This Saturday, November 7th is the first annual National Bookstore Day--a day devoted to bookselling around the country. What does that have to do with you? Well, first off, we're celebrating it by having a 10% storewide sale and giveaways (woo-hoo)! Second, I ask that you take a moment to seriously consider what Bellingham would be like if we lost Village Books or Henderson or Michael's or Eclipse or any of our other local bookstores. Sure, if Village Books closed, I'd be out a job, but I would find another one. I have more invested in this store than that, though. When I moved back to Bellingham from North Carolina this past May, I returned to Village Books (I was the Events Coordinator prior to heading to the East Coast). Many people questioned my decision of returning to VB, asking if I felt like I was backpedaling. My answer was (and still is) a resounding "no." Although my job in NC was in book publishing, I so badly missed the atmosphere of the bookstore. I missed knowing what other books were out there, I missed having access to all those books, I missed being part of something so closely tied to the community and so willing to let staff run with their creativity. I was elated when Chuck and Dee so warmly welcomed me back.
Bookstores are quirky and the staff tends to be even quirkier (you should see what a bookselling conference is like. Let's just say some of my favorite memories are with booksellers...and let's be thankful those memories weren't captured on film). Even amid the great migration toward Kindles and Sony Readers and the declarations that "books are dead," I love this business. I hope all of you know how fortunate we are to have Chuck & Dee heading up this crazy ride known as Village Books. Instead of digging their feet in and refusing to change their ways, they reinvent the store over and over and over again (see: Espresso Book Machine and the soon-to-be-introduced Symtio e-books). In a time when indie bookstores are crashing all around us, Bellingham still has Village Books (and Henderson, Michael's, Eclipse, et als.) So, even though Saturday is a day to celebrate bookstores, I see it as a way to celebrate perseverance in an industry that is so volatile. GoooOOOOO BOOKSTORES!