One year ago this weekend we hosted our first storytime. We had booked the author earlier in the year and since we had originally thought we would open our shop in late October 2015 we figured booking authors for late November was no problem. Well, if you have ever opened a shop, or indeed expected any project to go according to schedule you know that did not happen. We were delayed by leaks , causing the painting to be delayed and of course if the painting is delayed you can’t install the bookshelves, and if the bookshelves are delayed you postpone delivery of the inventory. So the last weekend of November and the scheduled date for the first storytime arrives and we open the doors, smelling strongly of paint and with empty bookshelves most of which did not even have the shelves installed yet. But we opened the doors and actually held a very successful event as Steven Spires the author of the children’s books Three Little Shrimp and The Oak Tree read his delightful books and entertained the children while I bustled around and tried to get some things organized. For your understanding that first day we are Thankful.
A lot has changed since that day. Most notably the bookshelves that on that first day seemed to swallow the books we had ordered whole and appeared empty no matter how many I added are today fully stocked and I am actually bringing in additional shelves to make room for even more inventory.
We have been blessed with support both local, and by authors (and by local authors) that has helped us to grow and granted us their patience while we learned. The parade of authors to grace our doorways over the past year is unbelievable to me. We have been visited by Jeffrey Marx, Mark Couhig, Rod Dreher , Leif Pederson, CC Lockwood , Shelley Tomlinson, Anne Butler, Gail Chisum, Chere Dastugue Coen, Michael H. Rubin, Gwen Roland, Martin Hawkins, Mona Lisa Saloy, Margaret McMullan, Philip Gould, Jason Berry, Johnette Downing, Cynthia LeJeune Nobles, Laurie Parker, and Mrs. Genevieve Trimble. (and I am quite sure I am forgetting to list someone, and my apologies for that even if you are not listed I am thankful you visited). And we are not done yet! Before we reach our One year Anniversary Celebration during Christmas in the Country we will have also hosted children’s authors Tracey Koch and illustrator Lauren Hawthorn and Susie Marie PhD; as well as Kathy Finn with her new Tom Benson book , Marie Constantin who will bring her beautiful book of photographs of Mother Theresa , and a joint signing with CC Lockwood and Cyril Vetter. And for every one of you we are Thankful.
I mentioned that the community has been supportive and really that is an understatement! This community has welcomed us with open arms, participated in book clubs, attended signings, brought their children to storytime (and let’s be honest, I am most thankful for an excuse to wear a crown and call myself “Missy the Story Telling Princess”) and invited us to participate in their events both literary and otherwise. They have recommended books, sent us their summer reading lists and welcomed us into their daily lives. They have even come out to eat Harry Potter’s birthday cake and drink butter beer while awaiting the midnight release of The Cursed Child – and I actually stayed awake the entire time! And for all of these things we are Thankful.
Most of all I realize almost daily that I am actually living the dream. I spend my days in my own independent bookstore meeting authors and ordering new books. Every day I get to open a new box of books and for a moment pretend they are all coming home with me. I get to hang out among book shelves with my dog while he greets customers and I get to talk about what book I am reading. For all of this unbelievableness I am so Thankful .
Thank you for being a part of year one. I, for one, can’t wait to see what year two will bring.