HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!!!
FRIDAY THE 13TH IS COMING RIGHT UP!
Perhaps you were present at Napa Bookmine on September 13, 2013 when we opened our doors to the public. I (Naomi) remember ceremoniously unlocking the door and turning to Elayna with a squeal and a question: "What the heck is going to happen now? Are people going to find us? Will people care?"
This moment never ceases to amaze me because now, six years later, it is clear that people do in fact care. People, you people(!!), love books!!! You LOVE THEM! You would eat them for breakfast if that wasn't a bibliophilic sin. You love community. You love supporting an underdog. You've kept us here. You've helped us find our home in bookselling and in Napa. Thank you!
Despite the fact that we were seriously bootstrapping it in the beginning, you visited us repeatedly. We didn't even have enough shelves to cover the perimeter of our space. We had books, no gifts, maybe a couple cards. We probably had about 15 new books, and about 20,000 used books. I had no knowledge of latest bestsellers, just a foundation of my childhood and summers in college spent at my dad's bookstore shelving books and a good feel for how to talk to people and do my best to be helpful. We knew nothing about how to make a sexy launch and "market" what we were doing (not that I know now??). There was decidedly NOT a line waiting to get in at the moment we opened the doors, but we did have a solid turnout of mostly friends and family that evening, buying whatever books we had on the shelf at the time to support us. Our computer system broke on our very first transaction that day, and continued to be broken all night. Ha, of course. It was Friday the 13th, after all.
We had just spent three months in a stifling, sweaty room putting thousands of books into our inventory. We had a business plan that showed how many dollars per day we needed to make to pay Elayna and our rent. I definitely didn't get paid that first year, and continued to teach elementary math two mornings a week for some income. Our friend Steve (aka Chef aka Most Generous Book-Loving Soul Alive) wanted a used bookstore in our community so badly, rabid snobby reader that he is, that he helped us build bookshelves for no charge, with the promise of a lifetime supply of books (which he hasn't taken us up on nearly as much as he should since he's moved to Lake County).
I've watched many people find friendships and deepen their love for Napa through interactions that take place at our store. What an honor. Hopefully you can think of a handful, or milkcrate full, or car trunk full of books that you've read since you've known us that have changed your life or contributed to your soul or sense of self in these last six years. It has been a blast getting to know all of you.
Hope to see you on FRIDAY THE 13TH! Here's some of the goodies that we will be offering:
- A limited release of our coveted Napa Bookmine sweatshirts! (You know, our black sweatshirts with the gold logo that we ran out of, like, four years ago but I haven't had them reprinted and every anniversary I say I'm going to get them reprinted? WELL, WE ARE REALLY GETTING THEM REPRINTED! This time, with fancy soft sweatshirt material and a fancy tagline proclaiming that we were established in 2013.)
- Some really cool new NAPA BOOKMINE stickers by a well-known Napa artist ......... are you curious or what?
- 13% off the ENTIRE PEARL ST. STORE all day!
- Snacks and refreshments throughout the day!