A Letter to My Extended
Book Stop Family
As many of you know, beginning last September, I was away from Book Stop for more than four months due to a sudden spinal injury. But, Book Stop did not slow down, even without her Captain at the wheel. The love and support of our Hood River community kept the store, and our family afloat, even through the busy Holiday Season. You came to my home to cook meals for me and make sure I was safe when I was in pain and had lost most of the use of my left arm. You filled our freezer and pantry with food, made daily calls to ask me how I was or ask what you should read or check, as my mother would have done, that I had good hair and a wore a little lipstick! Before we could think to ask, you were there for us. I received calls and emails and texts from friends of customers, whom I had never met, who heard someone speak of the difficulties I and my family faced and who felt compelled to offer their help. So many of you were there. From volunteers helping my family and friends in the store with unpacking and shelving and gift-wrapping, to customers helping to steer fellow customers towards the right books, to countless people coming in every day to ask how I was doing and giving my husband and children a hug of support - you were there. I can think of no words in any book that I have ever read that could fully express the amount of love that I have felt envelope us to this day.
Book Stop was my dream. It was the one thing I called a career that just felt right. At first I thought it would be fun to be my own boss and sit around and read all the time. Guess what? That's not what happened. I didn’t spend my days leisurely reading. My days were spent helping other readers find the book they didn’t even know they needed. I found out that, almost as much as I wanted to find a great book for me, I wanted all of YOU to read it, too. I am the one who was able to remember almost every book I ever read, and found out that I instinctively knew who needed to read each book. Like a rolodex in my brain, I’d finish a book and I’d see the faces of each ‘perfect fit’ for the book. I got people who didn't have time to read become book addicts. I gave the gift of fiction to 'non-fiction only' readers, helping them to read books that would NOT help them at work, or in their finances, or to get in touch with ANYTHING. I have watched your babies come into this world and grow into children who now come in and ask "Cynthia, do you have Pony Pals?" or Magic Treehouse or Boxcar Children... I am the one who never thought she liked, as we ALL joke now "other people's children" who found herself turned into a candy wielding, sarcastic, literary Pied Piper who can't seem (doesn't want) to get rid of them. If nothing else, in the last 7 years, I got a lot of people reading. I made books fun and exciting and not something someone said you HAD to do. I made it something YOU felt you had to do. You trusted me to lead you and your children down so many new literary roads. Thank you for traveling with me.
In light of what you have come to mean to everyone in my family, I regret to tell you that Book Stop will be closing its doors this month. Sadly, all the hard work of my family, and that of my new extended family during my recovery, could not make up for the absence of this passionate bookseller. My time away, compounded with the current economy, and the Post-Holiday lull was more than our financial and physical reserves could bear, and I think family needs to take a deep breath and recover with me. They worked harder than you can imagine to care for me and to keep my dream alive and I can't ask for more than they have given. So, as much as it breaks my heart, Book Stop must close.
But up to the very last minute, we will still be here to do what we do - help you find the right book for the right person. And after that, I'll still be around. So if you still want to order books from me you can, or if you just want to ask me what I've read, or you need a suggestion for yourself or your kids or your spouse, you can email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, send me a message at www.gorgebookstop.com. We're even starting up home and work deliveries. Fancy, huh? So, I’m not really going away. Besides, it's a small town, even those babies I mentioned could find me if they wanted. And who knows, maybe someday soon, if I miss all of you - and maybe your kids - too much, we may try starting a new chapter. I may be locking the door of my bookstore this month, but I will ALWAYS be your bookseller. And I will miss all of your faces, all of you, very much.
My last words seem insufficient after all you've given me over the last seven years, but they are so very heartfelt - Thank You.
Book Stop's phone number (541-386-7867) and Toll-Free number (877-494-7867) have been transferred to our home. No new numbers to memorize! We have already started making home and work deliveries, as well as meeting customers at coffee shops, restaurants, and at the Event Site! Remember us for FREE local delivery, with "local" including Cascade Locks, The Dalles, White Salmon, and Bingen, to name a few. Wonder if your address is in our "Delivery Zone"? Just call us and ask. Depends on the weather, price of gas, how much we like you…you know, the usual criteria.