Important Updates: Holiday Shopping
Hi, Foggy Pine Friends! This blog post is going to be about the unique issues & problems that we're facing this holiday season. I will be outlining these to discuss how they're impacting us as a store & how that will then impact you as a customer. I also have some recommendations to make this holiday season as easy as possible for everyone.
First, I want to start by explaining something about the holiday season as it pertains to retail stores. In Boone, most stores are making the bulk of their profit between October & December. We are not an exception to this and, in fact, it holds even greater significance for us as an indie bookstore since our profit margins are so small. What we make during the holiday season has to keep us afloat from January to April, when our sales dip dramatically. And when I say dramatically, I really mean it. Our sales drop by about 60%, sometimes more, after the holidays. This is manageable if we've had a good holiday season. Last year, the holidays weren't as good as they typically are and, by February, we were really struggling. As you probably know, we were fortunate enough to be chosen by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to be featured on their Super Bowl night episode. Without their (& your!) help, I genuinely don't know where we'd be today.
So, I'm starting this holiday season with a bit of anxiety but that quickly mounted to dread when I learned about some of the supply chain issues the book industry is having this year. Currently, we are dealing with several different issues that are creating different problems within publishing. One that you may not have heard about is the current paper shortage. This shortage is affecting publishing dates, how many books publishers can order, and what is being chosen to be published. Hand-in-hand with that are the printer issues that we have been facing since Covid started.
I would like to give you a little bit of background on the printer situation. At the beginning of Covid, when the whole world seemed to shut down temporarily, the lack of business caused the closure of a huge amount of printers around the world. Once things started picking back up, those that closed didn't re-open their doors and the ones that were left have been flooded with printing orders since then. There are significantly less domestic printers available for publishers to use so international printers are receiving these orders instead and, since it's not just one publisher who needs these printers but *all* of them, the international printers are quite overwhelmed.
Now, how does that affect us? What these supply chain issues mean is that books, especially popular ones, are increasingly difficult to come by & backordered titles are taking much longer to come back in stock. It means that some popular books are not going to be available in November & December and that some slightly less popular books will have less copies available to us to purchase. It also means that some authors books will have their release dates pushed back to accommodate these printing schedules. However, because we've been aware of this, we've been ordering additional copies of our popular titles & are trying to acquire a wide variety of other books for mystery box & recommendation purposes.
Your next question is probably something like, "what should I be doing as a consumer?" and that's a great question! The first thing we ask is that you are patient & remember that our booksellers are not making things difficult for you on purpose and that much of this is out of our control. Beyond being kind to our staff, the main thing is to get your holiday shopping started early this year, like WAY early. We're encouraging folks to place pre-orders for books that come out between now & the end of the year--we even offer 15% off pre-orders placed 30+ days in advance of the release date so it actually benefits you to pre-order early! If you wait until release day, there's a very high chance that you will not be able to get a copy of that book in time for the holidays. We also encourage you to use our booksellers for their expertise! While we know it will be frustrating when things you want for gifts aren't available, we really need customers to be open to suggestions of similar titles from our booksellers and willing to try other formats, such as e-books or audiobooks through Foggy Pine Books. In addition to that, buying gift cards is always a great option when the book you wanted to order is not available before the holidays. If you don't mind books coming after the holidays as long as you have something to give on present day, we are more than happy to create a book certificate for you to give instead. Our mystery & subscription boxes also make excellent gifts. All you do is tell us a little bit about the person you're buying the gift for & how much money you want to spend--our booksellers will do the rest & can even wrap the books! So, get started with our online store or by dropping in to browse. And don't forget that we can ship orders anywhere in the US!
This holiday season is going to be a struggle for all of us but we hope that you'll continue to shop with us through the current difficulties so that we can still be here for you next spring. I promise that we'll do everything we can to accommodate your needs & help you create something special for the people you love this holiday season! After all, we wouldn't be here without you & making your life special is a true joy for us.
