– by Britt Santowski, SPN
Sometimes, when one door closes another opens.
That was what Shannon Babbage found when she was suddenly laid off after eight years of working for the same employer here in Sooke. When the doors of the Salvation Army closed behind her on June 20 earlier this year, the doors to the Sooke bookstore Well Read Books opened before her.
However, it wasn’t an immediate transition. After hearing that she was to be laid off, Shannon was in shock.
“What will I do now?” she wondered. “I love my job and being able to work within my community is so important to me.” Further, the notion of the commute to a job in Victoria added to her concerns. “I don’t drive, so facing a long bus ride was not something that I was thrilled about.”
As fate would have it, Sooke PocketNews ran an article on The Reading Room (“What is the future of The Reading Room” June 9, 2015). At the bottom of that article was a small addendum that Well Read Books was for sale. This posting “stirred something in me,” noted Shannon, “I want this bookstore!”
Owning a bookstore had been a life long dream of Shannon’s, and the dread of being laid off suddenly turned into an outrageously wonderful opportunity.
“I was immediately energized and the positive energy began to flow in me,” says Shannon. “I feel that fate had intervened to help me out. If I had not lost my previous job, I would not have been able to finance this venture. So in a way, I have to thank my former employer for enabling me to get to where I am today…. A business owner!”
The renaming of the bookstore (from Well Read Books to Well Read Books The Next Chapter) reflects exactly what this opportunity represents for Shannon: The next chapter of her working life.
While implementing a few minor changes and cosmetic improvements, Shannon plans to keep the bookstore’s quaint feeling. Well Read Books “has always specialized in unique and antiquarian books that you just don’t see in every bookstore,” observes Shannon. “I will continue to feature these books as well as many other genres of books.” She will also be adding the capacity to accept credit card and debit transactions.
Supporting local is in Shannon’s plans, and customer service ranks high on her list. “I will continue to support local authors by allowing them to display their books in my store to get their projects out there.” She also promises to assist readers find that “one particular book” and can’t seem to find it.[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]Excitement and anxiety are competing for attention in Shannon’s inner life right now as she prepares to open her shop on Tuesday, September 15. There have been a few hurdles in getting ready, but nothing that couldn’t be managed. She is looking forward to opening her doors next Tuesday.
Regular Business hours will be
- Tuesday to Friday 9 am- 5:00
- Saturday 10 am to 5:00
- Sundays (and some holidays 10-4 pm)
- Closed Monday
- #104-6596 Sooke Road, at the corner of Sooke and Church.
- PARKING: There is some parking at the front of the store, and much more around the back (enter via Church Rd).
- Access is on the east side of the building.
A “Grand Opening” will be announced at a later date.
In the meanwhile, do drop by on or after September 15 to welcome Shannon into her own new Next Chapter as an entrepreneur, serving the community of Sooke.
Please check Well Read Books – The Next Chapter Facebook site for updates! We are posting all the time so that would be
the best place to go for info regarding our opening and sales. – Shannon Babbage
- Well Read Books The Next Chapter on Facebook
- Feature Entrepreneur: David Babbage, Shadow West Security