Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wanted: Sitter for rural bookstore, whose owners will be on tour promoting the book about it

If you've ever fancied yourself the owner of an independent bookstore, now's your chance to take on the job completely risk-free -- just be prepared to feed the dogs and bookstore cats after a day's work. Owners of Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used Book store in Big Stone Gap, Va., are taking a two-month hiatus for a book tour to promote their memoir about the store and what it means to their community of just over 5,000 residents. Rather than shutter the store, they want someone to fill in for them, and they're making a nationwide call.

"It's ironic that it's a book about independent bookstores that's got me in this position, but I cannot close our community bookstore to gallivant off and have fun with other bookstores," co-owner Wendy Welch told online book newsletter Shelf Awareness. She and co-owner Jack Beck (in photo) can't offer wages for the sitter; the shop doesn't make enough to allow that. But, they are offering room and board -- "from laundry soap to the occasional pizza delivery."

Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used Book is surely not the only small, independent book shop in all of rural America, and Welch's bookThe Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, has a lot to teach others about the thrills of owning and operating a small community institution. It takes a community to keep the shop open, but Welch insists their bookstore is the same as any other: "I think the beauty and smallness of Big Stone are the only truly unique elements of our shop; other than that, we’re the same as others, and that’s what I think those interested in this experience will be after: an archetypal rather than unique experience." (Read more)

Interested parties should contact Wendy and Jack at For more information about the store, read Wendy's blog Wendy's blog or check out this video:

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