Well it’s come and gone for another year and I feel like it may take me another whole year to get over the whole thing. Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos (I was a little busy), but I’m sure there was enough publicity and that now the interwebs is full of lovely pictures of the town in full Booktown mode. And if you were really lucky and watched the local Ballarat news, you may even have seen yours truly on the telly, talking about being an online book seller.
Saturday started off as usual with a slow trickle at around 8.30, followed at around 10 by an increase in pressure and by 11 there was a steady stream which continued for the rest of the day until just after 4. Then the pressure eased off a bit and it began to get a lot less intense around 5. 5.30 when the weather started to get a bit chilly and the evening approached, things petered out and it was thankfully time to go home. We had a number of tables outside with cheap stock and a friend (Geoff) manned them and collected the cash. I hung around inside the shop and also collected the other bits of cash and guided those who were looking for specifics towards their interests and desires.
Sunday is usually a quieter day and this year was no different. The morning was very relaxed and it was around 12 that the masses really started to appear. Yes there were masses of people on the Sunday… unfortunately most of them left their wallets and purses at home and were unable to buy anything (i.e. lots of lookers, less buyers… this year was no different to previous years). A friend came up from Melbourne to give me a hand with the tables outside (Al) and another friend assisted by giving both of us lunch breaks (Lorna).
I was very pleased that on both days, people were keen to know that we are a permanent store, but I was very careful to point out that we were permanent, but not always open. The last thing I want is for disgruntled customers to turn up on a Monday to realise that most of the bookshops in town are only open on Weekends and a few days during the week (we are only guaranteed to be open on Sundays). This unfortunately happened last week on more than one occasion and the book shopers concerned were not impressed. I guess in all the excitement of achieving Booktown status, the powers that be forgot to mention that not all the shops are always open.
Of course after all the dust has settled, the big question is always, “How did you go?”. Well here are the hard facts… I made more $$$ than last year… and had more fun, mostly due to the Sunday evening celebratory dinner that I attended with various locals, discussing the ins and outs of Clunes and its Book Fair. Always an enjoyable activity. But I should also add, that thousands of people buying large numbers of books… some of them from me… is a very enjoyable thing to be involved with. This is not just a reference to making money, I genuinely like it when people buy books.
I now have to get out there and find more books to restock the shop… and to write about here.
Normal transmissions to follow in the next few days.