If you have questions about any of this or if you would like some assistance getting started on your holiday shopping, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're here Mon-Sat & are available over the phone, via email, and in-person.
Queer Lit Live
We hope you are able to join us for this event! You can join in to watch our Lives on FB & IG at 7:30pm tonight. RSVP to the event on FB to get notified when we get started: https://fb.me/e/XmqoscRd You can also watch past lives for the event on the event page. We've embedded the video here so you can watch straight from here, whether you're watching the night of the event or after it's ended.
We are going to cover a few of our favorite recent LGBTQIA+ titles & tell you a little about each. Plus, we'll talk about books we're excited to read next & some upcoming titles you should watch out for. We have them ALL linked here so you can easily make your purchase! If we run out of stock before your order & it says it's unavailable, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our booksellers will be able to process your order & give you an estimate on arrival!
These books are each bookseller's top pick for tonight's discussion:
The Jasmine Throne - Tasha Suri
This lush, sweeping epic fantasy is set in a world based on historical India & is populated with a cast of unforgettable characters. You'll love how Suri's prose effortlessly pulls you in & immerses you in a complex but compelling story of empire & resistance, blood & dangerous love. An imprisoned & vengeful princess and a maidservant who isn't who she appears to be must come together to find the things they're both looking for, family & power, and to save their empire from the clutches of the princess's despotic brother. The first book in a series you don't want to miss!
In the Dream House - Carmen Maria Machado
A somber and raw exposé interwoven with mythos and courage, In the Dream House is a gorgeous memoir that reads almost like a folk tale. Unwinding the thread of an abusive same-sex relationship, Machado illuminates her journey from long-distanced sweetheart to “haunted house” survivor. Unlike anything you’ve ever read, this is must-read for fans of surreal queer horror and lovers of honest and powerful memoirs.
Crier's War by Nina Varela
Crier is an Automae, a being engineered to be perfect, who have risen above humans in the past centuries. Ayla is a human, working in the estate of Crier's "father," the lord of the land in which they live. She is also a part of the human rebellion against the Automae. When Crier nearly falls to her death, Ayla saves her against all of her instincts. She is rewarded with a new job - becoming Crier's primary handmaid. Crier's War a novel of political intrigue and powerful women, with skyrocketing tension as both Crier and Ayla try to decide who they are and what exactly they value most. The second book of the duology, Iron Heart, came out in September of 2020.
These are the books that we'll talk about briefly during the event! You can click each title to read the summary & buy online, if you find something you can't wait to read.
Don't forget that 10% of all sales tonight will be donated to Equality NC!
These books are newer releases that we are excited to read but haven't done it yet.
Indie Bookstore Day 2020
This year's Indie Bookstore Day was postponed from April & we've been waiting patiently to celebrate with you! We hope you'll join us this Saturday, August 29th to show your love for indie bookstores, as we show our love for you. We have a lot of really cool giveaways, special events from the official IBD event planners, and a special virtual event with our owner, Mary. Keep reading to see how awesome your weekend is about to get!
The double-sided Supa Capes say #DoGood on one side and Reading Makes You A Superhero on the other. You will get a free Diary of a Friendly, Awesome Kid swag bag with your purchase of a Supa Cape for $10.99.
Foggy Pine Events
Let us know which events you're most excited for and know that we can't wait to see you this weekend! Read on!
Hello bookworms! We've made it half-way though this crazy year and things don't seem like they'll be slowing down anytime soon. Don't worry though, we are here for you. We have curated several reading lists sure to keep you flipping those pages. But before we get to the fun stuff, let's get the business updates out of the way. We're going to start with a letter from the owner, Mary Ruthless.
