On September 27th 2018 the Big Comfy Bookshop in Coventry turned 4. As a surprise, I decided to gather all of the thoughts of people who’s lives had been made just that little bit brighter by having the shop there. On October 5th 2021, this shop announced it is closing it’s Coventry doors and I’m feeling quite emotional…
It is true, I’ve not visited the shop all that much since the pandemic. The lack of wanting to spend too long outside in public, the fact that for a while there was nowhere to sit down and relax due to Covid restrictions… lots of things have kept me away from what used to be one of my favourite places. This bookshop has held a lot of memories for me (mostly good) and was basically my home from home every weekend before lock-down.
As a reminder to all those who love this shop, here is an excerpt from what I wrote back in 2018 from The Importance of a Bookshop.
“Bookshops are important. There are so many reasons we flock to them – for food, discussions, music, events (or maybe even buying yet another book!) To celebrate The Big Comfy Bookshop’s fourth birthday this week, I wanted to gather some thoughts from my friends. (Friends I never would have met, if it weren’t for The Big Comfy Bookshop.) The shop has been a consistent refuge from my hectic life, complete with a cup of tea and full of books that have the potential to be mine. It really makes me proud to say that I am a friend of Michael’s and to be a member of the BCB community.”From The Importance of a Bookshop, my blog post for BCB’s 4th birthday.
The Big Comfy Bookshop rekindled my faith in people. It helped me to find people like me and honestly helped me when I was at some of my lowest points. I have a lot of things to thank it for, and so I thought I’d reflect on some memories if you’ll indulge me…
Muggle Musings – Harry Potter Discussion Group
I was a bundle of nerves. I was about to embark on my first journey leading a group of people… and I had no idea how it was going to go. It could have ended up as an empty room. But I was so happy when the group filed in. Such an eclectic and interesting bunch of nerds, a few of which would go on to be some of my dearest friends. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Michael’s support.
My blog would have gone long ago
Every time I got to the end of my tether with my blog (and the politics surrounding it when I was part of a toxic group of local bloggers), Michael and others I met at the bookshop talked me through it, helped with my creative block and basically gave me blogger therapy~!
A load of other great memories
The bookshop was where I spent most of my time from 2017 to early 2020… and of course that comes with a ton of fab memories.
Seeing my friend perform her poetry for the first time.
Attending geeky quizzes (and sometimes winning).
Enjoying debating at, and sometimes running, a monthly book club.
Helping behind the counter in the busy Christmas period of 2019 and feeling the buzzing atmosphere.
Running Muggle Musings for a year and a half before calling it quits.
Helping to raise money when the bookshop flooded and being amazed at the support.
Sitting quietly with a tea and an Amy special (Fish Finger sandwich) and churning out blog posts and essays.
After finding all these old pictures for this post I feel in short, very very sad. It’s like saying goodbye to an old friend, albeit one that you lost contact with over the years. I don’t know if there will be anything else quite like it in my life, but it was a highlight of my late twenties and I can’t help but see this as the mark of the end of an era. One which the pandemic slowly erased but I still don’t quite feel ready to let go of.