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It may have started back when my mum used to read things like 101 Dalmatians to me at bedtime and me hiding under the covers at the mention of ‘her’ name; or maybe reading an extract from To Kill a Mockingbird for my English oral exam; or perhaps when I decided I’d had enough of the education system around 2010.

It was certainly made a more conscious idea on a trip to Penrith when we stumbled upon the Wordsworth Bookshop & Coffee House and got talking to the owner about his time as a Headteacher before opening a bookshop.

It was made almost concrete the day my son said “You’re really serious about this aren’t you, Dad?” as the topic raised its head for the umpteenth time at the end of last year.

The decision to take the plunge was made at New Year with my intention to hand my notice in before Easter.

It became a scary reality in July when I left school (I think I heard cheering) with good memories and amongst others a lovely present from a friend SEE PICTURES BELOW (who spent most of the last term laughing at the fact I had nowhere to open!) and who it now seems I can blame for a headache or two!

And now, we can see the finish line – it’s about to become a reality, we are just over a week away from DRAKE – The Bookshop opening and we can welcome customers in.

But why a bookshop? Cos I love books.

Yes, but why a bookshop? Cos I don’t fancy the idea of buying a Harley!

Yes, but why a bookshop? Because I want more and more people to have more and more books and I want to share in the experience of them choosing them and buying them and sharing their joy with others.

It is such an exciting feeling – every time I am able to talk about it I do, at length (no surprise there) and I get more animated and enthused and can’t wait to get started.

Sure, it’s scary as hell – one of ‘those’ meetings at school last year had naughty boy notes being passed along and the main one was “yeah, but at least I’m gonna get paid!” and they have a point (perhaps) but I’m confident they are going to come in and spend a fortune and set me on my way!

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And, so the end of my 1st blog and the start of a new era. No more tie; no more registers to do; no more marking; no more “I can’t it’s a school night!” A bit more scarily, no more safe and cosy Reggie Perrin-like existence. September 21st is D-Day, that is to say delivery day and the day we set up shop ready to welcome friends new and old to our new venture and revel in the joy of selling books!

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