This is our introductory line this week:
Carla Scott wanted nothing more in life than to own a little bookshop in the coastal town she’d grown up in.
An avid reader, she had a love of books second to none, so this seemed a logical choice of career in adulthood.
The town was popular with Summer tourists, but dead in the winter, so she would have to be careful with her investment and for years, she scanned the businesses for sale, waiting for the right one to come on the market.
Equally, she was saving and planning for the day when her dearest wish would become a reality.
Carla was ecstatic when an antique shop with double frontage hit the property papers and she was practically the first in line to view.
She knew of it, but not the current owner, after all it had been several years since she’d lived there, but undeterred, she got in her little car and set off with the details on the seat beside her.
The agent was early, so she introduced herself before he had a chance to go through his spiel, marching straight in before he’d removed the key from the lock.
It was dark and musty inside, but most of the items had been removed and there were just a few left which added to the charm. She hoped she’d be able to get them included in the sale as they were ideal for what she had in mind.
Turning full circle, she envisaged cosy alcoves and comfy overstuffed chairs alongside little tables, a self-service coffee machine discreetly in the corner, and row upon row of second-hand books lining bowing shelves.
Her intention was to have a swap/bring and buy set up running as well as stocking the latest crime, cookery or sci-fi publications. Customers would be welcome to browse, take a seat and read awhile, and who knows, maybe to get the kids in, she’d have a storyteller in costume once a week reading one of the classics from her childhood.
It would be absolutely perfect and with flair and aplomb, she turned to the agent and gaily announced ‘I’ll take it!’
He looked bewildered as he hadn’t done or said anything, staying exactly where she’d left him in the doorway.
‘Excuse me!’ boomed a voice, pushing his way into the shop to take her by the arm.
In a gentler tone he added
‘Come on Nan. Time to go.’
‘Oh surely not Neil,’ she said. ‘I’ve only just got here!’
With a sad smile, he guided her outside.
‘Nan, darling, the shop’s been sold, remember?’
‘It has? When? I only saw it advertised yesterday.’
‘No sweetheart, you signed the sale papers yesterday, but you bought it fifty six years ago. Look, it’s got your name above the door.’
Sure enough, there it was in faded lettering:
‘Scottie’s Olde Worlde Book Shoppe.’
As a single tear escaped her elderly eye, the new owner stepped forward offering his handkerchief.