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July 2017 eNewsletter

When I think back to the cartwheel I did two years ago down the aisles of Island Books on the day I signed the papers to buy the store, I wish I had done a few more. The experience of owning Island Books has been so much more than I ever expected.

No two days are ever the same, and sometimes that's a really good thing.  I love getting to the store well before it opens so I can be in the space and walk around. There are mornings when someone will knock on the door and come in to chat, which I love, but mostly I enjoy the solitude of the store. I fell in love with Island Books not just because I love books but because there was something special about this place that always calmed me.  Whenever Victor and I talk with people about what we're doing now, especially those who ask, "Why did you buy a bookstore?" we talk about the Mercer Island community and something author Will Schwalbe spoke of at his event this past January, something Ray Oldenburg discusses in his book The Great Good Place. Your home is your first place, your workplace is your second, but then there is a spot in your neighborhood that is third--we work every day to make Island Books your Third Place. We love that you share with us the news of  your joys and sorrows; that you tell us your funny stories and laugh at ours; that we get to observe your lives progressing through engagements, pregnancies, childbirth, and graduations. We always want you to feel at home when you visit Island Books, even if you're just wandering around. Consider it your Third Place on the island.

Among the highlights of my past year behind the front counter are these:
  • Installing our best-seller walls
  • Homecoming visits from former islanders Jim Lynch and Joel McHale
  • Raising a glass with the staff at the conclusion of a bustling holiday season
  • Attending Winter Institute in Minneapolis with a thousand other booksellers
  • Seeing all the friendly faces, new and old, who visited us on the biggest Independent Bookstore Day yet
  • Hosting multiple local author festivals
  • Eating delicious communal meals at our regular Cookbook Book Club meetings
  • Being a Band Together sponsor
  • Meeting Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  • Saying goodbye to beloved Northwest writer Brian Doyle with some of his most-devoted fans

I don't know what they are yet, but I know the next year will bring me many more highlights, and I look forward to every one.

Hoping as always to earn a bronze medal,