Thank you & Goodbye
So it's come to that time where I say a massive thank you to all of you and unfortunately, also say goodbye.
Fear not however, this isn't and wasn't a sad story. The Green Library managed to thrive for over a year thanks to all the support and help from you guys!
So what happened?
I was a one woman show for 97% of the time and the answering emails, sorting books, cataloguing them on the website, cataloguing them in my database, writing contracts, ending contracts, donating books, packing books, sending them by post, delivering them to Ouni, etc. meant that a lot of the time spent on the business was me on my laptop, surrounded by books, trying to catalogue and sort as many books as possible in order to get them onto the website. Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly at all) this took hours and hours and while initially very fun, I soon grew tired of it as I hadn't set out for this job to be so IT/web focused.
So why not open a physical store?
After the first 4-5 months, I began understanding that doing a fully IT-focused job by myself was lonely and not what I wanted. So I started attending entrepreneurship support groups and presenting my idea of starting a secondhand bookshop cooperative to others. It sounded very idealistic but I do still really believe that Luxembourg needs something like this. However, after months and months of discussing this with others, I was slowly realising that it would be a pretty large task to take on.
I believed that the initial money to get the shop off the ground would be something we could achieve through crowdfunding but after that, with Luxembourgish salaries, rent, an energy crisis and so on, the bookshop would hardly be able to sustain itself.
I realised we would soon have to be selling 100s of books a day to even hope of staying open...something which seemed quite impossible and a challenge I did not feel confident jumping into.
But let's end on a positive note!
The Green Library has been a great source of joy for me and helped me through a tough time in my life where I felt hopeless and lost.
Focusing on doing a project that (hopefully) helped give back to my community and the planet as well as being able to practice owning a business was extremely fulfilling and I've met some great people through the experience.
Every kind word, purchase, helping hand will not be forgotten.
It showed me that we do want a change in how we consume. We do want local, thoughtful, responsible alternatives to exist.
People do want to help out where they can and I really did feel the support throughout this journey so a massive thank you for that.
See you all around at local cafés and markets ;)
Here are some statistics:
1300+ books available through the shop
Close to 500 books who found a new loving home
1 girl who got to live out her dream of helping out the planet for a year