I suffer from frequent bouts of restlessness. They come on once or twice a year and last a month or two. Every time it happens, I am compelled to do something crazy. (I’m not bipolar; my mom had me tested.)
I’ll either 1. Plan vacations we’ll never take, 2. Consider getting a tattoo (I’m morally against tattoos, but I would get a nine-tailed fox on my shoulder), 3. Try to open a business – either a book store or a meditation studio, or 4. Change my hair.
During a particularly bad series of restless bouts that happened in rapid succession, I bleached my hair blonde, dyed it black, chopped it off, and grew it out my natural color, all in the course of two years.
My favorite solution for restlessness was the bookstore. I’d scout out locations, plan events, and save decoration ideas on Pinterest. Luckily, the restlessness would pass before I did anything stupid. Like open an actual bookstore.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that I did not actually want to own a business – at least, not at this point in my life. After opening my food blog No Scrap Left Behind: A Year Without Wasting Food, I had the idea to open a virtual bookstore online. It would be made up of Amazon affiliate links from my favorite books. It was perfect!
But I couldn’t think of a good name. In the many years that I’ve wanted a bookstore, nothing ever came to mind. Which leads me to my next story:
How Kismet got its name
Naming a bookstore is more difficult than you might think. You can’t have a name that readers might associate with a specific genre. My married name is Pilgrim – not a good name for a bookstore – and my maiden name is Packham – also not a good name.
After much deliberation I decided to pick a word that most people aren’t familiar with. That way it could have a cool meaning, but people would only associate it with the book store instead of the semantics of the word.
The only problem: which word should I pick?
I came to the conclusion that now wasn’t a good time to start a virtual bookstore, and that if I came up with a good name, that would be a sign from the universe to get started.
Not even a week later, I was at story time in the library when my friend told me about an exciting coincidence. She had decided to splurge on leopard print vans, which were normally $50 shoes. The very next day, she found a used pair in her size at a consignment store.
“It’s kismet,” I said.
Boom. That was it.
So I started my bookstore, and I absolutely love it. I don’t know if anyone will find me in the vast ocean of cyberspace, but I’m nevertheless thrilled to share my passion for great literature.