A Letter from the Owner
As many of you know, we have taken Covid-19 very seriously. We continue to keep up with the status of cases in Watauga County as a way to inform our decisions about store policies. Since even before Phase 2 started, the number of active cases & individuals being monitored has continued to increase. Despite that, we felt that we could keep ourselves and our customers reasonably safe with the proper precautions which is why we opened up by appointment in June. Initially, we were very excited to welcome our customers back to the store. However, as the month progressed, we were met with hostility & anger. Folks who hadn't scheduled an appointment wanted to be let into the store immediately. In one case, a customer actually attempted to push our bookseller out of the doorway so they could enter the store. Folks who did schedule appointments were always respectful but, as customers became more comfortable within our space, we found that some were increasingly forgetful of the rules we put in place to keep our everyone safe. Everything from wearing a mask to social distancing while in the store became an argument.
I, as an business owner, have a moral imperative to put my staff's safety & the safety of ALL our customers above the desires of a few. It is not reasonable to ask my booksellers to continue to serve folks who will not respect our policies & boundaries, especially while cases continue to rise. After a discussion between myself & our booksellers, we have decided to revert back to pickup, delivery, and shipping only.
This was not an easy decision to make. The book business is notorious for being a career that you go into because you love, not because you want to make money. However, the pandemic has been extremely hard on Foggy Pine Books. We're doing our best to hang on through this difficult time but, with a lack of resources & income to help keep us here, the struggle has been ongoing. So, closing our doors to folks isn't something I do lightly. I am deeply concerned about the future of the store but that concern is minuscule compared to my concern for the health & safety of myself, my staff, our customers, and our community. I hope that you understand and will continue to shop with us online, over the phone, and via email.
Books have been a great comfort to us during these stressful times. We hope you will allow us to continue serving you in this limited capacity so we can all stay safe and, hopefully, return to business as usual when this is over. If you have any questions, please reach out to us by phone or email.
As you know, we have put together an antiracist reading list for our community of readers. We have over 250 titles on our master list and will continue to add to it as we move forward. The list includes titles for all ages (kids & teens included) and has expanded to include antiracist titles by authors of all backgrounds.
You can browse see them in their individual categories or scroll through the main list to see more titles. Please be aware many titles are backordered right now but will be arriving soon. We have tried to include as many books as possible that are currently in stock but if you want to be sure before placing an order, just give us a call at 828-386-1219 to check on inventory status.
Foggy Pine Books + Black in Boone
Upcoming Book Clubs
Free Books for Boone
Hello bookworms! As you may know, we're not quite out of the woods when it comes to public health and safety. To that end, we are continuing to be open by appointment only. Bring your mask and "browse" for some new books. The booksellers will pull titles based on your interests and you can enjoy a personal shopper style book experience. You can schedule your appointment online, over the phone (828-386-1219), or via email.
Now there are even more ways to get your book, no matter how you placed your order. In addition to our curbside pickup, local delivery, and free media mail shipping options, we have recently added a drive thru window!
Check out the video below & our IG page for more details! For more information regarding safety precautions and customer requirements, check out the May blog post on the website. We can't wait to see you all back in person!
In light of recent events, we felt compelled to put together an antiracist reading list for our community of readers. Many of you have been asking about books for kids and teenagers, so we made sure to include books for all ages. This is just the beginning of what will be a very large list. We have over 250 titles on a master list and will continue to add to it every day.
Right now, we are featuring books by Black authors only. While there are many aspects to antiracism that we feel are important for folks to read about, we do not want to distract the conversation away from Black lives and stories right now. So, you'll see included in these lists stories about Black joy and family, Black magic and pain, Black dreams and desire, Black love and friendship.
You can browse see them in their individual categories or scroll through the main list to see more titles. Please be aware many titles are backordered right now but will be arriving soon. We have tried to include as many books as possible that are currently in stock but if you want to be sure before placing an order, just give us a call at
828-386-1219 to check on inventory status.
If you're not quite ready to venture out (we totally get it) you can spend some time looking through these beautiful catalogs from Ingram, featured below. Give us a call when you find that perfect title & we'll get it to you as quickly as possible!
