When I gave up on reading the book I posted about yesterday, I decided to switch to something completely different as a palate cleanser and found an old “chick lit” type women’s fiction book by a favorite author on my to-be-read bookcase (it looks like I found a British publication at a used bookstore, and I must have been hoarding it because that genre had become scarce in the US). This one wasn’t so much the shopping and dating in the city kind of book, but rather fits into that subgenre that I think of as “my husband/boyfriend dumped me, so now I’m moving somewhere else to start over, and I’ll finally carry out my lifelong dream of opening a bookstore/bakery/cafe.” (Or restoring old houses, restoring antiques, becoming an artist/photographer, gardening, etc.)
It seems like a huge switch from fantasy, but I suspect the “I’ll just open a business” thing is as much of a fantasy as “I’ll become a wizard,” at least, the way it tends to happen in these books, where the heroines seldom have any money to start with and they just happen to fall into finding exactly the things and people they need, and the village where they’ve moved totally embraces the new business so that it becomes a success (funny, the books usually don’t cover the months later when the new has worn off, the new business is no longer a novelty, and the people go back to their old habits). Still, it’s a fun fantasy to read, to think about starting fresh and making a business out of a talent or interest you’ve always had.
In these books, the heroines always find new love along the way, of course. It may be my current phase of life or my particular interests, but I tend to groan when the guy shows up because it distracts from the interesting part of the book, the setting up the business and meeting the townspeople. Fortunately, most of these don’t follow the romance genre formula in which the main conflict has to be between the hero and heroine. There may or may not be any actual conflict with the guy, other than her having to decide if she’s ready for another relationship or willing to trust another man after the way the last one treated her. There’s not a lot of bickering, and she doesn’t have to choose whether to pursue love or her new business. But I’m still more interested in the baking and the other interactions.
I have at times thought it would be fun to run a bakery, restaurant, or bookshop, but I know there’s so much that goes into anything dealing with food, and a bookshop would be a real challenge in the era of Amazon. It’s fun to read about, but I don’t think I’d want to dive in. Still, reading about people going after their dreams is rather inspiring. I guess it might be fun to be paid to bake. I just don’t want to open an actual bakery.
Then again, there are bookstores with coffee shops. Why not one with a bakery? Or a tea shop with baked goods (I think tea goes better with books, but bookstores always seem to have coffee shops instead).