Goodbye To All That

Time for a quick update on the progress of the soon-to-open Malvern Books! As you might remember, we signed the lease a couple of weeks ago, and May Day saw us officially take possession of our new home. It doesn’t look much like a bookstore yet:


In fact, it currently looks like the armpit of a moth-eaten cardigan. But we’re getting there. The power is on, the water is running, and we’re ready to start RIPPING STUFF UP. Doesn’t that sound fun? Especially as it applies to floor coverings.

But what to do with all that room (1900 square feet, to be exact)? Our architect came up with a plan that looked smashing on paper, but when we went to the store and marked things out with bits of tape, we realized that our imaginings had been rather off. The staff breakroom that we’d envisaged as a spacious, cat-swingable kind of place turned out to be about as roomy as a bag of kibble when we stood within its marked out boundaries. So we went back to the drawing board and will soon put Plan #2 to the tape-on-carpet test.

And as for the future décor? At the moment we’re leaning toward a pirates/crucifixes/lions theme (one of Martha Stewart’s favorites, I believe; rumor has it her Newport estate is riddled with marble statues of plundering seafarers), but all that might change once the new carpet/shelves/lights are in place. One thing we know for sure: when selecting wall art, the former tenant’s rather saucy bathroom poster will not make the final cut—I’m sure LeRouge Boutique’s Free Thong Club (“Buy 6 Thongs and Get 1 Free!”) is an excellent and cost-effective scheme for thong collectors, but we’ll probably just go with a nice portrait of Wallace Stevens.

And as we spend more time on site, we’ll also be getting to know our new neighbors, including the venerable Oat Willie’s, Austin’s first head shop. Their slogan is “Onward, Thru The Fog” and their mascot is this guy:

Oat Willie's

Do bongs and poetry readings go together like tuna and mayonnaise? We couldn’t possibly comment. But we definitely need to come up with a mascot to go cycling with Mr. Willie. Suggestions, anyone?