Our book clubs are still in full, online swing! The Fantasy/Sci-Fi Book Club is meeting June 25th @ 6:30pm. Come tell us what you thought of E. Latimer's newest story, Witches of Ash and Ruin! And last, but certainly never least, Foggy Pine Book Club is reading The Tale of Gengi (after an enthusiastic vote via Instagram). Join us online June 27th @ 7:30pm for a lively discussion, even if you didn't like it!
If you're looking for something to read now, look no further! We have selected a few fun quizzes and articles to keep you entertained while you are stuck at home.
Stay safe, stay healthy, read on!
By Katharine Brown
Hello fellow bookworms! May is our anniversary month and, on May 23, we will have been open for 4 years. Can you believe we've been here that long?! While we're sad that we can't have a big party, we have a few fun things planned for later this month. Keep your eye on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest updates!
We've been holed up like hobbits for what feels like forever and it seems that there will be more second breakfasts ahead of us. But don't despair! Foggy Pine Books is always here for you. Even if we can't host events or chat with you while you browse, we are finding ways to keep your mind busy and sharp and hold boredom at bay. Take a peek below for reviews, quizzes, articles, and book suggestions we've been tracking down for you. And drop a comment to let us know what you're doing to have fun on the home front.
To start, masks are required for anyone in the store for a personal shopping appointment. This is for everyone's safety and there are no exceptions. Also, guests will be required to wash their hands immediately upon entering the store. Then, they will take a seat somewhere they feel comfortable and a bookseller will sit and talk with them about what kind of books they're looking for. Then, the bookseller will go pull books that they recommend for guests to review. Browsing is allowed but only booksellers are allowed to remove books from the shelves. Finally, appointments are limited to two people at once and can only be booked for an hour at a time. If you need more time to shop, please email us to set up your appointment.
Before and after each shopper, the store will be sanitized, as well as any items that may have been touched previously by another customer. Finally, our staff will wear masks at all times.
These may seem like extreme measures but we are committed to safety for our guests & our staff. Each step of the process has been thought through to ensure that we are reducing contact as much as possible. If you have questions or concerns about any of this, please don't hesitate to reach out to us!
This month, we are excited to introduce you to our newest venture. We know this year has been trying, for all of us in the community. We also know that the escape and comfort a book offers is something many of us are taking advantage of during social distancing. In order to be sure this pastime is something that is available to all members of our community, regardless of means, we have started Free Books for Boone. Through this program, we will provide free books to those in Watauga County who are unable to buy their own. Just fill out a short application stating your interests, books you've liked before, and your personal information so we can pick the perfect book for you. We're also accepting financial and book donations from members of the community who would like to help us keep the program going. You can learn more about that here. Have questions? Send us an email at: email@example.com.
Finding yourself pacing the floor, desperate for something to do? What about organizing your bookshelves? Our brilliant intern Elly has gathered up some popular (read: staff) ideas about how to set up your shelves. Check out her post here and let us know how your shelves are organized (or not). Can't wait to read more? Elly has written engaging posts on other topics too. Try Mythology, Up & Coming Books of 2020, or her report on the upcoming Netflix original, Sandman, which is based on the popular graphic novel series.
Ready to try something new? You've got to get your hands on one of the IndieNext or Okra Picks for 2020! Okra Pick books have been chosen by SIBA Indie Bookstores as the books they are most excited to handsell to customers, books that inspire conversation and broaden horizons. IndieNext titles are similar, but feature recommendations from booksellers across the country. Click on the photos below to be taken to the full lists and find the perfect title for you!
And for those of us who just love to browse, spend some time looking through these beautiful catalogs from Ingram, featured below. Give us a call when you find that perfect title & we'll get it to you as quickly as possible!
Can't wait for your mystery box or your new orders? Need something book related to read right now? Check out these articles, quizzes, and various sundry we've been enjoying the last few weeks.
