum-bookshop: like painting the titles of novels on our porch steps, so they look like books lying sideways. Or putting up one of those lighted reindeer at Christmas, the one with his head down like he’s grazing, and adding a pair of glasses and a copy of Night Before Christmas.
Jack is a naturally gifted handyman who built all the shelves in our bookstore–including a set of floating shelves upstairs that the customers don’t see. Floating shelves look cool, but they are not space efficient for a shop that is climbing rapidly past 38,000 used books. So we go with the simpler model downstairs.
The project we are most looking forward to currently is the arc de books, copied from a bookshop in Lyon, France. Jack’s been studying on how to build the thing, and I’ve been squirreling away the books we can no longer sell-1990 computer manuals, damaged classics, and those Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. (These are the pigeons of the bookselling world; they leave their crap everywhere.)
Unfortunately for Jack, the interest of friends and fellow bookshop operators in this plan has been piqued. People are sending photos and websites of cool book projects–and I am dreaming big. (Thanks Carolyn Jourdan and Jim Mentink for the photos that appear today.) Jack is keeping his head down and drinking the good whiskey.
Don’t you think these would look nice in our shop, downstairs or up?
Since Jack is in Scotland right now, leading his annual tour of folkies through Scotland and Ireland, I think I could get a few new projects into his “honey do” jar without too much of a fuss, don’t you? After all, he’s a very handy guy around the house.