For anyone who actually remembers the previous incarnation of the site (Shelfworn Books), I apologise. It has been a long time since I wrote. But there is a reason, and a reason that the site has changed into The Frog and Flamingo, of all things.
In short, since my last post, I have been rather busy following my longtime dream of running my own secondhand bookshop.
I love books. I was always the kid in the corner with her nose in a book, when everyone else was out building snowmen, or pond dipping, or whatever. Some of my fondest memories are of long hot summers, lolling around in the garden with a jug of something cold and a stack of unread books.
Mum used to take me to secondhand bookshops a lot, and I fell in love with the slightly musty smell, the organised chaos, the random quotes pinned to the shelves. And something else… the sort of magic that old books hold. The imprint of the enjoyment of their previous readers, and the anticipation that the right reader will eventually come along and treasure them.
And not only did I love reading them. I was the geekiest kid going, and when I was about 11, I actually catalogued my Mum’s (not insignificant) book collection. On the computer. Before computers were that clever. I was always fascinated with the whole process of cataloguing and organising things. I colour coded the video collection whilst I was at it.
So yes, it became a dream to one day own my own bookshop, which would, understandably be the greatest bookshop in the entire world. I even wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the subject of secondhand bookshops, which basically gave me a chance to hang out in loads of them, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
So, did I go skipping out of university and open up my bookshop? No, I did not. I guess I thought that opening a bookshop when you don’t have any money or any knowledge of business was foolhardy and that I should probably get a Real Job instead. And over the years, other stuff has gotten in the way. Work. Kids. The whole ‘nobody buys books anymore, you’d be a fool’.
Yet here I am. A whole bunch of stuff happened a couple of years ago which made me look at life a lot differently. I won’t bore you with it, but suffice to say, I decided that, if not now, when? Did I really want to be kicking myself in years to come? So I decided to stop pussyfooting around, to stop talking about ‘one day’ and just get on with it.
So here it is. You have joined me at (more or less) the beginning of the journey. I now have a lot of books. I have created my database (which is a lot more sophisticated than the one I had at age 11), and I have books for sale online. Not many as yet, but I’m working on it. One day, I will have a real bookshop. With random stuff on the walls. And a cat.
In case you were wondering where the name came from, the Frog and Flamingo came about because I am terrified of frogs and I love flamingos. And the two things seemed to sum up the idea of facing my fears and working to become the brightest and best version of me that I can be.
The blog, like the shop, is a work in progress. I’m hoping it will be a space for me to discuss some of the books I love, what I’m reading, and all the goings on of the shop. I don’t have a cat as yet, so do feel free to drop me a line so’s I don’t get lonely 🙂