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Tea in the Library : A Wry and Personal Account of the Thrilling Roller-Coaster Ride of Opening a Bookshop Cafe... - Annette Freeman

Tea in the Library

A Wry and Personal Account of the Thrilling Roller-Coaster Ride of Opening a Bookshop Cafe...

Paperback

Published: 1st June 2007
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Published: 1st March 2011
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Booktopia Comments

When I first saw this book I was interested. When I learnt what it was about I was intrigued. When I finished it I can't believe it isn't being talked about everywhere. This is an absolute beauty - Booktopia Book Guru.

Book Description

Fulfilling the dream of many a book-lover, Annette Freeman bravely stepped outside her mid-life comfort zone and opened a bookshop café in the heart of Sydney. Tea In The Library became a beloved haven of readers and a cosy forum for writers. Plus a great place for coffee – and nineteen varieties of tea.

But behind the scenes were anxieties large and small, frustrations, challenges, and – now and again - glorious moments of success. Welcome to retail!

"How hard can it be to run a successful small business?" Annette asked herself. "People do it every day. It can’t be rocket science. We find the answer to that question, and it is sobering news for those wannabe bookshop or café owners out there.

The triumphs and disasters, the eccentric characters and the myriad challenges of retail are spiced with wry observation and a good sprinkling of literary references. In the end, everyone will have a view on what could have been done differently to save a small bookshop café that briefly lit up the Sydney literary scene.

About the Author

Annette Freeman is a born and bred Tasmanian. She was educated on the island and at the Australian National University in Canberra, where she completed degrees in English Literature and Law. Although there is a lot of creative satisfaction in literature there is not much money to be made, so the law was where her vocation took her. Having subsequently spent thirty years of her life as a high-powered corporate lawyer, whizzing about the globe and transacting business for multinationals, Annette now sees less of her office, and continues to travel as often as possible. She has more time for writing, musing, studying philosophy and history, and adventure trekking.

Having discovered, only a few short years ago, that tramping around the highest mountains in the world was not only inspirational but actually do-able, Annette has trekked to Everest Base Camp, Patagonia, the Canadian Rockies, New Zealand, the Basque region of Spain, Antarctica, Machu Picchu, Tajikistan, Morocco and Iceland, and to Kilimanjaro, a rousing adventure recorded in her memoir Mt Kilimanjaro & Me. In between these adventures Annette opened - and closed - a very special café bookshop in the heart of Sydney. It was a tale worth telling, which she does in her book Tea in the Library.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Tea in the Library
 
3.3

(based on 13 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

69%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (10)
  • Informative (8)
  • Well written (5)
  • Relevant (4)

Cons

  • Not what I expected (3)

Best Uses

  • Reference (6)
  • Gift (5)
  • Older readers (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Bookworm (9), Everyday reader (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

a cup of tea worth drinking

This book was an enjoyable read, particularly for anyone who has ever dreamt of owning a book shop. Ms Freeman was honest about the mistakes she made but still managed to write a book...Read complete review

This book was an enjoyable read, particularly for anyone who has ever dreamt of owning a book shop. Ms Freeman was honest about the mistakes she made but still managed to write a book based on hope. I found I wanted to know what happened and even though I knew the bookshop had failed, still kind of hoped that there would be a happy ending. If "Tea in the Library" had been in my local area, I would have been a regular. This is a nice, gentle, read, well worth picking up

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

For would-be bookshop entrepreneurs

I purchased Tea in the Library by Annette Freeman because I have been thinking about opening a niche bookshop and found this book while sourcing research material. Tea in the Library first caught my...Read complete review

I purchased Tea in the Library by Annette Freeman because I have been thinking about opening a niche bookshop and found this book while sourcing research material. Tea in the Library first caught my attention on that basis. The book is easy to read and interesting to anyone who has ever thought about opening a bookshop but there are also lessons for anyone considering going into business.

The author takes the reader with her on a journey of discovery, sharing the early joys of adventure and the seed of an idea and the lessons learned along the way. It is also a book about people. The various customers, employees, cafe staff and suppliers all bring a richness in their foibles, eccentricities, flaws as well as their positive contributions and enthusiasm.

The content may have limited appeal being most relevant to those who harbour an obsession about books or running a bookshop. However, I would recommend this book as a reference guide for anyone thinking about starting a business, particularly if considering being an absent owner.

Given advancing technologies, bookshops may not be a viable proposition unless there is something different on offer, either an exclusive niche, specialisation, diversification and broadening into ebooks and online sales.

Reviewed by 13 customers

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4.0

Going into Business?

By Zinnie

from Ballarat AUS

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Understand
  • Informative

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers
    • Reference

    Comments about Tea in the Library:

    A great little story on following a dream - but reality is harsh when you fail. It is an easy read with lots of honest info but a good read just as a story.

