Long after NORAD stopped tracking Santa Claus during the holiday break, I was still monitoring indie bookseller social media radar as 2019 came to a close. The new year has begun, so I'm just going to leave these here for you and step aside:
Sassafras on Sutton, Black Mountain, N.C.: "As this year draws to a close, I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your support. We are a little local business in a big pond with a very large and hungry fish. And we are thriving! Thanks to you.... Sassafras started the year closed with a crumbled roof and a sad owner.... We've had an amazing year and can't wait to see what 2020 brings."
Capitol Hill Books, Washington, D.C.: "One cool thing about 2019 was how we found a bunch of good books and put them in our store and you guys came and bought a lot of them."
Cream & Amber, Hopkins, Minn.: "I love that the book club who was just here celebrating their year of reading couldn't decide which book to read next, so they polled the customers at the bar (and me). The winner: Beartown. Cheers to a whole new year of reading!"
Reads & Company, Phoenixville, Pa.: "Some reflection--and gratitude--as we approach the end of our first year (7 months, really) in business. A shout-out today to three authors [Laura Lippman, Jerry Spinelli & Madeline Miller] who--through their generosity, endorsement, and sincere support of independent bookstores--gave Reads & Company immediate legitimacy and launched us on this road to success.... and to all the Readers who show up for author events at Reads & Company. Please support events at your local indie bookstore--authors, readers, and booksellers are exactly the community this world needs."
The Brain Lair Bookstore, South Bend, Ind.: "Our biggest and, I believe, most impactful event was bringing @kwamealexander and @randyprestonmusic to South Bend. They left a lasting impression on me, the teachers, and all of the students who were able to attend the morning show. We are all still talking about it. I'm hoping 2020 allows us to continue impacting the lives of the children in our communities and to continue sending the message that they matter and they have the ability to change the world...."
Russo's Books, Bakersfield, Calif.: "Dollar for dollar, we sold more books in 2019 than in any year since 2010 (an amazing feat if you recall how big & busy our Marketplace store was). With the lower overhead of a single showroom/office, we were able to more than double the discount we gave to customers compared to when we had traditional stores and still remain profitable. Thank you Bakersfield for sticking with us for 30+ years."
Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex.: "In 2019, our little indie bookshop put on a record 424 events! This is a big reason why supporting local businesses is so important. Without you, we NEVER could have hosted so many events for our community, from memorable school visits to big literary festivals. Thank you, Houston. We can't wait to make 2020 our best year yet!"
Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, Mass.: "Heading into the new decade grateful for an engaged and loyal island community--locals and visitors alike, inspired authors, visionary activists, discerning publishers, and everyone else who makes, moves, consumes, and loves all the soul-nourishing words that find their way, printed and bound, into our hot little hands. Thank you, and happy new year."
The Spiral Bookcase, Philadelphia, Pa.: "THANK YOU from Calliope and her bookshop minions for a wonderful year! We sent a ton of books into the world... and spent so many lovely afternoons with all of you talking about literature, the city, cats, magick, outer-space, revolution, art, the merits of different @luckyslastchance burgers, and so much more. We love you all and can't wait to see what's coming our way in 2020!"
Prologue Bookshop, Columbus, Ohio: "As 2019 draws to a close, we thought we'd revisit our literary resolutions from last January! Looking forward to an even better year in 2020."
Pagination Bookshop, Springfield, Mo.: "Happy 2020 from Pagination! We are so (!) thankful that 2019 brought us our bookshop! Thank you with all our hearts to our community, to our beloved guest authors, to our thriving open mic and book club groups, to the beautiful books and conversations shared in our space. We are so grateful. Here's to a new year of reading, writing, and fostering literacy and creativity! We can't wait for what 2020 will bring!"
Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, Kan: "It's that time of year again, where we all reflect on the year before and resolve to make big changes for the coming year. Thanks to #StellarBookseller Robin, we now have a road-map to designing our 2020 reading resolutions. Which of Robin's resolutions will you be focusing on next year?"
Next Page Books, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: "2020. It's gonna be big."