Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Poetry, music, books and cake

As the shop is just over 6 weeks old I thought I'd write a nice little piece on how it's going. The bottom line is, it's good. I have my dream job! I love it.

There are of course a few niggles to iron out but overall it's been positive, so let's focus on that.
First off, the events held so far have been excellent. The first poetry night, Fire and Dust, was attended by nearly 50 people and was a huge success and we'll be having them back in December (date tbc). We've held a further 2 poetry evenings which have been attended in healthy numbers. The Nightblue Fruit evening was even attended by the Mayor of a Coventry!
Our gigs have also been a great success. We've had Ed Prosek all the way from Brighton, supported by Dan Wilde all the way from Canterbury. This was almost a sell out!
From Scotland, Rosie Bans, Mike Nisbet and Anna MacDonald played a very intimate gig to a captivated audience and just last week we had the Mercian String Quartet (minus 1) who played an hour of music from films based on books. It was such a wonderful early evening and we'll be having them back in the new year.
Alongside the gigs we've been continuing recording the Big Comfy Sessions, Ed, Dan, Rosie et al all recorded a session for us and can be viewed at

Over the coming weeks up til Christmss we've continued to book doe top performers. This Sundat (Nov 16th) we have Roxanne de Bastion from London supported by local woman Katie McAuley. On November 29th we host another London band Ranagri, who are a four piece trad folk act supported by local act Speak, Brother.

December the 6th is a huge day for us as we've managed to snag best selling author Miranda Dickinson who will be launching her new book I'll Take New York in the shop from 1pm! Miranda has sold over half a million books and is a regular on the Sunday Times best sellers chart. She'll be signing and reading from her new novels perfect for Christmas!
In the evening of 6th we have Jinder, an acoustic folk artist all the way from London.
The following day on 7th will be The Legend Of Everwinter day! Local author Tara Behan and Matt Hill will be bringing the Christmassy book to the shop and signing. There will also be the winner of Comfy at Christmas young persons short story competition announced.

There are several more gigs booked so please check the events page and twitter for up to date info.


Saturday, 18 October 2014

I'm Comfy At Christmas!

The first "I'm Comfy at Christmas" short story competition is now open!!
Stuck for something to do this half term? Then get creative and write us a story!
The competition is open to all young writers in the UK and has two categories: 12 -17 years and up to 11 years old.
The theme this year is 'Christmas!' so let your imagination run wild! We're looking for imagination and the ability to take the reader on a journey. Your Christmas themed short story can be up to 2000 words maximum and must be written in English. There is no minimum word limit! Your story can be dramatic or hilarious, we don't mind! It can even be a bit odd!
Entry is free although we will accept just one entry per person, so make it a gud'un! All entries should be original and your own work. The stories should not have won a writing competition previously or been published before.
The competition will be judged by our selected judging panel: Michael McEntee (owner of The Big Comfy Bookshop), Tara Behan, author of children's book The Legend of Everwinter, and a third secret judge. Their decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. Unfortunately, we cannot provide feedback on all the stories entered.
The winner in each category will have their story published on The Big Comfy Bookshop website, receive a special edition winners bookmark, £20 to spend in store and a TBCB T-shirt. Their story will be read at our special awards event in The Big Comfy Bookshop on the 7th of December, 2014.
How to Enter
Email your story to with the subject heading "I'm Comfy at Christmas!" Write at the top of the email your name, address, phone number and the title of
your story. Then either paste your story into the body of the email or attach as a word doc. Our judges will only receive your story and not any personal details to ensure judging is fair.
Deadline: 15th November 2014
Good luck!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

What a week! We are now open!!

On September 27th we finally FINALLY opened! The day and whole weekend was a complete success with nearly 10k passing through Fargo, and I think 99% of them visited The Big Comfy Bookshop too! On Saturday Rosie Goodwin kicked things off for us with a signing, then at 2pm Debbie Greenaway did a brilliant story time with loads of kids. At 6pm Paul Le Keux spun the vinyl of classic R&B and Blues tunes til around 9.30. The place was rammed from 12 til about 6 then it was a constant stream of people.
On Sunday it was more of the same as we had a big queue at one point going out the door! Wes Finch and Matt Lakey took to the stage at 6pm to perform for an hour to a lovely cosy crowd.
The week following was a mixture of book pricing, alphabetising and coffee making with it all to start again on Saturday. But first in between that, on Thursday, we hosted the first poetry night entitled Fire and Dust ran by Silhouette press. We anticipated 20 people but had just shy of 50 and it was rammed! Such a fantastic night, with others now requesting details of the next (Oct 22nd!).
The weekend just gone was much busier than I thought and it was steady throughout.
I finally took a day off yesterday to recharge. A massive thanks to Rob and Marta, Jenny and Simon and my wife Heidi for being there so much and helping serve and balloon. Love you all!

Here are some pictures taken on the opening day by my best buddy Jonathan of J S Coates photography.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Open Saturday!!

I've been so busy that this site was neglected. But we open Saturday! Here are pictures

I've also been heralded as one of the top ten places to visit at Fargo by the Coventry Telegraph

So busy!
Speak soon!


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Opening this month!

Since I picked up the keys on Aug 4th it's been very hectic in my life. Firstly, the electrics were not actually finished so there was a week of frustrated twiddled thumbs whilst it all was put in. At the weekends I could get in and paint and I did just that, along with friends, family and strangers off twitter we managed to paint 95% of the shop in 2 days. The following week once the electrics were in I could tidy it up more nd finish the painting. I'm currently in the process of adding a border and counter, then shelves to go in at the end of the week.

One thing I didn't mention is that in the middle of all this, my wife gave birth to my beautiful son Sebastian, so that's been a bit of a blur!

There have been leaky ceilings, hanging wires, water pipes and general haphazardness. But it's still going to open on September 27th.
Here are a few pictures.

We're also full steam ahead with the Big Comfy Sessions and we managed to pull a coup with getting Emily Barker in with her new band Vena Portae. See the video 

Sunday, 3 August 2014

How to open a bookshop: Prologue

On August 2nd it was a full 2 years since I left my job as a civil servant to try to follow my dream of opening a bookshop. There have been many peaks and troughs but I stuck to it and on Tuesday I pick up the keys to my new shop.

The plan now is to document every element of how the shop is progressing from the moment I get the keys to the sale of my first book. On this site I'm hoping to have daily pictures, tell you about the highs and lows, and generally, How To Open A Bookshop.

If I get the wifi sorted quickly then I hope to tweet a lot 'on the job' so if you're not already, follow me on @bigcomfybooks. I'll also be looking for lots of help! If you fancy painting a bookshop, or putting together a bookcase or two, or maybe even putting books on shelves then get in touch.

Here are a few picture from a fortnight ago.


Monday, 28 July 2014

New Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1 trailer

The third in the Hunger Games trilogy is released at the end of the year and today the first proper trailer has arrived. The Hunger Games is one of my favourite book trilogies and so far the films have lived up to expectation. Let's hope the third will! The final book has been split into two parts with part tow coming next year.

It's released November 21st.