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.