Saturday, 29 December 2012

Aftermath of Christmas

First off, Merry Christmas! Yes, yes it's late, but I've been busy.
Today I sent off a load of paperwork (and cheques) for the shop. If all goes well I should hear in a few weeks.
2012 started with such chaos for me as my son was born on the 2nd January. I had no idea what this year would bring me. On the first of January I had no son, a boring desk job and played in an unsigned acoustic duo. Now, 12 months later my son is almost 1, my band Barricades Rise (@barricadesrise) got signed to one of the biggest Indie labels in the USA and my shop has become a reality, albeit awaiting paperwork. Wow!

I have taken my foot off the gas in regards to adding books to the website purely due to Christmas. Now it's out the way I'll be firmly flooring it.

Surprisingly I only received 4 books for Christmas. 3 cookbooks (all Jamie Oliver) and one fantastic present out of the blue from Rob Bridge at Redwood photography (@redwoodphotos). Rob took some great shots of Barricades Rise 18 months ago and of my wife, son and I this year and we've kept in touch. I received a wonderful book 'The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book' by Dee Blick. Today I started to peruse it and soon was gripped. Thank you so much for this!

I wrote something small for the Bookshop Blog also. I started reading this website 2 years ago and I love it. Please take a few minutes to browse it.

So that's that then. I'd love to hear what was your favourite read of 2012 so tweet or Facebook me.


Monday, 10 December 2012

The Great Fire of 2012

I received a text from my wife this morning to say that there were plumes of smoke emanating from Nuneaton town centre. Like a good citizen, I grabbed my coat, my camera and my baby and headed for the door.

It turns out that 'Parc Avenue' a small independant clothes shop was on fire, by the looks of it the first and second floor were completely ablaze. The road was shut so I initially took a picture from afar.

Later on the Co-Op shop opened its doors after being forced to close due to smoke, I made my way through to get a better look.

It looked completely destroyed.

According to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire 80% of the shop is gone.

Here's another pic for good measure

Nobody was hurt as far as it's been reported.

The last I knew, the shop was still open so it's a great shame that someone's livelihood has literally gone up in smoke.

My shop, hopefully, will be open February or March. Paperwork going through the system at the moment.


Still reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Reading habits

People differ in the way they read. Some devour a book in one go in an evening, some take 3 months. I usually take about a fortnight to get through a book. Or I did last year. This year I had the joy of becoming a dad for the first time, on January 2nd. This obviously hampered my reading time, but I wasn't that bothered. Son Vs books, Son will win each time. But now he is almost 1 I've found that I'm still not picking up a book as often as I used to. I think I've only read 8 or 9 books this year.

I used to read in my half hour dinner in my previous job, then in bed before I go to sleep. Obviously now I've left my job to work on the shop this time has disappeared but in the evening I'm finding I either fall asleep within minutes or I spend half hour on twitter.

I'm trying to relearn a routine. I'm in love with books and need to show them a bit more time.

I've just started reading The Help and so far I'm really loving it. I'm going to aim to finish it before Christmas. 


Friday, 30 November 2012

Getting students involved

My lovely wife Heidi (@HeidiMcEntee) works at North Warwickshire & Hinckley College and recently suggested that I involve them with the shop somehow. She very brilliantly asked a colleague of hers in the design dept. to help me with the actual design of the shop. Yesterday I met up with a handful of eager (and freezing) students in the shop to talk them through what I wanted (Me - "Hey guys, so what's up yeah?, Who's down with the kids. Gangnam Style innit? Pokemon?". Them - *What have we walked into?*).
After being so cool and 'down wi it, fo sho' I showed them the shop and what I am looking for. I had some good questions from them, then left them to their own devices for a few hours whilst I hung out with my Best Friend on his 30th Birthday, Mr. Jonathan Coates (@jc_barricades). I did notice in the shop window, where before there was a To Let sign it now read this:

I am no designer so I'm extremely excited to see what they come up with. I'm hoping to use as many of their designs as possible as the shop is all about the community, and what better way to start?

As for the shop itself and where I am, leases are being written and solicitors getting involved so if all is well (please make all be well!) I'll have a shop shortly.

The online shop ( hasn't had any new books uploaded for a few days mainly because:

1. My son has been quite ill
2. I am redecorating and cleaning ready for Christmas
3. I procrastinate quite well

I'll be back adding books daily hopefully later today but if not, Monday.


Monday, 19 November 2012

Welcome to the blog

Come in, come in. It's cold outside. Let me tell you a story about our shop...

Firstly, Hi. My name is Michael. I live in Nuneaton which is pretty much smack bang in the centre of England. It's in the county of Warwickshire where super literary heavyweight Billy Shakespeare heralded from. He was from the southern part of the county though. Nuneaton holds its own treasure in the form of George Eliot.

To cut a long boring story short, I am in the process of opening a bricks and mortar shop in the town centre of Nuneaton. A property has been found and paperwork is being processed. It could be a week or it could be 3 months til i hear word, but it's a start. To mark a start I have opened the shop online, selling second hand books. When the real-life shop opens I'll host a lovely little coffee shop and also sell local trinkets. Throughout the week we'll be hosting acoustic music nights, comedy nights, game days and nights and try our hardest to accommodate as many different clubs as possible.

In the meantime, please visit the website

On here I'll be updating you on the process of the shop, reviewing my favourite books, telling you about Nuneaton news in general and hopefully, spreading the word about The Big Comfy Bookshop.

Please follow us on twitter on @bigcomfybooks and on Facebook, where we have up to the second info on the shop, and also our Book Of The Day (#botd1).