The Times they are a Changin’

It’s Thursday so it must be time for Jack’s Wednesday post –

Well – it’s finally really real.

The bookstore is up and listed for sale and the for-sale sign is prominent out front.

It’s kind of strange to have reached this point after much to-ing and fro-ing, debating and soul-searching. Many people have asked us where we are going and are we taking the bookstore somewhere else? Right now we have no idea where we’ll end up but we both feel that it’s time for another chapter in our shared story and an as yet undefined further adventure. We would much prefer to sell to someone who will continue to run it as the ‘the little bookstore that could’, but if it has to go back to a big old house then so be it.

bennett

Part of the decision was about getting back to a simpler and less complicated life in a more manageable sized house. Of course it’s also just that sometimes a voice in your head says “it’s time’.

In the twenty years Wendy and I have been married we have lived in Fife, Scotland, Padiham, England, White Springs, Florida and here in Big Stone Gap. The longest we’ve been anywhere is here in Virginia.

I should admit right away that I absolutely hate moving house. The physical effort, the decisions about what to keep, the legalities around house sale and purchase and all the change of address stuff involved.

However, despite all that, we remain the same people and we don’t abandon friends. Social media can be a real pain but it is an excellent way to stay in touch with folk regardless of where we might physically be.

Some people have asked what will happen to my radio show and I’ve assured them that, through the wonders of the internet there’s no reason it shouldn’t keep on going as long as WETS wants it.

My tours of Scotland will also continue for two more years, although the 2019 one is fully subscribed at the moment.

A final thought – our time running the bookstore has been delightful and we’ve made many good and loyal friends along the way. Whoever takes it over will be part of a supportive community and a town that is now waking up to its true potential. The town council is bringing forward lots of good ideas to take advantage of the wonderful architecture, history and surrounding beautiful mountain countryside. Big Stone Gap is known for its local authors and famous books and the local outdoor drama based on ‘The Trail of the Lonesome Pine’ has gotten a new lease of life. All of this will continue to pull people in and the bookstore has great potential to take advantage of that and go on to build on its reputation as one of the ‘places not to miss’ for the increasing number of visitors.

 

9 Comments

Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

9 responses to “The Times they are a Changin’

  1. Leslie Gillispie

    No!

  2. Phyllis Jean Moore

    Best of adventures to you both.
    Phyllis

  3. Cathy Rickey

    How exciting, sad, nervy, exhausting, and on it will go!! But don’t stop writing, sharing, caring, and on and on!! Please consider a stop-over at Bell Cottage if you come to Georgia!! And keep on writing, singing, sharing, and caring!!

  4. Jack Beck

    Thanks Cathy – one of these days!

  5. Dorothy Donatello

    Jack and Wendy, first of all, thank you for your wonderful book. I have read it many times. I have followed your blog also for quite a while and I have to say I am sad to see that you are selling the bookstore. All those wonderful; groups you set up along with your animal rescues. ( I am an avid animal lover). I hope you do the next step in your life with ease. I also hope someone will continue your wonderful bookstore. I love books and found your idea for opening up the bookstore inspiring. Best of luck in whatever you do. You will be missed by all. Please keep posting on your blog and hopefully, you will write another book. Blessings.

  6. Janice Brooks-Headrick

    Twenty years ago, I’d be at your doorstep with a check. I wish the next bookseller the very best. Jan

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