"Bookstores always remind me that there are good things in this world."
—Vincent Van Gogh
In our business, the last few frenzied weeks of shopping in December are often what makes the rest of the year possible. With one bookseller on the bench with a broken foot, we were down but not out. (If you see Cindy, ask her what happened. She's been inventing creative stories).
This year seemed particularly hectic with the first night of Hanukkah falling on the same night as Christmas Eve. As the holidays closed in, we rushed joyously through the days, recommending and restocking, welcoming and wrapping. Our feet hurt but our hearts were full as we furiously rang up customers and crammed shoulder-to-shoulder at the wrapping table, cutting paper and knotting bows. We sold enough greeting cards so that every man, woman, and child on the island could have one. You should be warned that we sold over 6,000 candy items in 2016, and we're proud that most of them were made by our favorite local chocolatier, Ann Peterson and her team at Island Treats. We suspect reducing candy consumption might turn up on many a Mercer Islander's lists of New Year's resolutions. Or not. We've restocked, after all.
Besides the plethora of gifts, cards, and chocolate that flew out the door this holiday season, we kept a close eye on the books. We always use this time of year to take note of our annual bestselling titles. No one is more curious than we are about what our customers loved the most over the past year. Despite its October release, Maria Semple's hilarious new novel Today Will Be Different topped the list, and our hometown boy Joel McHale came in at #4 with Thanks for the Money. The real mover was The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis, which had only three or four weeks in release to make it all the way to #14. And it should come as a surprise to no one that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was the top-selling title for children and teens.
We're looking forward to getting back into the groove this month with the return of our weekly Storybook Corners, PJ Story Time, Open Book Club, Cookbook Book Club, and a special author event with Will Schwalbe you won't want to miss.
We feel blessed to kick off another year of commerce and community. Thanks for making it possible.
Laurie, Marni, Cindy, Marilyn, Lillian, James, Miriam, Lori, and Nancy