While youth is often a time of great promise and achievement, a life well lived can also be filled with any number of subsequent chapters and second, or even third acts, that add depth, nuance, and meaning to our stories.
At 65, Somerset native Carole-Ann Warburton experienced a plot twist that led to the realization of a long-cherished dream she had never spoken out loud about.
After a debilitating illness incapacitated her, Warburton was left with the question of what to do next. During her convalescence, her daughter brought up some real estate listings for the kinds of houses she thought her mother could better spend her golden years in. Coincidentally, among the notices was an offering for a small barber shop with an apartment above the stairs.
For Warburton, although he admits that “the place was horrible,” it was love at first sight and the perfect opportunity to do something he had longed to do for as long as he could remember: work in a bookstore.
Less than three months after making his decision, Warburton delivered his retirement notice, sold his home, bought the store and, using a personal inventory totaling between 8,000 and 9,000 titles, launched his new company. The rest book.
Warburton has been an avid book collector since she was a child. As an adult, she married a man with a similar hobby. The four-bedroom house that she and her ex-husband shared with their children (to their dismay) was “crammed with books.”
Warburton admits that learning to put her beloved tomes aside was a small adjustment, but one that she feels better about doing.
“It still feels, when a special book comes out, like a little loss, like a little part of me has been taken away,” he said in an interview with The Guardian. “And then I make common sense come back to me and say, ‘Let someone else learn from it.’ It is to grow, if you want, an acceptance “.
A decade later, The Book Rest recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Although the pandemic has slowed foot traffic, given that Warburton’s driving motive is not monetary gain, but something of deeper, more idiosyncratic personal value, he has no plans to close the store.
Having achieved his own dream, Warburton sees each day at the bookstore as an opportunity to help others realize theirs as well.
“All dreams are in the books,” he told The Guardian. “Everyone is there waiting to be picked up … Someone can come in tomorrow and say, ‘I’ve been looking for you for a long time!’
And as the keeper of her own little universe of literary marvels, Warburton says she plans to stick around for as long as she can to make sure they do.
INSPIRE your friends with this story of new beginnings …