After a promising start in November, it looks like Mudgee's The Book Nest is here to stay.
Sam Paine, Portia Lindsay and Alison and Matt Nipperess are the team behind the booming bookstore which passed the two month mark on Thursday and last week launched a series of popular book clubs.
Sam Paine spoke about the business of opening a bookstore and what's next for the literary location.
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"Lots of people have walked in and said how excited they are to have a book shop back in Mudgee. Some have come in with their list of things they would have picked up in Sydney or ordered online but wanted to support us instead," Sam said. "Planning to open a bookshop and not being able to predict whether it would be a success or if we'd be struggling is tough.
"But that first month gave us a lot of confidence for the future. Even now - January is traditionally Mudgee's quietest time - we're doing fine. With this being our lowest point, knowing that we've got big times like Christmas and the Reader's Festival coming, it's going to be really good."
Sam said the breadth of options the store offers like tabletop games and a spot for local authors has been a boon for their business too.
"People have been really keen to support us and keep us going, it is such a good thing to have in a little town that you don't want to lose it. But people have also really been excited about the games," Sam said. "I think they got an extra boost this year with everyone trapped at home. And all our other little extras, like the tea, the second hand section and the local section - have been really good."
And what does 2021 hold for the young bookstore?
"We do want to set up our online shop, that's probably our next thing. We've had people who used to live in Mudgee or know people here who are calling up wanting to buy books from us to support us and keep us going," Sam added.
"Thank you to everyone who's been so supportive, it's been really nice to start a business that people are so excited about and keen to support."
And what has been the most sought-after item at the Nest? Sam said that Bluey: Verandah Santa has been far and away the most popular book they've stocked so far, handily doubling the sales of the next most popular book.
"We're sold out of that one at the moment," Sam laughed.
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