Launching The Cornish Bookshop

From time to time I’ve mentioned that I’ve been working on a new project and it’s now almost finished. Steve and I have launched a sibling business to Hurley Books called The Cornish Bookshop. It’s going to be purely online  but you can always give us a call on 01726 825245 if you would like to collect your order from the warehouse. The Cornish Bookshop aims to stock all books in print about Cornwall and also has a really large collection of secondhand and collectable titles. We’re also beginning to build up ephemera, postcards, leaflets etc.

So far I’ve added over a thousand titles and it’s exhausting. Each book needs to be checked, something needs to be written about it and it needs to get categorised. Right from the beginning I felt that when people shop online not enough attention is paid to how people shop. There is too much emphasis on selling, not so much on buying, so we’ve added a few “tweaks” to make life easier for the shopper. For instance you can search by subject i.e. maps, wildlife, mining industry but you can also search by area. So if you are interested in knowing what books there are about your locale then search under St Austell or Falmouth, I’ve also added a map so that you can see if Meva falls under The Roseland or St Austell. Some of the boundaries have been really tricky and often made trickier by my own incompetence. One day I managed to relocate all of Newlyn to just outside Falmouth. I had artists and sailing all jostling in the same camp until I spotted my error. This area search has also made my brush up on my Cornish locations. Where exactly is Treburgett, is Carnon Downs closer to Falmouth or Redruth? At the start of this I didn’t have a clue, I’m not sure how much better I’m doing now but at least I know where Newlyn is.

I’m also learning Cornish! Not by design but as I list books published in, what to me is a foreign language, I’m scratching my head trying to work out what it’s all about. My favourite word so far is kerenza; I’ve often seen it around but have only just discovered it means love. That’s not the only thinks I’m learning by osmosis, I’m also discovering where the main mineral lodes are across Cornwall, where the best place to spot a small blue butterfly is and just how many boats sink off our shores. On cheerier notes I can whip up a fabulous pasty and have found loads of new walks for Harry and I to explore. I’m also hoping that this venture is a huge success because I’ve discovered some fabulous painters whose work I want to buy. Those displaced Newlyn artists were incredible and terribly expensive.
It’s proving to be a really fun venture, we’re trying out lots of new things, including accepting book tokens online (tricky but we’re working on it) chatting to people on Facebook (people all across the world love Cornwall) and running special offers. Pop online and have a look, we’re still a bit scruffy in parts but we’re getting there.

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