Bookish tourist must-see

The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch

3 words: gentle, uplifting, good-humored

I’ve been on this weird entrepreneurial spree lately.

Not that I’ve been performing actual entrepreneurship, no.
I’ve just been reading and listening about it. With a very strange compulsiveness.
Being an actual entrepreneur would scare me speechless, because I’m risk-adverse, I don’t like uncertainty, and I’m horrific at self-promotion. All of these things make me nearly break out in a sweat, just thinking about them.
But dang, I love learning about how other people make a go of it on their own. It’s like they’re performing feats of strength, right before our eyes.
So in The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Welch and her husband open a bookstore in a rambling old Victorian in Appalachia.
We’ve got books and entrepreneurship here, which sounds like a winning combo. But one thing could tank the whole premise: voice. If the author’s voice is dull or preachy or stilted, I’d be out of there fast.

But this book is in the amiable, smart, self-deprecating voice of Wendy Welch, and she’s a wildly pleasant person to hang out with on these pages.This book’s a winner, my dears.

It’s one of those delightful memoirs that’s both calming (excellent for pre-sleep reading) and addictive (horrible for pre-sleep reading — you’ll stay up past your bedtime, because you just want to stay there in the narrative).
And for us book lovers, it’s a chance to spend some time with a fellow fanatic, whose observations about reading are spot on.
This book is a “Will they make it?” story with a well-earned happy ending. (I’m guessing you could guess that.) Wendy Welch and her husband Jack Beck have worked their tails off to create a vibrant, quirky bookstore and community center, and man, I want to visit Tales of the Lonesome Pine.

2 thoughts on “Bookish tourist must-see

  1. I loved this book, too. And when they went on that road trip to visit all those other independent book stores, didn't it make you want to go visit them, too? It did me. 🙂

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