There was a book out recently about a bloke called Danny Wallace who decided one day he would say "yes" to every question he was asked. (The book is called Yes Man)
It's a very funny book. (Is that my girlfriend you're staring at? Er...Yes.)
Since opening the shop I too have fallen for the seduction of that litle word. It has often led to us expending a lot of time and energy on things that have made no commercial sense at all. There is a school of thought that argues that running a bookshop is just like running any other business, that everything should make commercial sense.
And yet saying "yes" has led to all sorts of brilliant things happening.
I believe passionately that Crockatt & Powell should be a place that says "yes", that is positive about the creative ideas people have. I also think that the atmosphere this creates makes things happen.
While not wishing to take anything away from Marie who is a talented writer, brilliant events organizer and great in many ways - I am sure that working for Crockatt & Powell has had something to do with her recent success...
(Congratulations Marie. We are very pleased for you, though in all honesty as Gore Vidal aka Morrisey once said "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little." I have been trying to write a book for ten years but gave it up to open a bookshop. A nasty evil BSTTS part of me is jealous - luckily it's a very tiny portion, a certain twisted and gnarly toe - I'm sure I can keep it in check. Meanwhile Marie has promised us to make sure she does not turn into a "twat" and we will be vigilant in the extreme!)
Do you see what I'm getting at?
In a way a bookshop feeds on other people's creativity all the time anyway. We don't write books, we sell them. We make a living by selling creativity.
What I hope is that by encouraging creative things by saying "yes", to let things happen at Crockatt & Powell, we will make the business work financially as well.
I wonder how different the world would be if money took a back seat, just for a minute. Let the creativity take control, say "yes" and cross your fingers.
You never know what might happen...