"The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you."
—W. Somerset Maugham
February has come quickly this year. Over the past weekend, James and I attended the 12th annual American Bookseller Association's Winter Institute in Minneapolis. From new booksellers to publishing veterans, the world of independent bookselling comes together every year for roundtables, advanced bookselling education, and a plethora of authors, networking, and special events. It was a rich, educational and moving experience, with inspiring speakers including Roxane Gay, Ann Patchett, Lesley Stahl, and Kim Scott Doles.
I was starstruck after waiting in line for 30 minutes to have Ann Patchett sign my book and congratulate me on buying an independent bookstore, then waltzed over to get my picture taken with Andrew McCarthy (think Pretty in Pink) whose new young adult novel, Just Fly Away, arrives in March, and delighted to bump into Joshilyn Jackson (The Opposite of Everyone) on my way out. It was exciting to hear about all the incredible books coming out this year and we will be sure to have them all on hand for you when they arrive.
The travel time allowed some rare time for reflection. I spent some time thinking about what we need more of, both inside of Island Books and beyond our doors. We have a board in the store where we post a question each month. “What is your favorite quote?” is up for February. Right now my favorite quote is “Kindness Matters!” I don’t know who said it first, but it's important now more than ever and that's what I've been thinking we all need a little more of lately.
It was this time last year when I read an article on gratitude that inspired me to cut out dozens of paper hearts and write special notes for everyone in my family. I left them on their doors every morning and planned to do it every day in February, but somehow my resolve petered out. This year I'm taking up the challenge again and have new notes ready to give it a go again this year. Raisys family, watch out.
In the spirit of community, gratitude, and kindness, we are proud to participate in the 6th annual Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Shop, Dine and Stay Local event. You can shop all day on Wednesday, February 8th and 20% of our profits will be donated to MIYFS. To celebrate we will offer drinks and treats for those shopping after 5pm. I hope you can join us.
Have a happy and love-filled Valentines Day!