However, if any new bookshop is going to succeed, it will be this one. I've written quite a few posts in the past citing what's wrong with Waterstone's (and when they were owned by HMV, it was a long list), so it came as a pleasant surprise to see a new branch that was absolutely pitch perfect.
Everything, from the Farrow and Ball paint to the quirky range of titles, was exactly right for Lewes. But does that mean they'll make any money?
On Wednesday, I had a drink with a former colleague from Waterstones who'd been overseeing the Lewes opening and asked her how things were going. She was cautiously optimistic, painting a picture that wasn't one of universal doom and gloom. I know from experience that her default setting is positive, but she didn't gloss over the many challenges that high street booksellers face. It was encouraging to hear that some bookshops still had a future.
The age of the 15,000 sq foot behemoths is clearly over, as far as new openings go, but there is a place for smaller shops and apparently, people are still buying books. Just not everywhere.
I'm not a betting man, but I'd put money on the Lewes branch being here in five years' time. It deserves to succeed.
In other news, as they say on the television, I have finished moving out of the rat-infested hovel that I haven't called home for the last 20 months. I will miss the robins:
The move was relatively straightforward, apart from one mishap today, when a piece of metal fell on my head. I feel fine, but it's left a mark that looks like the scar from a frontal lobotomy. I hope it heals, otherwise I will have to wear a hat for the rest of my life.
One other piece of good news is that we have succeded in getting a Statement of Special Educational Needs for our oldest son. I won't bore you with the details, but the gist is that if we find a school that can help our son, the local authority will now pay for it. Awards like these rarely get past the application stage, so I can only assume that my son made an impression.
On a sadder note, last week we attended the funeral of our closest friend in Lewes. She was 56 and had twin 14-year-old boys, one of whom is severely autistic.
The funeral was in two parts: a Catholic Mass in Lewes, followed by a cremation in Brighton. I'd never been to a Catholic service before and felt that both the length and use of ritual added a gravitas and dignity that is often missing from funerals. I'll have to do a deathbed conversion.
The ritualistic aspects of the Mass were rather confusing for the Protestants and heathens. About a quarter of the people at the servive were Catholics and every now and then, they would pop up from their seats like a flashmob and chant something. The rest of us sat awkwardly in our pews.
When the coffin arrived, everybody took a deep breath and tried to maintain their composure. It seemed extraordinary that our friend was in this small wooden box. A few weeks earlier she'd had lunch with my wife and on the way home, they'd popped into the church hall to vote in the European elections. She voted Green.
There was a hushed atmosphere as the coffin was slowly carried along the aisle, then the silence was suddenly broken by the autistic son, who uttered just one word in a flat, emotionless voice: "Upset."
At that point, everybody broke down.
At some funerals I've experienced grief as a sense of personal loss, but on this occasion it was just a terrible sadness for a friend whose life had been cut short.
Our friend faced death without any self-pity and remained interested in the world right up until the last week. She was obviously worried about her sons, but took comfort in the knowledge that her sister in Los Angeles has agreed to take the boys. In a few weeks' time, they will leave Lewes and begin a new life in California.
At some point I will write a tribute to our quirky, interesting friend. In the meantime, here's a trailer for a film that was written by her late father, who died only a year earlier. She would have liked this: