(Orignally written for a university project. I have published it on many blogs and also contributed it to heruni.com. I just thought it was a local article about life in Falmouth, Cornwall. Let me know what you think)
It’s a beautiful day in the seaside town of Falmouth and the usual crowds have returned to immerse themselves in the spectacular views of the harbour. But before stopping to have that well deserved coffee break, you must pay a visit to the book store on the corner of Arwenack Street.
‘Bookmark’ is a family run business in the heart of the Falmouth high street. Currently renting the shop from her Father, Tasha Burkes decided to swap her life in the big city of London and return to her home town to carry on the family business.
Tasha reflects on the history of the building, “It was a family called ‘Blackers’, it sold tobacco and myrtle. My dad bought it from a man as a fishing tackle shop; it also had a hair salon in the back and sold tobacco, he bought it in 1968 and continued it as a fishing tackle shop.” She also goes onto explain the shop used to be a house for a sea captain and his daughters; who tragically went missing at sea, bringing the house into the hands of a business development.
It’s hard to imagine the journey towards becoming an antiquarian book shop specializing in maritime and nautical literature after its previous occupancy. “Well the two ladies who bought it made it into a book shop and I kept it as it is”, she says. Tasha has gained an expert knowledge of maritime literature since residing in Falmouth, “It’s an old Maritime town, steeped in history of sailings, if you looked it up you get the really famous people that came here, the Cutty Sark and the first black slave Joseph Emidy, who was finally released in Falmouth and he’s buried now in Truro. You still get around the world yachts and serious sailors and I’m there first port of call, that’s why I stock Maritime books, that’s the way forward really.”
Tasha is hoping to encourage the younger generation to start recycling old books. Rather than purchase a birthday card that will gather dust in a drawer before being disposed of, she hopes an old romance novel will convey those special messages to our loved ones instead. In years to come she wishes to look back at her book case and reminisce her life, expressing that neither a computer nor a kindle can provide this.
With the difficult trade in books and having to compete with the likes of ‘Amazon’ and online book traders, it questions how any independent book retailer stays afloat. “I’ve made it work, I believe down to business skills and finding a niche market and been clever at what I do and been good at my deal, so my plan is to stay here and run it as a shop, it’s the most beautiful shop it’s not actually what it looks like, it’s what it gives me.” When not sharing stories, she shares a passion to learn more of the previous book owners. “The stories I find from people that have died, the letters I find, the romance of the shop is steeped in history, its deaths, romance and passion, I meet the people, the widows that have died, I try to get a bit about it, to get to know about the person , you get really interesting people that come in here, who want to come here, not because they have too , they actually want to come in here, they do really shape my life, the stuff I’ve learnt on the way.”
“I want to keep the bookshop going, they give much more to a community and town.”
With a warm welcome from Tasha and a captivating journey with the turn of every page, ‘Bookmark’ is everything and more than your conventional next day web delivery. Wherever it be you’re looking for the beautiful classic or a romantic novel, ‘Bookmark’ is always here for you.
Image Source – Local Data Search