Two roads diverge in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
The Road Less Taken by Robert Frost
It's amazing how a wrong turn can sometimes lead you to all the right places.
Take Robert Frost's poem for instance. He was a man who understood the impact that random choice can have on your life.
Happen’chance and life’s directional mysteries.
No stranger to such mysteries is Books@One’s manager Neil Paul. He happened upon the sleepy town of Louisburgh some 21 years ago through pure chance and one wrong turn. (How fortunate are we).
He and his wife Brid ambled along by the coast one day, becoming enchanted by an old school house, which they bought and the rest is history…the end.
Ugh, wait...an addendum.
They settled in Louisburgh, Neil went off to work on some films, came back for more mischief and somehow found himself managing a bookstore along the Wild Atlantic Way…Random!
I caught up with Neil for this week’s blog, so that our lovely readers can get to know the mad staff and friends of Books@One.
What’s Your Favourite Book?
Because I love all things Mediterranean, particularly Greece. I love the monuments, the architecture, the history, all the islands. The book is about the 5th century B.C. when the Persian’s attacked Greece. I am a hugh fan of history books and for me, the writing is brilliant. It seems to bring it all to life.
Do you read any fiction?
Yes, I am in the book club here and we read all sorts of books. I currently have a stack of about 50 books by my bedside to read, all genres…I am not fussy.
What do you think it is about a community bookstore that speaks to you?
I love this store because it is a home from home. There are regulars who call in, we run social inclusion projects from the store, story time, the local book club meets here, Foroige uses the store for their meetings, local T.Y. groups have poetry workshops here. The shop is about books, yes but it’s more than that, it is about helping people, reaching out. All monies go back into the project, we are a not-for profit. That is what makes Books@One special.
How do you see it morphing in the future?
It will be a hub for writers, especially young adult writers, authors of all kinds.
What was the highlight from the last year?
We celebrated one year in business with an amazing book festival, a way to say thank you to all our supporters, friends and customers. I also love meeting people from all over the world. It is amazing the types of people you meet here on a daily basis.
If you could write a book, what kind of book would you write?
What is the last book you have read? Glorious Heresies for Book Club.
What do you do in your down time?
Walk my dog Taz on the beach. Watch football, travel, enjoy good wine and good company.