[box] Unfortunately The Little Bookshop closed in late July 2014. We wish Megan well for whatever she does next – she deserves every success.[/box]
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #ABCCAB;”] B [/dropcap]outique bookshops are making a comeback and they don’t come any cuter than the charming The Little Bookshop in Portland.
Anybody who loves books (and we know that because you are reading Bluestone, that this includes you), will find that their heart slows and they breathe a bit more deeply when they walk into the quiet, stylish haven that Megan Langdon has created in the historic town.
To be accurate, we should say re-created, because The Little Bookshop is in its second incarnation.
The original bookshop started three years ago in Percy St, which is one block away from its present Bentick St location, but the high overheads that came from being in the main street of Portland eventually proved too much and, earlier this year, Megan made the tough decision to close.
“It was such a huge, emotional decision,” Megan said.
“I got my son, Matthew, to announce it on my Facebook page for me, because he looked after all that side of things, and then I got to work on closing it down,” she said.
There was only one hitch: Megan’s supporters, customers and book fans from around the South-West were not having a bar of it. They responded to the Facebook post by the hundreds, saying that Megan couldn’t possibly close such a lovely shop that had made books into something special again.
“It sent me on an emotional rollercoaster, to be honest, because having made the very hard decision to close, I had to question all over again whether it was the right decision,” Megan said.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #ABCCAB;”] A [/dropcap]s fate would have it, one of Megan’s friends, Milly Cameron, had a small shop available right on the waterfront that she had been using as a pop-up gallery to exhibit work by her sisters-in-law, Pat Cameron and Anne Langdon. Megan was invited to take on the lease for her bookshop and to keep the gallery going.
If only it were that simple.
In the interim, Megan had also been offered several jobs, based on her previous career in adult education, and had to choose between the stability and regular income of a teaching position…or still running her own little bookshop.
“Every time I thought about it, the books kept winning. I knew that I hadn’t finished being a bookseller,” she said.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #ABCCAB;”] T [/dropcap]he Little Bookshop was a 30-year-dream in the making for Megan, who has devoured books since growing up as a child in Ballarat. She remembers moving from Ballarat to Melbourne as a 17-year-old and being so deeply lonely that it was only books that saved her.
She also remembers walking into a bookshop in Echuca more than three decades ago – “The Tangled Garden, I think it was called” – and being completely enchanted by the surroundings. It was then Megan decided that, one day, she would run her own bookshop.
Being a single parent, however, made it almost impossible for Megan to pursue her dream until many years later when, armed with her superannuation, she moved to Portland from Geelong after visiting it several times to see her son, Ben, who is a school teacher.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #ABCCAB;”] I [/dropcap]n keeping with her dream, Megan’s bookshop sells only quality fiction and specialises in promoting Australian authors. She also sells a select range of beautiful French antique items, including French linen, that reflects her love of Paris, which she visited for her 50th birthday.
This specialisation means that Megan works in with Portland’s other booksellers – there are five in total – who all have their own areas of expertise.
“We send customers to each other, because we all do things a little differently,” she said.
[box] You can find The Little Bookshop at 51 Bentick St, Portland. Ph: (03) 5523 1440. Visit The Little Bookshop Facebook page here. [/box]
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