Has COVID killed my escape fantasy?

Almost everybody I know in digital/tech land has some kind of escape fantasy. Opening a yoga studio or a food truck. Writing a novel or trekking around Asia. I am no different.

When work things get on top of me in the past I’ve always retreated to the same fantasy.

My bookshop.

At this point it is a pretty high-definition fantasy.

The name (The Pulps). 

The focus (Genre fiction – crime, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, westerns, horror. All paperbacks. Nothing worthy.) 

The location (Gloucester Road, Bristol). 

The decor (wall sized reproductions of 1940s pulp magazine covers by local street artists). 

I can picture the bookshelves I would force my lazy but talented carpenter cousin to build me and my little counter set up to look like Sam Spade’s desk – which would hide the iPad I’d be using to manage the stock, the sales, to lean heavily into social media for publicity and to kill time between (rare) customers.

Of course this wouldn’t make any money. Pre-Amazon it wouldn’t have made any money let alone post-COVID….but the fantasy always had me continue to consult a few days a week and to have a beautifully designed online store to help keep the lights on.

Thing is now even in my fantasy-land I can’t see how my imaginary book store could survive in a social distanced world so I guess I’ll need to dream up a new escape. 

Maybe an international, virtual graffiti festival? As fantasies go..

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