This month marks the beginning of our 5th year! Opening new doors is a gamble at best. SO much goes into just getting a business up and running. Finding the best location, getting the space and layout ready, choosing a name, deciding on the theme, ordering the inventory, creating a logo and signage, bringing the team on board, etc., etc. And then holding your breath to see if customers show up and can you make enough to pay the rent. Month after month, you ride the waves of being an indie bookstore. Ups, downs, squalls and lulls. And then, let’s throw in a pandemic to see if we really can keep it afloat! Happy to report that so far so good. We love our location on Gilkey Square and we love being an integral part of the community. Even in tough times, people are finding us on foot and Facebook. Whether it’s an order via phone line or on line, we’re staying connected. And in our book, that says it all! Thank you and here’s to another 5 years for Seaport Books!
Who would have thought that we’d be starting our 4th year in the midst of a pandemic?! But here we are. Along with thousands of independent bookstores across the globe, we have had to shake off the nerves and focus on a solution to staying in business. We had to figure out the answer to: when the doors are ordered closed, how does a walk-in operation survive? It is very much a two-part answer. First – we had to shift into full time phone and online orders. Second – we had to have customers continue to virtually come our way. The good news? Both seem to be working. And the even better news? The interaction with customers has been personal, heartwarming and encouraging. From the doctor who bought each staff member a gift certificate for the book of their choice; to the mom wanting to know the best books for her children; to the son ordering a cookbook for his mom – so many people connecting with love across the wires. They’ve expressed thanks for our selection help, sadness at not being able to visit in person, and thumbs up for hanging in there. The healing power of books is something Seaport Books has always known to be true. During times of crisis, that power is doubled by the community spirit that holds each and every page. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to being here for you today, tomorrow and beyond!
Last month we shared our joy at becoming the community hub we had envisioned. Author nights, book clubs, workshops, meet ‘n greets, book launches – it’s all happening. But who could have guessed the reach our store would realize? Our map of the United States is mounted on a wall so customers can mark where they are visiting from. Lots of dots from WA, BC and CA; quite a number from the East Coast states; sprinklings of folks from just about every state in between; out to HI and down into Mexico. We love seeing all those marks representing happy readers. And what we really love is the thrill of what now feels like a global community. Customers from Melborne, Tokyo, Hamburg, Kuala Lumpur and just last week, four visitors from Tallinn, Estonia. Wow! We’re going to need a bigger map! At a time when much focus is being placed on divisive words, we are pleased to be a place where a diverse audience can read works by diverse artists. Books carry the power to illuminate, engage and guide. Here’s to readers of all ages whatever corner of Planet Earth you hail from. “It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me the most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” James Baldwin
“Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. And here’s more from the folks at the helm of Indie Bookstore Day: “In a world of tweets and algorithms and pageless digital downloads, bookstores are not a dying anachronism. They are living, breathing organisms that continue to grow and expand. In fact, there are more of them this year than there were last year. And they are at your service.” That we are! Seaport Books looks forward to being a community resource and book lover haven for years to come. Join us on Saturday April 29th as we celebrate Independent Bookstore Day!
There’s nothing quite as exciting as opening a new book. Unless, of course, it’s opening a new bookstore. And so it begins. Seaport Books opens its doors on April 26th. Where will the adventure take us? Who will cross our threshold and from what parts of the world? How many readers will fall in love with a new author? Which artist will become a new favorite? Let’s find out. Thank you for sharing the journey.