Madeleine

mercer-island-books-independent-bookstore-seattle-staff-recommended-moment-of-tenderness-madeleine-lengleSomewhere in the middle of the doors closing at Island Books, the never ending stream of online and email orders and the trying to figure out exactly how we were going to keep getting books into the hands of our customers, Madeleine L’Engle’s posthumously released collection of short stories, The Moment of Tenderness came into the store. I saw it on the cart, its cover lovely and speckled with stars, and immediately purchased a copy for myself. My plan has been to read one story every day. I don’t have the best relationship with short stories... continued.

Get Lost in a Book

My first English class in college was the most varied and exciting. “Literature in Film” was probably the best 100 Level class offered in the whole college. The entire lesson plan consisted of reading amazing books that were adapted into movies. Then, of course, we watched the movies. I was introduced to film genres previously unexplored, like noir, and classic films, like Apocalypse Now or Double Indemnity. Best of all was reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and watching the requisite Blade Runner. I was in love with this cyberpunk aesthetic formed by simple and straightforward language. Young Harrison Ford didn’t hurt, either ...continued.

Why I Read What I Read: A Note from Cindy

I have been in bookselling, and bookreading, for many years and in my opinion, I am undeniably an expert at choosing the right book for me to read at any given moment. I am always confident that I will choose a book to read that will be worth my while and that I will, without any doubt, be entertained, rewarded, and even maybe eternally changed for having read it  ...continued.

May 2020 eNewsletter

"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming."

— Pablo Neruda
 

mercer-island-books-independent-bookstore-seattle-newsletter-covid-19April is finally behind us. We hope for better days ahead.

First, I’d like to start this month’s letter by thanking our customers, our supporters, our cheerleaders, and our community for their support during this incredibly difficult and challenging time. We appreciate your patience, confidence, support, and limitless supply of love for Island Books. I also want to thank the Island Books staff. They are experiencing what all of us are experiencing – a time of fear and uncertainty.  In this time of fear and uncertainty, they’ve never worked harder (from home), and they continue to show their commitment and dedication to Island Books and our customers during this unprecedented crisis. Without all of you, keeping Island Books alive would not be possible. THANK YOU!  

April has been a weird month for us at Island Books, as it has for everyone. I was struggling with what to write in the owner’s letter this month. Usually I write about upcoming events at the store, upcoming holidays that I’m looking forward to, and upcoming book releases that I’m excited about. Somehow that didn’t seem appropriate right now. I spoke to a friend, who is also an Island Books customer and supporter, about what to write this month; she encouraged me to speak from the heart about what we’re experiencing. So that’s what I’ll do this month.

This experience has been unreal and scary. We don't know what’s going to happen in the coming weeks and months. We don’t know what the new normal will look like when we begin to emerge from this. When this crisis began and we had to close our doors in late March, Victor woke up one night and found me on the family room couch crying at 2am. I was crying because I was scared and had no idea what the immediate future would hold. I was crying as I read post after post about little bookstores around the country closing their doors. I was crying because local businesses that I loved felt they could no longer stay open. The next morning, he gave me a note that you see in the picture. This past week I taped the note to the window so I could look at it every day and remind myself that Island Books has this community supporting us, and together, we will survive.

We’ve always said that Island Books is in the business of community and experience. Our tagline of “Real Books.  Real People. Real Community” reflects that. As a result of the crisis, Island Books has been forced by necessity to work online and to try to bring “community” and “experience” to an online world. Our staff has struggled to figure out how to work remotely and virtually in a business that is essentially personal. We've made mistakes and we appreciate your kindness and patience when we do. Working online is not our comfort zone, and it’s not what we do best (but we’re quickly working on it). We can make your orders happen, but we love talking to you. We love finding the books or gifts for you or the special people in your life, then wrapping them up with a bow. That’s our thing – that’s what we do. We love giving personal attention to each of you. Not seeing all of you and not being able to personally help each one of you has been incredibly hard. We really miss it.  

We have been fortunate to adjust our business and to be able to work from home and behind the closed doors of Island Books to fulfill your order for books, puzzles, toys, and gifts. Like other businesses in other communities across the country, we are one of many small businesses on Mercer Island trying to survive this crisis. We appreciate all you have done to give us your business, support, and love. It helps us survive this crisis, keep our employees working and paid, and it helps ensure that Island Books will be here to serve our community in better times ahead.    

Also, Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing moms out there – especially my mom.

Best,
Laurie Raisys
Owner
 

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