Just as story time was set to begin on Saturday, one of our young regulars bounded into the shop, then stopped in her tracks and began looking around.
"What's everyone doing here?" she asked. (Our Saturday mornings before story time are generally pretty slow.)
I did a little dance. "It's Indie Bookstore Day!"
The little girl's face fell, and I honestly thought she might burst into tears. "Are you going to close the store forever?"
"Of course not," I said, utterly confused. "It's just Indie Bookstore Day! We're celebrating bookstores all over the country today. Izzy, what did you think I said?"
Izzy's grin returned. "WHEW!" she said with relief. "I thought you said 'End of Bookstore Day.' I was so worried. I'm glad you're not going to close!"
Our customers and friends care deeply about what happens to The Bookshelf. Izzy, who's as dependable a customer as any full-fledged adult, is proof. On Saturday, you all showed up to celebrate with us, to support what we're trying to do in our store and in Thomasville. We had a banner day, filled with business partnerships, author events, tote bags, and trivia. I wore a shirt I bought just for the occasion. "Long live the book shop!" it proclaims, and I'm happy to live in a town where so many people agree.
The night before Indie Bookstore Day, I dug up one of my favorite Ann Patchett quotes, and I wanted to share it with you.
"When I dream of some tiny step to counteract the current madness, I think about how nice it would be to make a safe place for myself, my family, my friends, and total strangers, a place that is quiet and cheerful, a place that welcomes everyone exactly as they are, while at the same time encouraging them to be better, smarter, and more curious. A place that celebrates different points of view... I would like to build a place where people would feel cherished for their life experiences, where people could learn from history and be comforted by art. A place where babies are welcome, children can play, and teenagers feel respected. A place where people who are pulled in a hundred different directions can find a moment’s peace, and old people would be offered a comfortable chair to sit while they read a book."
I cry every time I read that quote. When I tell you The Bookshelf helped make my dreams come true, I mean it, and I want you to know: I've never stopped dreaming about what this place could become. Thank you for dreaming right alongside me, for showing up, for caring deeply about what happens to us. We're not going anywhere, and I hope, little by little, we're becoming the kind of place Ann described. That's the goal. That's the dream. That what we wanted to honor and convey on Saturday. Thanks for being a part of it.
We're still in recovery mode from a busy weekend, but we've got some fun things scheduled for the coming weeks, and new summer shipments are coming in, too. Our front table is filled with candles, literary necklaces, soaps, and flower vases for your Mother's Day and graduation shopping, and we're hosting a book fair at Brookwood School for your child's summer reading needs. Also happening in the shop:
+ Pop-up Shop w/ South Georgia Succulents - Saturday, 5/13
+ Stitches and Stories at Fuzzy Goat - Tuesday, 5/16
+ Story time w/ Ben Wilder - Saturday, 5/20
+ Tea Tasting featuring Piper & Leaf Teas - Saturday, 5/20
+ Shelf Talk + Signing w/ columnist Gary Yordon - Thursday, 5/25
For full event details, click over to our Facebook event descriptions.