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 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!
Hello fellow bookworms! As we head into the next few weeks, many of us are looking for ways to give back out of our abundance. We are excited to share with you an opportunity to do just that this holiday season. We have set up a donation program to benefit OASIS by providing books for all their littlest clients during the holidays. Get 25% off any children's or YA book that is purchased for donation and Foggy Pine Books will match that with a book donated for an adult. Together, we can spread the joy of reading and be sure that no one is without a gift this season!
While you're here picking out the perfect donation title, don't forget to snag a copy of our beautiful holiday catalog. Filled to the brim with lovely books and great gift-giving ideas, you're sure to find something for the reader on your list. Can't swing by the store but still want to shop? Browse from the comfort of your couch on our brand new website. That's right - we've been hard at work and we finally get to share our online store with you! We can't wait to hear what you think!
There are a few other changes ahead as we move toward the end of the year and the calendars start filling up. The Swap Shop is ending in December and will no longer be accepting donations. All items will still be available for $1 per item or $5 for a bag. Swing by and take a peek - you never know what you will find! We have also decided, after a show of hands, to change the meeting time for the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Book Club. The club will meet on Thursdays at 6 pm starting January 2020. If you're not already part of a book club, we would love to have you try us on for size!
Not ready to commit to monthly book club meetings? An author visit may be just what the doctor ordered. We have local author Jim Hamilton in the store this month, doing a reading from his debut novel, The Last Entry. Come by this Friday and see what all the buzz is about!
We will be closed for Thanksgiving to allow our staff time to visit with family & friends. We'll be open our regular hours on Black Friday & Small Business Saturday. Come see us first thing Saturday and be entered to win one of THREE amazing giveaways - a set of books, a $30 gift card, or a canvas totebag! If you're one of the first ten purchasing customers, you will get 25% off your total order. Can't make it in first thing? We are also offering 10% off all books purchased between 5-9 pm. All purchases entitle you to a free, warm cup of coffee/tea/cider/cocoa and some Jane cuddles. So many reasons to shop local!
Looking for things to do this month? In addition to today's author visit, we have quite a few things events to join in this month. We have two regular book clubs that meet once a month to discuss our shared read. You can learn more about them here. The inaugural meeting of the brand new Silent Book Club is November 12th at 1pm. Learn more about that here. It's also NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and we're holding 4 more write-ins this month. Come write with us and get free coffee & snacks then, during the last write-in, we'll have cake to celebrate your writing all month! There's always a lot happening at Foggy Pine Books so keep an eye on our calendar & we hope to see you at an event.
November is shaping up to be a busy month but that doesn't mean we've taken a break from reading over here at the store. Check out our staff picks and let us know what's on your list this month! Hint: You can click each cover to buy online from our new store!
We look forward to seeing you soon. Read on!
Hello fellow bookworms! As the weather turns colder, there's more time for snuggling up with a good book. So why not make it a new book? We are now offering a 15% discount for any book ordered more than 30 days before its release date! Now's your chance to get the hottest titles at a steal. And remember, any special order will, as always, receive our 10% discount. Can't come and browse during the day? Our new weekend hours are perfect for you! Swing by this Friday or Saturday until 9pm. We can't wait to see you!
While you're here placing your orders, take a peek at our new display from our local indie publisher, Working Title Farm. The display features books the authors are reading right now and their recommendations draw from all genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, regional interest, cooking, art – every month will offer new perspectives. The Farmers are pumped to share their picks with you and we hope you will find them as exciting as we do!
Our booksellers also have a staff picks shelf, in addition to having their current titles included in these blog posts. Mary (our owner) is almost always reading at least 3 books at once (how does she do that?!). Lillian and Rasier (our booksellers) read often and eclectically. Katharine (our marketing manager) loves anything inspired by fairy tales and includes a title she's reading with her kids (marked "with the littles"). If you pick up one of these titles - and even if you don't - we would love to chat with you about books so stop by any time!
As always, there are lots of events and readings coming up this month so be sure to subscribe to our calendar. A couple final notes: we now require a minimum purchase of $5.00 on all card purchases, but that should be easy to hit with these spooktacular savings! Our credit card fees were increased and we can't afford them on anything lower than $5. Also, for the month of October only, shop our fall sale to get 10% off all hardcover picture books (fiction & nonfiction), fantasy, chapter books, young adult, and mystery books.
We look forward to seeing you soon. Read on!
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 Ruthless: Owner/Manager