For most of us in the Northeast, Wednesday brought a snowstorm of varying sizes. Here in northwestern Vermont our predicted one to three inches turned into more like eight to ten. The unexpectedly horrible weather had us closing the store early. It’s a rare treat for booksellers to actually get a snow day. And I learned that they’re just has much fun as an adult as they were when I was a kid. The only difference was, I didn’t play, I planned, and it was just as satisfying.
The rare time off together allowed Elizabeth and me to hunker down with weather and plan the year. This year we’re trying to focus on more author-less events. The most fun of the snow day was brainstorming great event ideas. Of course, we’re also going to the 6th Winter Institute next week, I’m sure we’ll get some other fun ideas. But there were three ideas that we had on Wednesday that we’ve already set up, and this rapid turnaround is a record for us.
One idea we had is a bike-tuning event in May to help kids get their bikes ready for the summer. The part of the event that makes me happy is the organization that will lead the event also takes old bikes and donates them to kids who need them, so we’re asking folks to bring in bikes their kids have outgrown to donate to the organization. This is the kind of community event I want to do more of in the coming year. I think these events have a lasting ripple effect for all involved.
We’ve always danced around the idea of having a store book group: should we, shouldn’t we? Well, we bit the bullet and I get to indulge in my passion for mysteries and dystopian novels: Mysteries and Mayhem will meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month starting in February. I’m excited about this. I’m not sure why after all these years, I finally feel that I can run a really good book group. Honestly, I think all I needed was a theme. Sometimes, it’s the simple things. I just hope other people like the book group, too.
Other author-less events we’re having are two parties. One is a tea party and the other is a fairy/pirate tea party. I’m always astonished at how successful these tea parties are. And, trust me when I say that there is a different kind of kid who will come to each party, because not all tea parties are the same. Tea parties are easy and once you’ve made the investment in tea sets, you’re pretty all set, except for food. Honestly, I like making the food for tea parties, it’s fun and it’s a great way to get the whole staff working as an assembly line making tiny tea sandwiches.
I’m curious what other stores are doing with their author-less events. If you feel like sharing, let us know what events your store is having that you’re excited about.