|Would you open a bookstore in the Poconos village of Honesdale PA?
Of course, you would.
GUEST BLOG / By Kelly McMasters via W.W. Norton & Co, Inc. and the Literary Hub. An Excerpt from “The Leaving Season: A Memoir in Essays.”
“…In the weeks before we opened the bookshop, I could feel [her husband’s] interest spark. He paid attention during our conversations, stayed at the dinner table longer. He was not very interested in learning how to build an e-commerce site or keep accounting records, but he liked the idea of selling prints, of hosting art openings. He had no interest in building a gallery or showing anyone else’s work—just his. But he had the energy he’s always gotten right before a big opening, the energy of possibility, of hope.
“It was clear to me through my midnight calculations and YouTube-trained business plan drafting that this venture would not make us much, if any, money. We wouldn’t be able to take salaries for at least three years, every dollar pouring back into the store. But, like Bill and Paul, and Jim and Laura, and so many of our friends in the country, we’d become masters of improvisation, juggling multiple side hustles that we would continue while we shared the shop hours, chose the books together, hung the prints together, maintained the website together. There would be sacrifices, but we would make them as a team.
“At each step of our relationship, we’d seemed to get thrown off-course. We’d been in New York the day of the World Trade Center attacks and that morning had grafted us to one another. Early in our relationship, he’d had two heart attacks, one shortly before our wedding and another a few months after, just as we bought the farmhouse. We’d had to adjust our expectations and plans. We put off the honeymoon, the house renovations, travel. Then the kids came.
"The past ten years seemed to just happen to us. But this shop—this was a fresh start, something we could plan and build together, with intention.
“Even though every atom in my body told me opening a shop would be an economic failure, I’d hoped it would save us. I could stand a failed business; I didn’t think I’d survive a failed marriage. And so, I kept pumping the bellows, trying to keep the fire between us burning…”
ANOTHER EXCERPT, Below.
Kelly McMasters no longer owns the Moody Road Studios, the book store and art studio in Honesdale, PA that she created from a dream, but an article of how she began her shop was published earlier this century in the Paris Review CLICK HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.