Been reading quite a lot about people’s dreams lately. Whether it’s about buying a vineyard, getting a book published or simply global peace and prosperity, there’s been a lot out there in the blogosphere about dreams. It’s good. Whether sleeping or waking, dreams can inspire us, motivate us, guide us and give us hope.
I often log my sleeping dreams in my journal. They are mercurial and invariably tell me something about my current experience that hadn’t occurred to my monolithically slow conscious mind.
The other night I had one of those dreams which yells over-commitment. It involved nudity – and not in a good way; a pressing engagement that I couldn’t be late for, but which I was doomed to miss; a giant car park in which I’d lost my car; and a vague sense of emergency and unease that didn’t leave me even after I woke.
These are warning dreams. Don’t spread yourself so thin seems to be the message; don’t be so scattered; sort out your priorities and focus. I’m always grateful for this type of dream as it’s a great reminder to slow down.
One waking dream that keeps recurring for me in the blank daylight moments as I’m brewing my tea, wiping the table or putting ingredients into the bread-maker, is the one about the indie author bookshop.
Don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of Kindle, and plan to publish a book onto Kindle soon. But I also love books. I love the communities that books inspire, the talk that books make possible, the ideas that people bring to life in their sharing of books. So I have a dream that while the whole world may have fallen in love with e-books, we will continue to save a bit of romance for our bookshops.
I don’t advocate that bookshops in their current incarnation necessarily need to be restored or saved.
Instead I dream of the re-emergence of an old-fashioned type of bookseller. Someone who is very knowledgable and discerning, who becomes not just the purchaser of book stock for their store but also its curator and champion. And who loves coffee.
I dream of bookshops with comfy sofas and delicious treats, where people gather to be refreshed, physically and intellectually, and where local indie authors can sell their books, host talks and workshops and meet their readers. (My hubby even suggested a shop like this could be called Star-books – but I’m sure that wouldn’t be allowed.)
The gremlins in my head are screaming about prohibitive shop rental rates, the death of the High St and of books themselves. It feels like an impossible dream. But a beautiful one.
And when I read in the blogosphere about other authors’ desire to find books self-published by local writers in their nearest bookshop I just wonder…