Although this week marks the beginning of the holiday season, it also means that it is nearing the end of another year of bookselling. 2018 surpassed our expectations in terms of engagement and excitement about books. Here are some of the best things that happened at Bookshop this year:
9. This year we started a Debuts of Summer event series where five debut authors each had an event with a commemorative button to introduce them to the community.
8. Being on the edge of Silicon Valley, we knew that our website needed updating, so we were thrilled when we introduced our new website just last week. Mobile friendly, easier to use with an updated look, we are proud of this online representation of Bookshop’s shelves.
7. This year was a great year to work with others to support the larger literary community of Santa Cruz. Our partners at UCSC, including The Humanities Institute, helped us welcome alumna Reyna Grande for an event celebrating A Dream Called Home – her memoir about her time at UCSC — including time for first generation students to talk to her before the event. Then we worked with the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County to welcome children’s author Matt de la Pena and illustrator Christian Robinson for an event in Watsonville celebrating their book Carmela Full of Wishes. Free copies were given to Pajaro Valley Unified School District students and there were drama and art activities based upon the book. It was a magical afternoon.
6. A year at Bookshop would not be complete with some Harry Potter in our lives, so it was a thrill to put on a Harry Potter version of our Books & Brews events at our favorite spirits shop, Venus Spirits, all in celebration of the book which was released 20 years ago.
5. We all need a little joy in our life, so we are excited to partner with The Humanities Institute, Santa Cruz Public Libraries and Temple Beth El for a community read of The Book of Joy on December 9th, where we will hear from author Doug Abrams about his conversations with The Dalai Lama and Reverend Desmond Tutu, as well as hear a panel of faith-based leaders discuss how their traditions encourage joy and compassion.
4. In July, as part of our Women’s Voices campaign, Bookshop partnered with over 30 women-owned and operated stores in Downtown Santa Cruz to launch the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, celebrating the many ways women are building community in our Downtown.
3. Events, events, events! We started the year with 2,000 people hearing from Deepak Chopra and continued with events with Pete Souza, Jennifer Egan, David Sedaris, Jonathan Franzen, Michael Pollan, Hank Green, Yotam Ottolenghi & Samin Nosrat, Markus Zusak and Chelsea Clinton (just to name a few). It was our joy to bring together readers and authors all year long.
2. Bookshop was thrilled to welcome our new Head Children’s Buyer, Stephanie Seales, in early November who is ready to stoke the passion of our youngest customers for years to come. She has big shoes to fill as Ga Lombard, our current Children’s Buyer, is retiring after 41 years. It is bittersweet, but we are excited for the passion and vision Stephanie will bring as she carries our children’s department into the future.
1. Bookshop’s year-long effort, Women’s Voices, elevated the profile of female-identifying authors all year. We had monthly book selections, innovative events, fundraising opportunities (including a September campaign which raised over $1,300 for the Times Up Legal Defense Fund) and more. With another year of resistance and empowerment under our belts, we can’t wait to see what 2019 brings.
We hoped you joined us on this journey and we thank you for supporting Bookshop which allows us to do this type of programming all year long.
Casey Coonerty Protti
Bookshop Santa Cruz