You are here

July 2017 eNewsletter

"Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly—they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced."

—Aldous Huxley

When I think back to the cartwheel I did two years ago down the aisles of Island Books on the day I signed the papers to buy the store, I wish I had done a few more. The experience of owning Island Books has been so much more than I ever expected.

No two days are ever the same, and sometimes that's a really good thing.  I love getting to the store well before it opens so I can be in the space and walk around. There are mornings when someone will knock on the door and come in to chat, which I love, but mostly I enjoy the solitude of the store. I fell in love with Island Books not just because I love books but because there was something special about this place that always calmed me.  Whenever Victor and I talk with people about what we're doing now, especially those who ask, "Why did you buy a bookstore?" we talk about the Mercer Island community and something author Will Schwalbespoke of at his event this past January, something Ray Oldenburg discusses in his book The Great Good Place. Your home is your first place, your workplace is your second, but then there is a spot in your neighborhood that is third--we work every day to make Island Books your Third Place. We love that you share with us the news of  your joys and sorrows; that you tell us your funny stories and laugh at ours; that we get to observe your lives progressing through engagements, pregnancies, childbirth, and graduations. We always want you to feel at home when you visit Island Books, even if you're just wandering around. Consider it your Third Place on the island.


Among the highlights of my past year behind the front counter are these:
  • Installing our best-seller walls
  • Homecoming visits from former islanders Jim Lynch and Joel McHale
  • Raising a glass with the staff at the conclusion of a bustling holiday season
  • Attending Winter Institute in Minneapolis with a thousand other booksellers
  • Seeing all the friendly faces, new and old, who visited us on the biggest Independent Bookstore Day yet
  • Hosting multiple local author festivals
  • Eating delicious communal meals at our regular Cookbook Book Club meetings
  • Being a Band Together sponsor
  • Meeting Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  • Saying goodbye to beloved Northwest writer Brian Doyle with some of his most-devoted fans
I don't know what they are yet, but I know the next year will bring me many more highlights, and I look forward to every one.

Hoping as always to earn a bronze medal,

Where's Waldo?

Throughout the entire month of July, we'll be participating in one of the best promotions around. Legendary traveler Waldo has gone missing again (what's wrong with that guy?) but if you can find him at Island Books or at any of the other participating businesses on Mercer Island, not only will you be doing him a favor, you'll earn discount coupons and maybe even bigger prizes! Watch store windows for the Waldo icon, pick up a passport, and start searching.


The Books of Summer

The sun is up and the water is warm. There's food on the grill and you've got a drink in your hand. What's missing? A book! You don't want to sit on that lounge chair staring into space, do you? No! You want to be reading one of the most popular stories of the summer.


Destination of the Month: Oregon

You don't always have to go far to have a spectacular vacation experience. Our neighbor to the south, Oregon, is near enough to reach in a hurry, but it offers world-class attractions that would be worth a much longer trip. We're talking about awesome July weather, some of the most scenic coastline you'll ever see, sun-kissed inland vineyards, and historic theaters, among many other things. A lot like Washington, really, just a little bit different. And a little different can be a lot relaxing.

To browse previous destinations of the month, go here.


Counter Intelligence:
Miriam's July Pick

Miriam's featured read for July has been anticipated for two full decades. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is Arundhati Roy's first fictional follow-up to her Booker Prize-winning classic The God of Small Things, and there's no bigger buzz for any other summer novel. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is a widescreen picture of India old and new, with a sprawling cast of characters, each of whom is indelibly and tenderly rendered. Roy's inimitable prose will have you hooked from the first page to the very end, praying that you don't have to wait another twenty years for her next novel.

See More Staff Picks

Reading-Related Rambles

In June, James amused us with the story of one man's intense dislike for a particular book; we launched our summer reading program for kids and teens; and we shared a wide-ranging interview with the fascinating teacher, translator, and author Bahiyyih Nakhjavani, in which she discussed several brilliant books (including her own) and taught us who the "corridor people" are.

To keep up with our newest posts, sign up to get our Store Journal by email.


Upcoming Events

Tue, July 4, all day:

Wed, July 5, 10:30am:
Storybook Corner

Tue, July 11, 6:30pm:
Music Night at Island Books
w/Grant Dermody & Forrest Gibson

Wed, July 12, 10:30am:
Storybook Corner

Tue, July 18, 6:30pm:
Movie Night at Island Books: Persuasion

Wed, July 19, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Tue, July 25, 6:30pm:
Game Night at Island Books

Wed, July 26, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Thurs, July 27, 7:30pm:
Open Book Club: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Sun, July 30, 2:00pm:
Launch Party for Life Matters by The BookClub Seattle
at the Mercer Island Library


Read the World This Summer!

Our summer reading program continues in July, as it will until school starts again in the fall. We hope you're keeping your reading eye sharp, kids and teens. We'll help make that happen and we'll take you on a world tour while we do it. It's simple enough: come into Island Books throughout the summer to buy books and we'll reward you with a free bonus book.

The full details are on our website, so click through to see them and stop by soon to get started!


Open Book Club

For our July Open Book Club, we'll be reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This bestselling 2012 novel appeals equally to young and old alike, and has been made into a major motion picture released in 2017. It tells the story of a boy with a significant facial deformity who is about to start his first year at a mainstream school, and it's sure make you think as much as it tugs at your heartstrings.

Don't forget if you purchase your book here in the store you'll always get a 10% discount.


20% Off Indie Bestsellers

We always offer a 20% discount on the top ten bestsellers in non-fiction and fiction for the week, as reported by independent booksellers across the country.