Hello, bookish friends! I hope you've had a wonderful year, so far, and that this summer has treated you well. I'm writing today with news and updates about the bookstore.
The first item on my list is the newsletter. The newsletter has been difficult to keep up with, for various reasons, and I've felt awful for not being able to send out an update every month. After much thought, I've decided to change up the way we share information about the store. From now on, all important updates, sales, interesting information, and anything else that typically would have gone in the newsletter, can be found in blog posts that I share on our website--just like this one. This way, the important information will go out to anyone who is interested in reading it, not just those who have signed up for the newsletter. This doesn't mean I'm getting rid of the newsletter though! I will send out a newsletter inviting our dedicated readers to check out the new blog posts and a newsletter with our event calendar at the beginning of each month. These will be combined as often as possible so that we don't overwhelm your inbox. I've put a lot of thought into this and feel confident that this is the way our customers can get the information that is most relevant to them and that they are most interested in reading.
If you have not signed up for our newsletter and would like reminders about our new blog posts and our monthly event calendars straight to your inbox, you can sign up here.
Second, with new people in town and lots of people returning at this time of year, I want to gently remind our customers that the cats need to be treated with respect when you visit the bookstore. Our cats are very friendly and love our customers but, like all creatures, need certain things to be happy. If you are visiting the store with a group, please take turns petting the cats and do not crowd around them. This causes both cats to get anxious and I'd like to avoid that as much as possible. Also, unless they show you that they want to be held, DO NOT PICK UP THE CATS. While they enjoy being petted, they don't always react well to being scooped up--especially if they're sleeping. Jane, the grey cat, is the only one who will ask to be held. She will reach her front paws up to you or lean up against you when she's on a counter top to show that she wants to be held. If you want to spend time with the cats, they enjoy when you sit next to them and will often crawl into your lap. Finally, please do not try to get them riled up by playing roughly with them, particularly Kell, the black cat. Jane will not respond well at all and Kell, once excited, will often harass Jane and cause a variety of other issues.
Cats, like humans, use body language to convey many moods. If you are unfamiliar with feline body language, we suggest you look over this guide by Tuft & Paw.
The next item on my list to discuss is our online store. Earlier this year, our primary distributor and the host of our online store decided to pull out of the retail wholesale market. This was a huge blow to us and is something that we've been struggling to accommodate for the last few months. We've been working to get accounts set up with various publishers and to replace our online store with another option. We've decided to try out IndieLite, a program offered by the American Booksellers Association, as our new online ordering option. Currently, we are working to get the new site set up and organized but it's going to take some time. I'm hoping to have it completed by the end of August so that we can go into the fall season with a fully functional website. When it finally goes live, we will share that update on our social media, in a newsletter blast, and in the next month's blog post. We apologize for the inconvenience but want you to know that we are happy to place orders for you at the store or over the phone and, during the month of August, we will be offering FREE shipping on all special orders that request it.
Next up, an update for students! Students, we are here to help you get your assigned reading. While we do not carry textbooks, we do order class titles and textbooks for you and give you a 20% discount. Just show us your syllabus with the titles you need to get the discount! We can order new and used titles. New titles can take 2-4 business days to arrive, while used books take longer, typically 7-10 business days. If you need a used title, please plan ahead to allow plenty of time for it to arrive.
The final topic on my list is used books. We do take used books and will give you store credit for them. This store credit can be used to purchase ONLY other used books and your credit will cover up to half of the cost of your used book purchase. If you would like to receive credit for your used books, please make an appointment to bring them by. We will not take walk ins and I apologize for this inconvenience. We are a very small staff, with each person filling many roles in order to provide you with the best bookstore experience possible. As a result, we typically have a very tight schedule and won't have time to go through your books unless we've specifically made time for you. Please check out our used book page to learn more about the program and to see what kinds of things we won't take or are looking for right now.
That's it for August! Stay tuned for more updates & check out our events calendar to see what we're getting into this month!
