“A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.”
– Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
For the longest time, I have wanted to own a bookshop with a coffee bar. Like so many of my plans, however, I have done very little towards actually achieving this ambition. Now, after many years of conforming to the status quo and attempting to achieve success through steady employment and adherence to society’s norms, I have decided that it’s not working for me so I’m going to embark on this terrifying journey towards living my dream, whether it brings me great wealth or not.
My vision for this shop is quite clear. I myself am an avid and eclectic reader with geeky leanings. I love a good bookshop, but they are depressingly hard to find, especially in this day of electronic everythings, including books. There should be nooks and crannies and a HUGE selection of titles, and quite a strong chance of getting so lost that you require a trail of breadcrumbs to escape again.
There should also be a pervading smell of really good coffee and freshly baked goodies. This is where the second half of my plan comes in. Due to a rather boring list of food intolerances and dietary preferences, I can never actually eat anything that is offered on a standard coffee shop menu. I have been a keen baker since my early teens (in fact, my first baking experience occurred when I was about 7 years old and I tried to bake a peach cake in the sun because I knew my mother would never allow me to use the oven. Let me just say: not even the African sun is sufficient to bake anything. And after two weeks a combination of eggs, sugar and peaches becomes really icky). My subsequent experiments have been far more successful, and I can now produce quite a wide range of paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free cakes, biscuits and snacks.
This blog will be my record of this journey. I’ll post recipes, book reviews, coffee shop write-ups, probably some movie reviews as well since I am a movie-holic as well as a bibliophile. I’ll chart my progress on finding suppliers, deciding on a location, sourcing the best blends, and whatever else strikes my fancy at any given time.
Here’s hoping we all enjoy the ride!