    Comment on this review

     
    4.0

    Foresight I hope

    By SupaSam

    from Perth

    About Me Casual Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Understand
    • Informative
    • Relevant

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift

      Comments about Tea in the Library:

      A gift for my daughter who is thinking of opening her own cafe business. Forewarned is fore-armed.

      Comment on this review

       
      3.0

      For would-be bookshop entrepreneurs

      By Evelyn

      from Canberra

      About Me Bookworm

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Understand
      • Informative
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Older Readers
        • Reference

        Comments about Tea in the Library:

        I purchased Tea in the Library by Annette Freeman because I have been thinking about opening a niche bookshop and found this book while sourcing research material. Tea in the Library first caught my attention on that basis. The book is easy to read and interesting to anyone who has ever thought about opening a bookshop but there are also lessons for anyone considering going into business.

        The author takes the reader with her on a journey of discovery, sharing the early joys of adventure and the seed of an idea and the lessons learned along the way. It is also a book about people. The various customers, employees, cafe staff and suppliers all bring a richness in their foibles, eccentricities, flaws as well as their positive contributions and enthusiasm.

        The content may have limited appeal being most relevant to those who harbour an obsession about books or running a bookshop. However, I would recommend this book as a reference guide for anyone thinking about starting a business, particularly if considering being an absent owner.

        Given advancing technologies, bookshops may not be a viable proposition unless there is something different on offer, either an exclusive niche, specialisation, diversification and broadening into ebooks and online sales.

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        Sweet book

        By Colin

        from Perth AU

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Understand
        • Informative

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Travel Reading

          Comments about Tea in the Library:

          This is a lovely book about Annettes adventures of starting a bookshop at a time when bookstores were about to come under stress from Online operators and the GFC. I read in it on a return flight between Brisbane and Perth. Its a good travel read.

          Comment on this review

           
          3.0

          What a disaster

          By Joylane

          from Sydney

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Understand

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Reference

            Comments about Tea in the Library:

            Probably best described as a book telling you the pitfalls of starting your own business when you do not have any knowledge about the industry in which you are going to open the business & how if you open a business you must be hands on & work in the business & not leave the day to day operation to others. This lady broke every golden rules for opening a business she over researched everything except the location & paid consultants for opinions that were just common sense & this money could have been better spent in getting the location right which is the very essence of opening a business.

            Comment on this review

             
            3.0

            Bravely chasing a dream

            By Fussy Reader

            from Brisbane

            About Me Bookworm

            Pros

            • Easy To Understand
            • Informative

            Cons

            • A little too detailed

            Best Uses

            • Special Needs

            Comments about Tea in the Library:

            Interesting story for one intending to start a business. Surprised by the time it took to bring it to life and a bit too detailed in some areas although useful if intending to set up business.

            I would recommend to a business interested friend or a Biographies fan.

            Comment on this review

             
            4.0

            Behind the scenes in a bookshop

            By Choc-top.

            from Sydney

            About Me Bookworm

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Understand
            • Informative
            • Relevant
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers

              Comments about Tea in the Library:

              All my librarian and bookworm friends loved it.

              Comment on this review

               
              2.0

              no

              By readalot

              from country victoria

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

                Cons

                • Disappointing
                • Not What I Expected

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Tea in the Library:

                  Some people may find it interesting but i was not one of them. Hoping to find out the pit falls that could be involved in opening a shop but found it useless. A good read if you just want to find out about the authors life but nothing else

                  Comment on this review

                   
                  3.0

                  how not to start a business!

                  By Little Red

                  from Victoria

                  About Me Bookworm

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • Not What I Expected

                    Best Uses

                    • Level The Table

                    Comments about Tea in the Library:

                    It was more about authors holidays than the bookstore, but proves you cannot be absent from your new business.

                    Comment on this review

                     
                    4.0

                    Personal account of success and failure

                    By Book addict

                    from Sydney

                    About Me Bookworm

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Deserves Multiple Readings
                    • Easy To Understand
                    • Informative
                    • Inspirational
                    • Relevant
                    • Well Written

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Gift
                      • Reference

                      Comments about Tea in the Library:

                      Every one has a dream. Some dreamers are too scared to follow their dreams due to the risk, while others follow their dreams despite the risk.

                      Comment on this review

                      Displaying reviews 1-10

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                      ISBN: 9781921206481
                      ISBN-10: 1921206489
                      Audience: General
                      Format: Paperback
                      Language: English
                      Number Of Pages: 266
                      Published: 1st June 2007
                      Publisher: Sid Harta Publishers
                      Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 14.0  x 0.6
                      Weight (kg): 0.363