Happy new year, y'all! 2018 was a year of big change for Foggy Pine Books and we couldn't have done it without your support--from painting walls and helping move to the new location to shopping with us all year long and sharing our store with friends, family, even strangers. We are deeply grateful, as well, to the other businesses & non-profits who supported and worked with us this past year: Hatchet Coffee, Out of Your Mind, SAGA, and more. This community of giving, creative, thoughtful book lovers is precisely what we'd hoped to foster in Boone. Thank you for everything. Now, keep reading to find out what 2019 will bring and how you can be involved!
Are self improvement books not your style but you resolved to read more in 2019? Check out the "Best of 2018" list that our booksellers made for you! We had Mary & Saide list their favorite books that were released in 2018 & then compiled them on out website for you to browse. You can also check out the "Staff Picks" section in the bookstore which is on the bestseller shelf.
If you like to pick out your own books but would like to challenge yourself to read outside the box, consider doing the Foggy Pine Reading Challenge! Our booksellers created this challenge to help our community read things they might not read otherwise. If you decide to do this challenge and complete it, bring us your filled out challenge list to get a FREE book! Check out the webpage for details.
Next, we have some staff announcements. Saide, a bookseller who joined our team in 2018, has been promoted to assistant manager. We would also like to introduce you to our newest bookseller, Rasier, who joined us during the holidays and will stay on through the winter. He did this interview to help you get to know him a little better and hopes you'll say hello next time you stop by the store.
Moving on to store announcements--we do have a few updates about our event schedule. First, the Young Adult Book Club is currently on hiatus. It didn't get a lot of interest or engagement last year so we're taking a break this winter to develop an excellent reading list and a marketing strategy that will bring this group to the members of our community who need it most.
In addition to this hiatus, the Foggy Pine Storytime is also on hold indefinitely. We spent a lot of time picking stories and creating activities for kids but the event rarely brought anyone in. We tried moving the days & times but there was no change. We still do the Playhouse Storytime on the first Wednesday of every month at 11am, however, and will be considering a renewal of the Foggy Pine Storytime later this year.
Finally, we are also putting a hold on the Swap Shop that we partner with Noble Kava to bring to the community. The Swap Shop generated a lot of interest but we're taking a break during the winter to catalog all the items, make donations to local charities, and get ready to come back this spring--just in time for spring cleaning!
Not everything is leaving our even calendar though. We still have the Foggy Pine and Hatchet Coffee Book Clubs, the Foggy Minds Open Mic that we partner with Out of Your Mind to bring to you, the Watauga Witches community group, and all the awesome literary events we host throughout the year, like--TRIO, the Queer Arts Series, Indie Bookstore Day, Banned Books Week, and more! We're also excited to offer new programs this year. We are currently developing a book subscription service and a book club discount program. The most current news about these developments will come through our newsletter, which offers, in addition to exclusive news, the first announcements of sales and a coupon for our readers. You can sign up for it here, but we'll also make announcements on our social media pages: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as this blog.
Lastly, we just have some reminders for you. Don't forget while you're Kon Mari-ing your house and getting rid of all your books that Foggy Pine Books will be happy to take them off your hands! Read up about our used book program here, then call us to make an appointment for your book collection. You'll get credit for other used books in the store so you can keep reading without investing a lot of money or space in your newly organized home!
Or maybe you didn't use the Kon Mari method but you're still supposed to host your book club meeting this month? Don't worry, we have you covered there too! Rent out our conference room to get a clean, cozy space for up to 12 people to meet. We have store parking, a comfy couch to sit on, a table to work at, and coffee available to all. If your meeting is during business hours, you can make your appointment online here. If you would like to meet outside of business hours, give us a call and we'll make the arrangements together. If you have any questions about the rental space or would like to check view it, please reach out to speak with Saide or Mary.
That's it for all our biggest updates at the beginning of 2019. We'll be posting on this blog several times throughout the year but the best way to get news about Foggy Pine Books is to sign up for the newsletter. If you sign up before the end of January, we will email you a special coupon to use on your next purchase!
Thank you again, Boone! We look forward to seeing you at our events this year and can't wait to see what great tings 2019 brings for us.
Mary Prewitt: Owner/Manager