Updated: Oct 8, 2020
I read this quote from Charlie Mackesy's recent best selling book - The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse just as our beloved bookshop Button & Bear books was closing down. Button & Bear was a family run business set up with passion and a desire to connect people and books helping to create positive memories for children around books and reading. However, the quote brought into focus what is really important in our lives and what we can do about it.
The last four years have been a huge roller-coaster from exhaustion to frustration to the heady heights of meeting Julia Donaldson and hearing her husband Malcolm play the guitar. I wouldn't have swapped this for the world. One of the highlights of opening the shop in Shrewsbury have been the friends that we have made. We had the absolute honour of celebrating first birthday parties, baby showers and seeing children meeting their book heroes.
There have been many tears, frustrations and conversations exploring whether there was another way that we could keep the shop open but each time our enthusiasm was met with the same realisation. The costs outweighed our income. In the words of Dickens in David Copperfield - "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen & six , result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery"
However, looking back at what we wanted to achieve when we first set out four years ago has resulted in the development of Everybody Reads CIC. Everybody Reads is a new community interest company we have set up to ensure we can continue to focus on the work of helping people connect with books. All profits from Everybody Reads will go into providing books for people who need them.
Our #Giveabook has been running for the last three years and we want to make sure this continues to provide books to those who need them. We are also looking at how we can reach out to older people and those isolated in the community who have struggled during the recent lockdown.
We are setting up a new initiative for schools having consulted with some of our teacher supporters and hope to have more information to share with you shortly.
I would love you to come on this new journey with us. We currently don't have a shop, nor paid staff but we still have the same enthusiasm, commitment and knowledge which we would love to share. Above all we have a desire to connect books with people.
Do get in touch or let me know if you can offer sponsorship to help provide books to individuals or groups; if you are a school looking for help and advice around books and how to improve reading or would like to buy one of our reading recommendations for yourself or as a gift.
Please don't underestimate the difference you can make with just a small amount of support. Perhaps buying one of our books or putting us in touch with your children's school.
Finally, a thank you from us all for those of you who have supported us during our 4 years. We appreciate your loyalty and you really did make the journey worthwhile.