Just a reminder, we are still holding our book clubs at the end of the month. You can join us via Google Meet to share all your thoughts and feelings on our May titles. Find the link to join, information, and details about our Fantasy/Science Fiction title here and our Foggy Pine Book Club pick here. Silent Book Club has also moved online so we hope to see you there!
Stay safe and cozy, we will see you soon. Read on!
By Elly Murray
Hello fellow book nerds! I hope you’re all keeping safe and not going too stir-crazy during this Coronavirus upheaval. While we’re all stuck at home, I thought I’d write a post about how we organize our bookshelves! There are few things in this world that bring me more joy than re-organizing my bookshelf. Something about having everything in a nice, neat stacks (and also getting to go through all my books and remember what I actually have) is just really satisfying. So, I’ve created this little post to examine all the different methods of book organization that our booksellers here love to employ at home. That way if anyone is inspired to reorganize, they have plenty of time on their hands to do that. I’m not sure how many of you enjoy organizing your books as much as I do, but if you do, this post is for you!
I suppose we’ll start with me; most of my books exist on “shelves” of sorts. In order to have a place for all my books I’ve had to stretch the term “shelves” to include several things that are not shelves, including two plastic purple bins, a space under my bed, and a “shelf” that I built myself from pieces of discarded wood. It leans atrociously to one side, doesn’t have a bottom, and could honestly come apart at any minute.
I usually stick to the classic by-author’s-last-name means of organization, but as I’ve accumulated more and more books (to the point where my roommates fear an impending avalanche), I’ve noticed that there are certain books that just don’t work with that method of organization. So, I’m hoping to gain some inspiration from some of our booksellers and how they organize their books!
Our esteemed Mary Ruthless also has two separate shelves, but for paperbacks and hardcovers. Both shelves are organized alphabetically by author’s last name (a woman after my own simplistic taste). She also has all of her comics arranged by main character and size, and then the books on her headboard and bedside table are in order of what’s most appealing to read next, with most appealing on the top and least appealing on the bottom
l imagine the separate shelves for hardcovers and paperbacks must make it difficult if you have several books from the same author or in the same series, when some are paperback and some are hardcover. However, I really like the idea of sorting my books based on what I would like to read next! That would certainly help me wade through the mountain of books that I own but probably won’t read.
Josh has a total of three bookshelves throughout his home, in varying places such as his basement and living room. He says there isn’t really an organization system to his books, except that one of the shelves is mostly outdoor books and graphic novels. However, his shelves are decorated with all sorts of cool knick-knacks! I definitely like to spice up my shelves too, except my knick-knacks are all tiny action figures of sorts.
Katharine's books exist in one of three places: in her closet, her nightside stack, or under her bed. The ones in her closet are designated as “already read” or “not going to read anytime soon.” The category of “not going to read anytime soon” includes classics that she’s saving for when her kids need them, favorites that she’s not ready to re-read yet, and gifts that she can’t toss yet. The ones under her bed are “currently reading” or “next on the list to read.”
Again, I really like the idea of organizing my books based on what I’m going to read next. I do have a small shelf that sits on my desk where I put books that I’m either currently reading, about to read, or borrowing from fellow literary nerds. I also completely understand the notion of not being able to get rid of books that people have gotten you just yet.
Well, all of these lovely organization techniques from our booksellers have certainly given me a ton of new ideas on how to re-organize my bookshelf, and hopefully they have sparked some schemes in your heads too.
And please feel free to let us know in the comments what methods of organization you like to use! I hope you’re all keeping safe during these tumultuous times, and maybe you have some time now to get cozied up with your favorite books. As always, read on!
