Or Ten Years Swimming Like A Shark...
A shark has to keep swimming or it dies. Similarly, in many businesses, keeping moving – literally and metaphorically in our case – is key to survival.
Local book purveyors Kate Treloar & Nick Patrick of eclectic Adelaide’s Pop-up Bookshop, started out exactly a decade ago (13/4/2008) with cute Hills bookstore Chapter Two Books (Stirling).
While across the globe bookstores have been closing down, this duo have used changing locations, non-traditional shop layouts, mixing old-new and collectible books, and social media to maintain relevance. They are currently in the Central Markets and have just wound up a summer stint at Glenelg.
“While small business has always been challenging,” says Co-owner Kate Treloar, “this past decade has been insane for bookselling in particular”.
“E-books were the main fear when we started, then the GFC, a general decrease in disposable incomes, Google over-riding reference books, and now a certain online behemoth undercutting everybody on their quest for world domination!”
“We believe there will always be a need for a fiercely independent, thought-provoking bookshop like ours,” Ms Treloar says.
“But it’s a huge concern that it’s become practically impossible to earn a living running one, which would leave bookselling in the domain of the wealthy and/or unethical.”
“We do need to make a living and that’s not easy at the moment – a depressing and terrifying scenario at times. We have definitely questioned in the past whether continuing is the right long-term decision. Ultimately though, we do continue because it’s what we love to do – and it’s definitely not boring!”
Which is why continued community support is vital. “Use it or lose it – it’s a cliche but it’s true. We owe every day of our ten years in bookselling to those people who value what our humble little bookstore represents.”
“We are super proud to be celebrating a decade sharing books with the community” says Ms Treloar. “But we plan on celebrating several more so will keep reinventing as long as we have to!”