This week Jane Cable talks to Sandra Foy, a bookseller living in Manchester who is also a book blogger, blogging at readingwrites.wordpress.com. She love crime books and watching cricket.
What is your writing related job or business?
I am a bookseller who owns a shop in Urmston Manchester. This time last year my only connection with the publishing world was through my blog and the occasional advanced reading copy that I was offered in return for an honest review.
I was in the book club at Urmston Bookshop, but then, in March, quite by chance, I saw that the shop was for sale: it seemed like divine providence. I had always wanted to own a bookshop but never imagined that it would happen. At first together with my husband we made tentative enquiries about the business which then just snowballed and everything just seemed to slot into place incredibly well.
The previous owner really wanted someone who loved books to take over, so I had the advantage over the other potential buyers who had no interest in books and just wanted a shop. They were fabulously helpful to me during the sale and also afterwards, teaching me everything they knew.
I was also incredibly lucky that during the sale a lady walked into the shop looking for a job, she has worked in many libraries and is now a fantastic colleague and friend.
There are so many rewarding parts of owning a bookshop.
Being a huge part of the community and bringing them together for author events and film nights and hearing them say how much they have enjoyed them and look forward to more is enormously rewarding.
Putting a book into someone’s hands who wouldn’t otherwise read such a book and have them come back and ask for more because they so enjoyed it is just fabulous.
And a massive reward is being able to take authors into local schools and seeing the children’s faces light up with delight and enthusiasm.
What do you consider to be your major successes?
I have only been in the shop for seven months, but I feel the successes are the book clubs. We now have three adult book clubs and one children’s club (Talking Tales) for 8-11 year olds, with membership growing all the time. Seeing adults come together to discuss books is great, but to be able to enthuse children and see them want to read is beyond wonderful.
Have you always loved books and what are you reading at the moment?
I have loved books from being a very young child. Enid Blyton was my first love, I even created my own Secret Seven with friends. She gave me a life-long love of the crime genre.
At the moment I am reading Some Luck by Jane Smiley for one of our book clubs and also Intrusions by Stav Sherez (really good!) as we are doing an event at the bookshop with Stav and Sarah Ward in February.