As we close the book on 2020, we want to thank our community and our customers for their steadfast support, patience and understanding throughout this challenging year. In addition, we want to thank our amazing staff who have been unwavering in their commitment to Island Books, our community, and our customers throughout this trying year. THANK YOU! We will be closing the store from Friday, January 1st – Wednesday, January 6th to give ourselves and the Island Books staff a chance to renew and refresh after a long and difficult year. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!
As with many households, our television watching has increased during the pandemic. We’ve really enjoyed binge watching The Queen's Gambit, The Last Dance and all six seasons of Schitt's Creek among others. Last weekend, we really enjoyed the HBO documentary The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart thanks to the recommendation of our very close friend T.J.M. It was a great trip down memory lane. It’s easy to think of the Bee Gees as that disco band from the mid-late 1970’s from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. However, that thinking ignores the fact that the Bee Gees had a career that spanned four decades from the 1960’s with a sound that was similar to the Beatles, to their ballads of the late 1960’s and early 1970s, followed by disco sound in the mid to late 1970s and then becoming award winning songwriters in the 1980s and 1990s in response to the disco backlash. Watching the documentary, we were reminded that the Bee Gees were constantly reinventing themselves to adapt to the ever-changing environment of the music business. And so it has been with Island Books as well. Our relationship with the year 2020, is complicated. The year 2020 has forced us to reinvent ourselves and find new and different ways to serve our community and customers. It is not the first time that Island Books has had to adapt to a changing environment, nor will it be the last. At times, it has been difficult, frustrating, challenging, and messy because change always is. However, we believe that we have come out of this year stronger and better equipped to face the challenges in the years ahead. As we bid farewell to 2020, we mourn the pain, suffering and loss that it has brought to everyone in our family, in our community and in our country. At the same time, we are thankful for the lessons and the opportunities that 2020 has brought to us.
For those of you who are Bee Gee fans, we recommend the book “The Bee Gees: The Biography”. Here are some other music biographies you might be interested in.
Best of 2020
Every year, we list our favorite memories of 2020 and in spite of a difficult year, we continue that tradition with the following list of our best memories from the year:
- Slate article, (Coronavirus Diaries). The first two weeks of March were certainly some of the scariest for us this year (and possibly ever). Our business slowed to a crawl, hours would go by where we wouldn't have a customer in the store. Nobody knew what was going on. The fear was palpable. Out of the blue, we got an email from a Slate reporter working on Coronavirus stories around the country. We had a tremendous outpouring of support not only from our own community but also across the country as the result of this story.
- Wednesday, March 25th, the day we had to lock the door and close the bookstore to customers. It was a sad, sad day and none of us knew what would happen.
- Saturday, June 6th, the day we were allowed to open the doors back up to customers. While it was scary for all of us, we were so excited to see all of your faces and have you safely come back in for browsing.
- Since owning the bookstore, we have hosted a weekly story time with Nancy Stewart. With the doors closed we tried a few live events, promoted Nancy's YouTube readings and then created the Drive In Tuck In. Our first one was in the parking lot of Island Books. For the second, Our Spooky Drive In Tuck, we had so much interest we moved the event to the high school parking lot AND we had 2 sessions. We love (Nancy Stewart)
- Being asked to partner with the Microsoft Alumni Network as their bookstore for current and forthcoming books by MS Alumni - a few we have been fortunate to host - Brad Chase (Strategy First), Jennifer Risher (We Need to Talk: A Memoir About Wealth) and most recently, Akhtar Badshah (The Purposed Mindset).
- In June the MIPD alerted us to the possibility of riots on the island, while this is not a "highlight" it did make us aware of the many things big & small in the bookstore that we value. There were a stack of typewriters in our car!
- The outpouring of support from our community during this entire pandemic. We are forever grateful!
Last but not least, here's a preview of the Top 5 books from our 2020 Top 40 list coming out in the New Year:
- A Promised Land, by Barack Obama
- White Fragility, by Robin DeAngelo
- Caste, by Isabella Wilkerson
- The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
- Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
Happy New Year! Here's to a great 2021.
Laurie, Victor, Cindy, Nancy, Lillian, Lori and Caitlin