It’s our birthday! Hurley Books first started trading formerly in November 2002. A website called Amazon had just opened up part of its site to second hand sales. Steve and I knew all about books and about selling them, I was a librarian and he had supplemented his college years by selling books on market stalls and fairs. Being a librarian I was pretty clued up on how important the internet would be and so I suggested that we gave it a go. At eleven o’ clock that night Stephen dashed into the bedroom. Now given that our two boys were 1 and 3 my sleep was precious to me and unless there was a problem with one of the children this had better be good. In Steve’s eye it was better than good it was miraculous. We had just sold a Mary Jane Staples for £5.87, a book he would take ages to sell on the market stall. I was less than impressed, I knew it would work, we see it all the time in libraries. People love their authors and are desperate to read everything by them, once a book goes out of print it becomes harder for them to read. Simple supply and demand. At this point both our eyes glazed over, mine through exhaustion and Steve’s through amazement.
Since then Hurley Books has grown quietly and slowly. We were able to give up our jobs and we opened a little shop in St Austell. People began to walk in through the front door. We began selling face to face as well as online. After a year the dentist needed to expand and we moved to Charlestown. Now I have to say, hand on heart that I have never enjoyed my job so much as when I was perched on a wooden stool listening to Seth Lakeman and looking out over the tall ships and the sea beyond. I could have happily sat there day in day out, the most contented person ever without seeing a single customers but once again (thankfully) they turned up.
Finally we took the plunge and in a high risk strategy (well for us anyway) we bought our own place in Mevagissey and took on a warehouse in Par. Suddenly we were shop owners and our home no longer looked like the British Library. That was five years ago on December 2nd.
Mevagissey has been a great success for us; it’s given us stability, income and a great sense of community. Each year we have tried out new things to stay ahead of the game, book selling is not an easy business at the moment and last year, in December again, we launched The Cornish Bookshop, a website focusing on Cornish books and the like. I’m thrilled to say we have loads of support for this venture and I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops.
So we are 9 years old; we have been in Mevagissey for 5 years and the Cornish Bookshop has passed its first milestone. Now, it goes without saying that we couldn’t have done it without you so we are most cordially inviting you to come and join us Staurday 3rd, EV Thompson will be with us signing his new book and we’ll be serving mince pies and wine throughout the day. Call us on 01726 825245 to reserve a copy. Fingers crossed the scaffolding will be down and you can admire our newly painted shop as we put on our best bib and tucker. It’s also the Christmas Lights in Mevagissey that day so there’ll be loads of things going on. Please come and join us, it wouldn’t be the same without you!