Important Store Updates
Hello, Foggy Pine Readers! I hope you're all safe & healthy, staying at home as much as possible, and (of course) reading, reading, reading! As many of your are already aware, the governor issued an executive Stay At Home order this Friday, which went into effect yesterday at 5pm. Under that order, our store is considered essential as a bookstore that sells educational materials. We are deeply grateful that we are allowed to remain open and are taking extra precautions to keep our staff and our customers safe, while also providing for your needs. We will remain closed to the public and will continue taking orders through our online store, via email, and over the phone. Phone orders and pickup will be taken Monday - Saturday from 9am to 5:30pm. However, we have made some changes to the way we're offering curbside pickup and local delivery. We will still be offering free media mail shipping. Keep reading to find out what's changed!
We are still offering curbside pickup, however, we are altering the way we do it to eliminate person-to-person interaction. There will now be a pickup station for you to pick your book up from outside the store. If it is sunny, we will put a bench out on the parking lot side of the store so that you can drive up and grab your order easily. Please call us a couple minutes before you arrive or when you're headed our way and we will put your order out on the bench. Your order will have your name on it but there's not usually more than person picking up at the same time. If it's raining, the bench will be in front of the door.
Due to the small size of our staff, we have decided to reduce the size of the area in which we will deliver. A map is included above, however, if you aren't sure whether your address is in our area, please reach out to us. Before we make deliveries, we will let customers know that we're on the way and ask where to place the order outside. Please do not meet your delivery bookseller outside or at the door. If no location is given, the order will be placed at your front door.
Other Info & How to Order
Some folks have asked us what the best ways are to support us right now. So, we thought that we would give you some ideas.
First, if you are supporting us by placing an order, we prefer taking orders over the phone or via email. This ensures that we receive the most money from your purchase, in a more timely fashion. If you want to see what we might be able to order, the online store we currently have is a great place to start. Unfortunately, we don't have our current inventory online so if you want to know what we have on hand, please reach out to us. If you prefer to shop online, please don't feel guilty. We are happy to serve you in that capacity. We are working diligently to get books on our shelves into a digital home. Stay tuned!
How does this help us though? Ordering the mystery box option allows us to choose from the books we already have on hand first before ordering anything from our distributor or publishers. This reduces the amount of people involved in your order, reduces the pressure on delivery and warehouse workers, and allows us to sell inventory we've already purchased. Plus, it's a lot of fun!
That's it for our updates! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We'll be happy to assist you with anything you need. The April newsletter and blog posts will be coming out soon, as well as some new blog posts from our amazing intern, Elly. We're putting together some fun stuff for you to read because, if you're like us, there's only so much bad/sad/frustrating news that one can read in any given day. And remember, if you want news and updates first PLUS coupons every month, sign up for our newsletter!
By Elly Murray
If you were a huge fan of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, and loved the mythology element of it especially, check out this list of books about mythology and folktales! This list spans several cultures, including African, German, Native American, Japanese, and Islamic, to name a few. The books on this list explore the fairytales and folklore that we used to explain our world, to terrify children, to develop morality, or as a source of entertainment. Over time, original fairy and folk tales have evolved into common threads that tie together many of our stories today. Several of the books on this list are re-tellings of beloved fairy tales. They share overarching themes with the original tale that allow readers a sense of familiarity, but with a modern twist that brings a new and interesting take.
1. The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley
2. African Tales: A Barefoot Collection by Gcina Mhlophe
3. Merlin: The Lost Years by T.A. Barron
4. Japanese Fairy Tales by Y.T. Ozaki
5. Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
6. Girls and Goddesses: Stories of Heroines from Around the World by Lari Don
7. Latin American Folktales: Stories from Hispanic and Indian Traditions by John Bierhorst
8. An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales by Theresa Breslin
9. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
A modern twist on the old Grimm tales, the Lunar Chronicles follow the stories of futuristic versions of characters like Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and others.
The first book centers on sixteen-year-old Cinder, a cyborg and gifted mechanic living in New Beijing. When her stepsister falls ill, Cinder’s step-mother blames her and volunteers her for plague research. The scientists discover something about her that she never knew, and that others would kill her for.
A complex world and a host of political agendas make this book a spectacular kick-off for the Lunar Chronicles. Reader beware: once you read one, you’ll want to read the next four!
10. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
11. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton
12. The Blue Fairy Book edited by Andrew Lang
13. The Wise Fool: Fables from the Islamic World by Shahrukh Husain and Micha Archer
14. Gris Grimly’s Tales from the Brothers Grimm
15. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
16. Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
17. Tales from Old Ireland by Malachy Doyle, Niamh Sharkey, and Maura O’Connell
18. The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
19. An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales
20. The Mabinogion
Twenty books ought to be enough mythology and folklore to get you started, but if you run out, please call or email the store and talk to us! Mary, Katharine, and myself have an extreme love for these sorts of tales, and we can give you more recommendations than you’ll know what to do with. And once again: read on!
by Mary Ruthless
Our entire country is on red alert right now as we work together to contain and slow down the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Foggy Pine Books is no exception to this work and we’ve had to make some difficult decisions in the past week about how we can best help our community while still keeping our business open. The main points here are:
Appalachian State University and the Town of Boone have taken precautionary steps to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 and Foggy Pine Books will be joining in that effort. While there have been no suspected cases of the new coronavirus in Watuaga or Ashe counties, social distancing is still an important step in reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Though none of our events are over 100 people, they would put the attendees in very close contact. Effective immediately, we are canceling all our events EXCEPT for book clubs which will be moved online. Mary will host the Silent Book Club, Fantasy & Sci-Fi Book Club, and Foggy Pine Book Club meetings via Zoom/Facebook Live/Google Duo (truly not sure yet, still working those things out) so that our longest running events will still be accessible to our customers. All author events for March, the Story Slam, and our new So Chill events will be pulled from the calendar effective immediately. These have been canceled on all platforms with information on the book clubs in each event description. Furthermore, we are reducing our hours on Friday and Saturday, starting today. We will now close at 7pm every day, except Sunday when we close at 6pm. Please let us know if you have any questions about these decisions or upcoming online events.
With precautionary measures taken care of, we must now confront our current standing as a small, independent business. I don’t like sharing the store’s financial status publicly but I think it’s important to be transparent during this very stressful time. As many of you know, indie bookstores operate on a very thin margin. We are flexible and adaptable but can only do so much. This winter and it’s lack of, well, winter did a number on us. For the first time since we opened our doors, we did not meet sales projections. This has put us behind and behind and behind in almost every way. We are doing everything that we can but, with the addition of the current health situation, we are in dire straits. Having to cancel events is going to hurt us. Reducing hours is going to hurt us. Running on a limited staff is going to hurt us and our staff. So, if you value having a bookstore in your community, I am asking for your help. If it’s within your power to do, please keep shopping with us. I know that many people simply cannot or do not feel comfortable going out into public while the transmission of COVID-19 is a widespread concern. To that end, we are offering free shipping on ALL orders. You may order from home by placing your order online or by calling the store and we will ship your books to you for FREE via media mail. We don’t want folks to risk their health but we need the financial support of sales in a serious way.
If you do not have the resources to support us in this way, you can still help! Share this article with your friends and family. Encourage people who do have the resources to shop not just with us but with as many local businesses as possible. We aren’t the only ones struggling to manage the current economic changes. Like our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), like & comment on our posts, share them on your social media, read/share/comment on our blog posts. The more exposure we get on these platforms, the better chance we have of surviving the shifting tides of the current economy. These things may seem small to you but bigger social media numbers generally translate to higher sales--sales that we, and many other small, local businesses, need very much right now.
Finally, I want to thank our customers for their patience and support during this time. We’ve already had quite a few of you reaching out to check on us, make purchases, and are telling your friends to shop here. I cannot tell you how much that means to us. Having such a wonderful, loyal customer base who truly believes in the value of the work that we do makes us feel much more confident in our ability to weather the current economic & social climate. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
Keep reading, wash your hands, and support local businesses!
Max Ruthless: Owner